By Tara Kyle
CHELSEA — U.S. Rep. Jerrold Nadler and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and other local leaders broke ground Tuesday on a 168-unit affordable housing development at the intersection of Ninth Avenue and West 25th Street.
The new building share a block with the Elliott-Chelsea housing projects. By offering a mix of low-income, middle-income and rent-regulated apartments, city agencies and local politicians hope the new building will serve as a link between the projects and their rapidly-gentrifying surroundings.
"In a neighborhood where rents are rising everyday, this is a remarkable accomplishment,” Quinn said. "You can keep neighborhoods economically diverse and racially diverse, as long as you keep a coalition and dialogue going that has those same goals in mind."
In this case, that coalition includes developer the Artemis Group, the New York City Housing Authority, the Housing Development Corporation, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Citi Community Development.
The new Elliott-Chelsea affordable housing development also sits just a block west of the West Chelsea Historic District, an area landmarked just two years ago amid construction on the High Line.
"Of course, in Chelsea, they wanted affordable housing, but they didn't want it to be too high or too bulky,” Quinn said.
Nadler pointed out that in a climate of record-level job losses and continued economic woes, developments like this one carry particular importance.
"The need for affordable housing is greater than ever and will continue to be so for the foreseeable future,” he said.