“Our core commitment is creating affordable housing.”
That’s what Henry Wollman, CEO of Quadriad Realty Partners which plans to bring four residential skyscrapers to the corner of W. 190th Street and Broadway, told a joint meeting of the Community Board 12 Traffic and Transportation and Parks and Cultural Affairs Committees on Mon., June 6.
But concerned Northern Manhattanites are not so sure of the developer’s commitment. As the project prepares to go through zoning and city planning approvals, neighbors are gearing up to question and criticize the project, which is largely viewed as uncharacteristic of the neighborhood.
At an earlier CB12 meeting in June, as reported by news Web site DNAinfo, Wollman said that he would be willing to lower the maximum income for affordable units from $108,000 to $72,000.
If approved, the “New Strategy” plan will include four towers ranging from 28 to 37 stories and bring 171 units of affordable housing to the complex. In addition, the plan also includes the renovation and improvement of Gorman Park as well as the re-structuring and replacement of the W. 190th Street subway tunnel.
During the June 6 meeting, a representative from Quadriad explained that the new subway access proposed in the New Strategy drawings will incorporate retail space in a new underground tunnel that will come out to a proposed plaza where there will also be retail space and green areas.
However the subway tunnel is only the tip of the iceberg of concern many local residents have raised at the meetings. Concerns include the height of the buildings and the shadows they will cast on nearby properties and streets. In response, Quadriad conducted a study of shadow castings which they presented during the meeting, much to the dissatisfaction of attendees who felt the study was irrelevant, considering it was done during one of the sunniest months of the year.
However, even with shadow studies, reworked drawings, and the lowered threshold for affordable units, if Quadriad’s four-tower project is rejected, they would likely build two market-rate towers of 22 and 28 stories, a project the developer can build as-of-right. No so-called affordable units would be included in that plan.
“We’re prepared to build either one of these schemes, and we will take CB12 preference into account very seriously,” Wollman said.
The New Strategy project will soon begin the process of moving through City Planning and City Council where it will go up for another round of public review and a set of meetings with CB12.