Wednesday, July 30, 2014

as exclusive as 1 2 3
“Exclusive” derives from the word exclude. 

And although the poor-door is routine in London, it’s a recent addition to the NYC luxury housing market.


The idea is to construct an expensive cooperative building in a wealthy neighborhood with apartments set aside for cheaper rentals.

The building enjoys a tax break and the city gains new affordable housing: regular folks of modest means can now live in a luxury tower in a wonderful neighborhood they could not otherwise afford.

Win/win, right?


40 Riverside Boulevard

A $3m apartment needs about $600K down, so the mortgage on $2,400,000 costs about $16,000 per month. 

Plus maintenance. 

A submarket 2 bedroom in the same building will rent for $1099 a month. 

So to maintain market value, a second entrance was incorporated at 40 Riverside Blvd. 

The submarket rentals on the back side of the building have their own lobby and elevator service.

The de Blasio administration is fuming at this financial apartheid and has announced a change to the zoning rules so this can never happen again, and that seems fair.

But for a mayor committed to affordable housing, 
it is also a pyrrhic victory.

Developers will just stop building affordable housing and pay the higher tax rate instead, passing it on to the wealthy who will also pay it to retain the exclusivity luxury housing is intended to provide.

The result? DeBlasio wins.  

Developer still gets rich. 

Wealthy shareholders still control their own buildings. 

But the regular guy can’t find an affordable apartment.
So next up should be the airlines!

To be fair they would not be allowed to charge cheap rates in coach and $4500 in First Class and then:

1) separate the fliers into better airport lounges and 
2) provide earlier boarding and far better seats in a separate section on the plane and then 
3) give them better quality everything throughout the flight.


  1. AnonymousJuly 31, 2014

    There should be affordable housing period. New buildings should be built as was Lincoln Towers and Park West Village, etc. for the middle classes and buildings for the lower classes as were coops in the 90's on Amsterdam Avenue. That said a rental on 43rd street has mixed tenants, those paying market and those paying $500 a month. The kitchens and bathrooms are very different, but the views are the same. You can spot the low income tenants a mile off, they don't blend in. So I'm saying it's a bad idea from the start. Just as bussing my kid out of his neighborhood into a slum school was a bad idea in the late 60's early 70's. Even the black principal didn't let that happen to his kids.

    Separate doors are not nice. Separate buildings which this is with a separate lobby etc, is okay with me.
    Any fool paying market to live in that building with no amenities, no view etc deserves what they get.

  2. "There should be affordable housing period."

    Why? And why stop with housing?

    Everything in every civilization around the globe is tiered commensurate to value, cost and relative affordability. Why should housing be driven down in value within luxury neighborhoods so a modest income can afford it too, but not, say, food or clothing. In a city as expensive as this, shouldn't they be artificially deflated as well, so the middle class can afford better versions of those too? All three are considered necessities after all.

    And how exactly should developers build affordable housing when labor costs and the very land underneath are stratospheric? Should the land be artificially devalued by government first? Should it be sold at below market value so the builder has a smaller loan to amortize and can service the loan with lower purchase prices and modest rents? Or do we just tax the other guy to house lower incomes until he finally moves away? What then?

    Affordable housing is not a valuable concept when it is just some utopian ideal. Is building cheap apartments out by the Throggs Neck better for New York's middle class than a separate door on Riverside Blvd in Manhattan?