The City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program sets forth a number of options for providing required affordable housing in a development subject to its regulations. Each of these options sets forth differing percentages of units subject to different AMI bands. While the development currently anticipates providing affordable housing pursuant to Option 1, this is subject to change upon further discussion.

Below is a summary of the affordable options. 1 In reviewing this summary, it will be helpful to understand what different AMI’s mean for income and rent. The clearest summary can be found on NYC HPD’s website: http://www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/about/what-is-affordable-housing.page

In sum, pursuant to federal standards, in 2017 “AMI” for a family of four is $95,400. So 80% AMI for a family of four would be $76,320. For a family earning no more than this 80% AMI, the maximum rent for a 3-bedroom apartment would be $1,910 if the tenant pays electricity. This rent cost translates to 30% of a family’s income.

Option 1

  • 25% of residential floor area provided as affordable housing
  • Max weighted average of all income bands qualifying for affordable units = 60% AMI (i.e. $761/month for a studio, $963 for a 1-bdrm, $1,166 for a 2-bdrm, $1,339 for a 3-bdrm)
  • Minimum 10% of the affordable floor area = 40% AMI
  • No income band shall exceed 130% AMI

Option 2

  • 30% of residential floor area provided as affordable housing
  • Max weighted average of all income bands qualifying for affordable units = 80% AMI (i.e. $1,091/month for a studio, $1,375 for a 1-bdrm, $1,660 for a 2-bdrm, $1,910 for a 3-bdrm)
  • No income band shall exceed 130% AMI

Deep Affordability Option

  • 20% of residential floor area provided as affordable housing
  • Max weighted average of all income bands qualifying for affordable units = 40% AMI (i.e. $475/month for a studio, $605 for a 1-bdrm, $736 for a 2-bdrm, $843 for a 3-bdrm)
  • No income band shall exceed 130% AMI
  • No public funding may be utilized for such development

Workforce Option

  • 30% of residential floor area provided as affordable housing
  • Max weighted average of all income bands qualifying for affordable units = 115% AMI
  • Minimum 5% of the affordable floor area = 70% AMI
  • Minimum 5% of the affordable floor area = 90% AMI
  • No income band shall exceed 135% AMI

 

1 Note the rents indicated are examples only and subject to refinement based on payment of utilities and other factors

The final number and size of the units anticipated to be developed has not yet been determined, however we have conservatively assumed for the purposes of the environmental review of the project, and based on standard planning metrics, that 1,642 units will be developed.

The team is currently developing a detailed construction phasing plan which will be shared with the resident community as soon as it is complete. In order to ensure limited disruption during all phases of construction and to limit construction to a maximum of two buildings at any one period of time, we are projected to extend the construction period to approximately 8-9 years.

There are currently a number of effective options for ensuring safety in outdoor open spaces adjacent to residential developments.  These options include security guards, security cameras, call boxes, and selective space closures.  As the open space plan develops further, we will be able to provide more details on the menu of security options planned.

No retail tenants have yet been selected for the project. However, based on an extensive program to collect resident feedback, interest has been greatest in seeing affordable, high-quality new grocery, pharmacy, banking and other neighborhood-focused retail options. While pricing for new retail leasing is still under discussion, the owners will ensure that local entrepreneurs, favorite current retail tenants and small businesses have a fair and appropriate opportunity to be part of the final, new retail portfolio. The owners are also committed to working with all new retail tenants to maximize employment opportunities for Lenox Terrace residents.

The owners have also begun working with current local retailers to provide residents with discounts through the Lenox Terrace newsletter. Ownership expects to continue this program and expand it to include the new retailers.

The following actions are being sought to facilitate the proposed project:

  • a zoning map amendment to rezone the entire project block, which is bounded by West 132nd and 135th Streets and Lenox and Fifth Avenues, from R7-2 with C1-4 overlays along Lenox and Fifth Avenues and West 135th Street to C6-2 (an R8 equivalent);
  • a special permit pursuant to ZR Sections 74-743 and 74-745 to modify applicable height and setback and distance-between-buildings regulations (ZR Sections 23-632, 23-841, 36-33, and 25-23);
  • a special permit pursuant to ZR Section 74-533 to reduce the number of required parking spaces provided on site.
  • a zoning text amendment to add the block to the zoning resolution as a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing area

The change in zoning district from a residential district with a commercial overlay to a commercial district will allow for a wider range of retail uses and locations to be achieved. This change will not permit commercial uses in locations not identified on the site plans that will be approved through the ULURP approval process. Furthermore, the current plan includes retail in locations that place practical limits on the size of retailers, which will result in a plan that includes more small local retailers rather than large big box stores.

Since 2015, the project has changed as follows:

  1. The previously proposed six new residential towers have been reduced to five, eliminating the tower on Lenox Avenue at 134th street which was previously planned to be built in front of 470 Lenox Avenue;
  2. The percentage of affordable housing has been increased from 20% to 25% of residential units;
  3. All towers now match the height of Harlem Hospital rooftop mechanical equipment and are a maximum of 28 stories and 284’ tall. Buildings on Lenox Avenue now have a 6-story base (68’ tall) which is contextual with the buildings across the street and buildings on Fifth Avenue have a two-story base. The previous iteration of the plan included buildings that ranged from 162’ to 306’ with one additional building along Lenox Avenue that has been eliminated as discussed above.
  4. All towers are now setback from the street wall above the lower level  podiums, minimizing visual impact from the street (some prior towers rose from the street line without setback)
  5. Underground valet parking is now under new buildings rather than under the central open space lawn to minimize disturbance/construction in the interior of Lenox Terrace and to be closer in proximity to all buildings.
  6. Access to 470 Lenox Avenue has been modified to include a circular driveway entering at 133rd Street and exiting at 134th Street, rather than from pedestrian-only paths from Lenox Ave. This allows vehicular access to continue to the front door of the lobby.

The Department of City Planning will be reviewing and approving a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in conjunction with project approvals. The EIS will assess the potential for significant environmental impacts to result in the following categories of analysis:

  • Land Use, Zoning, and Public Policy
  • Socioeconomic Conditions
  • Community Facilities
  • Open Space
  • Shadows
  • Historic and Cultural Resources
  • Urban Design and Visual Resources
  • Natural Resources
  • Hazardous Materials
  • Water and Sewer Infrastructure
  • Transportation
  • Air Quality
  • Greenhouse Gases and Climate Change
  • Noise
  • Public Health
  • Neighborhood Character
  • Construction
  • Alternatives
  • Mitigation

A Scoping hearing will be held by the Department of City Planning on February 8th to obtain feedback from the public on the proposed scope of work to be studied in the EIS.

Residents that currently have a parking space will be guaranteed a new space in the new parking garages. New residents will be able to rent spaces to the extent they are available after existing residents are offered spaces.

The proposed garages are expected to operate efficiently and with no adverse public health effects to users. Subsurface parking garages are held to strict ventilation standards by the NYC Building Code which will be complied with in the proposed garages. Cars are expected to be delivered promptly using the latest technologies to minimize wait times for cars.

Our most recently available geotechnical reports indicate that subsurface conditions are a mixture of a surface layer of fill underlain by moderately dense sand with varied amounts of gravel, fine sand, and silt; which is, in turn, underlain by silt and/or clay, weathered rock and finally bedrock. Bedrock ranges from 38 feet below grade at shallowest to 81 feet below grade at deepest. Depth to groundwater averages approximately 14 to 17 feet below grade.

Construction is anticipated to include excavation for cellars and other subsurface utilities and mechanical equipment at depths not to exceed approximately 20 feet below grade. As such, no rock excavation via blasting or other means is expected to be needed which will substantially reduce the amount of construction noise. Since cellar slabs may be constructed at levels just below groundwater, certain measures such as pressurized slabs and dewatering during construction may be necessary to deal with the effects of groundwater on new buildings & cellars. These are standard measures employed throughout New York City on the many sites that are built in areas of shallow groundwater.

Our geotechnical work, as well as available maps of underground watercourses throughout Manhattan, confirms that there are no rivers or significant underground watercourses traversing the property.

Starting in 2000, the Olnick Organization began renovations to apartments when the tenant vacated. As such, the kitchen/bathroom upgrade program currently targets residents with older installations dating from prior to 2000. We continue to work on a detailed scope of the upgrade program and are striving to streamline the process to minimize disruptions and dislocations imposed on residents who elect to take part in the program.

Upgrades are planned to be timed to coincide with the construction of residential buildings such that residents most proximately affected by new construction have priority for upgrades. Upgrades are expected to take approximately three days to complete, during which residents are not anticipated to be displaced from their apartments. To accommodate residents during upgrades, dedicated lounges will be provided in each building.

Preliminary economic benefits analyses indicate the project will generate more than 2,700 person years of employment during the project’s construction period. This is equivalent to 2,700 people working full time for a full year. We anticipate this will be an open-shop job that will use both union and non-union labor, and are currently developing a Minority/Women/Locally-Owned Business Enterprise program to maximize the use of local labor to construct the project. Additional details of the MWLBE program will be shared with the resident community upon its completion.

Yes, tenants will have an opportunity to move to a comparable apartment that is less impacted by construction, should such an apartment be available.

Yes, existing Lenox Terrace residents will have an opportunity to move into the new units. With respect to affordable units, we will make every effort to establish a local preference for affordable units within the parameters of what is legally permissible. With respect to market-rate units, we plan to market new units to existing Lenox Terrace residents prior to marketing to the general public beyond Lenox Terrace within the parameters of what is legally permissible.

A dog run is anticipated to be included in the 6-acre open-space plan for Lenox Terrace. In addition, we are investigating an educational program (signage, notices, clean-up-your-dog campaigns) combined with locating clean-up-bag kiosks throughout the open space to maximize dog curbing.

The Environmental Impact Statement will provide an analysis of infrastructure impacts of the proposed project—including any potential impacts to sewers or utilities—and suggest practicable mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate any significant adverse impacts that have been identified.

The Environmental Impact Statement will provide an analysis of transit impacts of the proposed project—including impacts on the local subway station—and suggest practicable mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate any significant adverse impacts that have been identified.

The Environmental Impact Statement will provide an analysis of construction impacts of the proposed project and suggest practicable mitigation measures to reduce or eliminate any significant adverse impacts that have been identified. In addition, the project team is currently developing a detailed construction phasing plan including measures to minimize disruption to residents, and plans to share that plan with residents within the next few months.