NYCHA Plans 35-Story Mixed Market-Rate, Affordable Tower Behind LaGuardia Houses

Posted on: May 1st, 2017 at 5:03 am by

Even the New York City Housing Authority is capitalizing on the Lower East Side waterfront boom.

Cash-strapped NYCHA is bringing market rate housing into its backyard with a mixed-use project slated for LaGuardia Houses on the Lower East Side. It’s a “towers in the park” plan (i.e. “Infill”) that will help raise revenue for outdated infrastructure and dire maintenance needs.

NYCHA announced its intentions last week to develop a mixed-income tower on a Madison Street parcel between Rutgers and Jefferson Streets. The plot is deemed by the agency as “underutilized,” currently occupied by both parking and a trash compactor. If the planets align, this skyscraper could ascend as high as 35 stories and house as many as 500 apartments. (The Little Flower Playground allegedly won’t be harmed.)

Half of the units would be market-rate while the other half would be set aside for residents earning no more than 60 percent of the area median income (AMI), or $51,540 for a family of three. In plain English, a family of three living here would only be eligible to apply if they earned no more than $65,250 annually.

There will be a lenghty community engagement process with residents of LaGuardia Houses and Community Board 3.

According to DNAinfo, the Request for Proposals (RFP) will be released next fall (or winter). The city will choose the winner in spring 2018, with their decision based on how closely the developers mirror the concerns of the community. Once the developer is chosen, NYCHA will begin the “participatory budgeting process” with residents to obtain feedback on improvements most needed at LaGuardia Houses; the agency committed to earmarking half the revenue from the new development into infrastructural upgrades in the public houses complex. In fact, the development needs roughly $70 million to complete these improvements.

Construction is planned for a 2019 ground-break.

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