Developers plan 226 affordable units


A developer has proposed a 13-story building with 226 apartments — all affordable housing — for those looking to move to Broadway.

But first, the property will have to be rezoned.

During Community Board 8’s land use committee meeting June 4, Nora Martins of New York-based law firm Akerman LLP gave a presentation on a new residential building proposed for 5602-5604 Broadway.

Martins represented Riverdale Garage Corp., the primary applicant on the rezoning application for the project. Currently, 5602-5604 Broadway is zoned for light manufacturing. That would have to change to residential and limited commercial, such as in a mixed-use project.

Ackerman first presented the project to the board in June of last year. The current timeline for the project will include a public review in the fall, while the development company spends the summer gaining certification and approval from the city’s housing preservation and development department to offer affordable housing.

The lot will include an active parking garage intended to offer 188 parking spaces for tenants while the remaining spots will be kept as paid parking spots for the public. Upgrades to the property will be made, including electric-vehicle charging stations and 113 bicycle parking spaces for tenants of the building.

Martins was not able to offer established price points for the proposed units, but in the proposal indicates apartments will have annual rents ranging from $29,637 to $139,320.

Chuck Moerdler, CB8’s land use committee chair, said he wants to see a realistic area median income, for the rent prices in the building.

“We’re confident that this project would qualify,” Martins said, adding the project is pending acceptance as affordable housing with public funding from the housing preservation and development agency.

“I applaud the fact that they are trying to build more affordable housing, New York City desperately needs it and I can’t think of a better place,” Moerdler said.

Inside the proposed building, half of the apartments will be studios and one bedrooms with 101 two-bedroom apartments and 12 three-bedroom apartments. The two and three bedroom apartments will include two bathrooms.

Martins said at last year’s meeting the project offers more family-sized apartments.

In an effort to mitigate overloading of the sewer system, the building will be designed to collect its rainwater to irrigate the building’s green roof.

The building will border the property line of the approved project to bring Tibbets Brook back wholly above ground, and Martins said developers have already agreed to work with the city department of environmental protection to ensure they do not interfere with that project.

Sylvia Alexander, CB8 committee chair for education, libraries and cultural affairs, raised concern over the new building and rezoning setting a precedent for other developers to construct high-rise buildings along Broadway.

“It is going to transform Broadway into (something) unrecognizable,” Alexander said.

“This will be a major influence in the neighborhood.”

Alexander said her recommendation is for a study of the buildings from West 231st Street to West 238th Street in order to ensure the proposed new buildings are uniform with what exists along of the 5600 section of Broadway, as opposed to having one large development loom over the rest.

Martins said the new building project would come before CB8 again in the fall for a formal recommendation and community input, in accordance with city policy.

Community board review takes place within 60 days of receiving a certified application, and a public hearing is required before a written recommendation is submitted by the board to the applicant, the borough president, the city planning commission and any other relevant stakeholders.

That process, Martins said, should mitigate Alexander’s concerns.

“You will review each application on its own merit, so this doesn’t necessarily automatically open the door to other developers,” she said.

Despite the new building being a long way from the construction phase, Martins said they wanted to offer the second presentation as a courtesy to prepare the board for when the 60-day window begins for community and board review to be finalized and submitted.

affordable housing, Broadway development, 5602-5604 Broadway, rezoning proposal, Community Board 8, Riverdale Garage Corp, New York City housing, residential building, mixed-use project, public review, housing preservation, electric-vehicle charging, family-sized apartments, green roof, Tibbets Brook project.