Amenity-Filled Affordable Housing in Hell's Kitchen Accepting Applications

By Mathew Katz on September 10, 2012 12:36pm 

HELL'S KITCHEN — A brand-new, one-bedroom apartment with stainless-steel appliances and concierge service, located just steps from new restaurants and the best of Broadway.

Paying $533 a month for that real estate may feel like hitting the lottery — but in the case of a new development on West 45th Street, it actually is.

The Gotham Organization's brand-new affordable-housing complex, West 45, is set to open between 10th and 11th avenues next year, with a lottery for prospective tenants opening last Friday and applications due by Nov. 13. 

The development, which stretches from West 44th to 45th streets, will feature 682 units of permanently affordable low- and middle-income housing, with occupancy expected in early 2013.

"There’s a fitness center, a children’s playroom, a lot of courtyard space that’s accessible to everybody," said Melissa Pianko, of the Gotham Organization. "It’s going to be a really nice building to live in."

Other amenities include bike storage, on-site laundry and a fitness center, though those will require additional fees.

Each unit will go to someone in a qualifying low- or middle-income level. Winners will be randomly selected from the pool of applicants, and preference will go to people who already live in Community District 4, covering Chelsea and Hell's Kitchen.

All applicants have to do is make sure they qualify, fill out the application form and mail it in. The reward could be an exceptionally affordable apartment — like a three-bedroom unit for only $958 a month. Both middle- and low-income units will include the same finishes and amenities.

To be eligible for a low-income unit, applicants need to make between $18,892 for an individual to $48,150 for a family of six. The middle-income apartments require an income of $57,600 for an individual to $158,895 for a family of five. A full list of all the income requirements are on the lottery's website.

"We really worked with [the Department of Housing Preservation and Development] here to make the income bands as wide as possible under what their mathematical formulas are so that as many people as possible could apply," Pianko said.

Applicants also must show income stability over the past year, so a recently graduated college student would not qualify, she added.

The units are part of the developer's larger $520 million, 1,200-unit project that will take up almost the entire block of West 45th Street. Work on the development, which includes construction of the new P.S. 51 school building, kicked off in November.

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