I could not believe this article when I read it. But it seemed legit and so I started writing this Two Cents piece. But then I realised that both the sources I had were from the same source which was called Gawker.com which sounded a little potentially dubious and so I did a typical ‘Name of site/Hoax’ search and saw the words ‘Gawker’ and ‘Scam’ and so figured I had been caught and so deleted the whole thing with a sigh of relief that I had avoided sharing the story and then finding out I had gotten it wrong.
But then something in me made me check myself and I did a google search for the original premise of the story and found that there actually were multiple sites reporting on it and so this ‘dreadful hoax’ does in fact seem to be a more dreadful truth.
The article, ‘Outrage over Separate Doors for Rich and Poor in Manhattan High-Rise’ sums up the story like this,
In an effort to secure tax breaks and other building allowances as part of New York City’s Inclusionary Housing Program, Extell Development Company has offered to set aside some 55 Affordable Housing units for low-income families inside the 274-unit luxury tower it is constructing in the Upper West Side.
The “catch” being that 40 Riverside Boulevard will feature two distinct entrances — one for affluent residents on the building’s Hudson-river facing façade, and the other in a back alley for Affordable Housing tenants.
But probably a more accurate way of releasing this story would be how a different article on the same site chose to describe the decision:
It would be difficult to come with a more on-the-nose metaphor for New York City’s income inequality problem than the new high-rise apartment building coming to 40 Riverside Boulevard, which will feature separate doors for regular, wealthy humans and whatever you call the scum that rents affordable housing.
In these economically fraught times, it’s easy to forget that the super rich earned their right to never see you, hear you, smell you, or consider your pitiful existence. Expecting them to share an entrance would be unfair.’
Any of the unwashed folk who complain about such a convenient arrangement, of course, are just being ungrateful. As the Mail points out, fellow poor-door developer David Von Spreckelsen explained as much last year:
“No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations,” said David Von Spreckelsen, senior vice president at Toll Brothers. “So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”
This article in the New York Post contains some of the specifics of the disparity in cost:
Under Extell’s plans for the low-income units, a studio will go for $845 a month, a one-bedroom for $908, and two-bedrooms for $1,099.
Fat cats living in the condos will pay more than $1,000 per square foot. At The Aldyn, Extell’s 40-story luxury building next door, one-bedrooms sell for a whopping $1.3 million. A six-bedroom, eight-bath pad goes for $15.9 million.
So quite a distinction indeed, but does that still in any way justify creating a separate class system at the entrances and exits of this building? Thus creating a precedent for future developers?
Would love to hear your responses to this idea.
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