Gary Barnett: “Poor Door” makes financial sense

Gary Barnett and 40 Riverside Boulevard

Extell Development CEO Gary Barnett defended the “poor door” planned for his 33-story building at 40 Riverside Boulevard, arguing that it would have made no financial sense to incorporate affordable rental units into the condominium tower without it.

Developers told the New York Times that a condo-and-rental building with separate entrances allows them to reserve the best location and amenities for condos seeking a high price. The income from those condos subsidizes the construction of the affordable-housing component, developers said.

Barnett equated combining entrances at the property to “giving away” the apartments with the highest value.

Inclusionary zoning regulations — which gives developers bonuses for building affordable units — have long allowed for those affordable units to be in a separate building. But in 2009, the regulations changed to allow for the separation to be done on the same site. Therefore, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer has said, Extell’s separate entrance for low-income residents is in line with existing zoning law. [NYT]Mark Maurer

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