The Lower East Side has a ‘Poor Door’ of Its Own with Extell’s 13-Story Affordable-Only Tower

Posted on: October 13th, 2014 at 9:28 am by

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The “affordable” Extell building at 250 South St.

Separate but equal is not equal – the rally cry voiced during the civil rights movement – is also very much applicable to what’s happening down at Extell’s 250 South Street (aka 227 Cherry) project site. As previously noted, this gargantuan beast is essentially the Lower East Side iteration of the much-maligned “poor door,” a phenomenon that first appeared on the Upper West Side in another Extell development.

There are two components to the broader Extell project – a 13-floor building for “affordable” tenants, and a separate, sun-eclipsing 68-story “Tetris tower” for market rate living. The latter real estate is luxury to the nines; elite dwelling in the 790 units will have access to amenities never before seen in the neighborhood (bowling alley, pools, Turkish baths).

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The residential composition of the “inferior” structure is 205 total units (50% earmarked for residents) broken down as follows: (1) 49 studios, (2) 50 1BR’s, (3) 105 2BR’s, and (4) 1 spot for the super. The buildings are otherwise not connected.

But the kicker is still the separate entrance for the kid brother.

In its defense, Extell chief Gary Barnett had explained over the summer that it simply wasn’t feasible to combine both. It would be cost prohibitive to the privately-funded project, he argued, and wouldn’t net the most profit.

Community Board 3 will discuss this issue of “income segregated living” at its Land Use subcommittee meeting tomorrow night.

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