Lower income residents of Extell’s notorious “poor door” building at 50 Riverside Boulevard are not happy with what they’re considering glaring disparities between those like themselves who live in the affordable units and those in the luxury section of the building. Aside from having to use a separate entrance, the lower income tenants don’t have access to amenities such as a movie theater, two gyms, a doorman, and a bowling alley. They also claim their apartments lack dishwashers, light fixtures in bedrooms and living rooms, and have faulty intercom systems.
But are their complaints warranted? After all, the affordable units start at just $833 a month for a prime Upper West Side location, compared with millions of dollars for one of the luxury units. And many market-rate renters throughout the boroughs who are paying significantly more still don’t get doormen and dishwashers. Which side are you on?
Image via One Riverside Park
After receiving 88,000 applications for 55 affordable apartments last February, the residents chosen from among them have been moving in to the rental side of the 33-story luxury building at Extell Development’s 50 Riverside Boulevard in Lincoln Square. The lower-income/luxury split sparked the heated “poor door” controversy due to the significant amenity differences and efforts to physically separate the two parts of the building (the rental, low-income portion of the building actually has a separate address of 40 Riverside Boulevard). Now, according to the Post, low-income tenants have been discovering that the differences are indeed notable.
A lavish lobby and a forbidden courtyard
Poor doors be damned. It looks like the anger and public outcry swirling around Extell’s new 50 Riverside Boulevard condo didn’t do much to deter New Yorkers from vying for a low-income unit at the building. The Times reports that the development company received a whopping 88,000 applications for the building’s 55 affordable apartments after they opened up the lines back in February.
The overwhelming demand is most certainly a win for developer Gary Barnett, who found himself in the hot seat for creating a separate entrance for low-income tenants, away from the market-rate residents. When speaking to the paper, Barnett called the whole poor door ordeal a “made-up controversy” adding to that “I guess people like it. It shows that there’s a tremendous demand for high-quality affordable housing in beautiful neighborhoods.”
So do poor doors really matter?
Easily 2014’s most controversial building, Extell’s 40 Riverside Boulevard—a.k.a. the “Poor Door” building, and recently rechristened 50 Riverside Boulevard in light of the scandal—is back in the news, this time for reasons far less unsavory. Starting today, qualified New Yorkers can apply for one of the building’s 55 subsidized rentals.
Find out how much units are going for