UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — Developers and elected officials celebrated the completion of a new Upper East Side building that is offering all of its apartment units at below-market rates.
Extell Development's development at 1766-68 Second Ave. and East 92nd Street features one six-story tower and another 11-story tower that hold a combined 28 apartments. The apartments are being offered at 70 and 80 percent of the area median income with rents starting at $1018 for a studio, $1,254 for a one-bedroom, $1,511 for a two-bedroom and $1,740 for a three bedroom.
City Councilman Ben Kallos praised the project as a win for the neighborhood because it proves that below-market housing can be built on the Upper East Side despite the expensive cost of real estate. Extell bought the site for $14 million in 2014, according to city Department of Finance records.
Extell Development is using 421A and Mandatory Inclusionary Hosing subsidies at the building, developers said.
"This development is a model for building affordable housing in neighborhoods with the most expensive real estate using as of right incentives and without piling on discretionary subsidies from the city," Kallos said.
The councilman said that offering apartments to people making 70 and 80 percent of the area median income is appropriate for the Upper East Side, where many families probably earn a higher income.
To qualify for units at Extell's new building an individual must earn at least $36,858, a household of two must earn at least $45,018, a household of three or four must earn at least $53,863 and a household of five or six must earn at least $62,298.
Extell Development's founder Gary Barnett said that building a development with entirely below-market units is "hard to do economically, but we made it work." Barnett also said Thursday that the firm is looking forward to future developments on the Upper East Side. Extell is currently working to demolish buildings on two large First Avenue sites and will be meeting with the local community board on May 14 to discuss its plans for the sites.
A housing lottery for the building's units stopped accepting applications on April 16. The lottery received 68,000 applications for just 28 units. The building is ready for occupancy, but developers are waiting on the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development to complete the lottery process before tenants can start moving in.
Extell's new Second Avenue development also includes space for the Alef Bet Preschool. Shevy Vigler, director of the private preschool program, said the school is "honored" to be moving into the building after 12 years at their last facility. Kallos added that he hopes families that move into the building will be able to send their children to the school.