Sunday, July 27, 2014



Big City

On the Upper West Side, a House Divided by Income

A development received approval from the city for separate entrances — one for wealthy residents and one for those earning far less who would occupy the project’s affordable units.


The “Upstairs, Downstairs” effect was permissible under a change to zoning codes made during the Bloomberg era that gave developers who provided affordable housing in market-rate projects discretion over these particulars, in addition to the considerable tax breaks they receive. Although the building’s configuration is anathema to the values embraced by the de Blasio administration, forcing the developer to abandon it would involve costly, not entirely tenable litigation, which would slow the progress of the city’s affordable-housing plans, the administration said. The focus now is to reverse the zoning change, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen told me, a process that should take about a year.


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