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CB12 Has Questions For WaHi Skyscraper Developer

By Carla Zanoni | February 15, 2011 12:16pm
A rendering of the proposed cluster of mixed-use buildings.
A rendering of the proposed cluster of mixed-use buildings.
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Quadriad Realty Partners

By Carla Zanoni

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — In light of mixed public reaction at news of the potential four skyscrapers in the works in Upper Manhattan, Community Board 12 members will put a list of seven questions to the developer next month.

During its latest Land Use committee meeting, CB12 members drafted questions for developer Quadriad, which range from queries about the group’s willingness to build shorter buildings or to sell its affordable housing at rates more in line with the community’s median income.

CB12 has been engaged in a dialogue with developer Quadriad about its plan to develop land on Broadway and W. 190th Street since the fall of 2010 and held a meeting to discuss its plans last month.

Rendering of proposed plan for four skyscrapers - 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories high - to the 190th Street and Broadway area.
Rendering of proposed plan for four skyscrapers - 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories high - to the 190th Street and Broadway area.
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Quadriad Realty Partners

At last month's Land Use meeting, Quadriad officials unveiled a plan to build four high-rises that would stand between 23 and 42 stories in height which, while shorter than many Midtown skyscrapers, is significantly taller than most existing buildings in Washington Heights.

Although the height of such buildings is of concern to some board and community members, questions about the developer's plan to build commercial space and restore a nearby city park are also areas of concern, as are the developer’s plans to offering "affordable" housing.

Quadriad has said its "affordable housing" units would-be sold to buyers who earn 60 to 180 percent of the city’s median income, which as of 2010 was approximately $78,000, considerably higher that the average median income of Washington Heights, which is approximately $30,000.

Others worry the apartments included in the developer’s current plan will not suit people looking to buy large enough homes to raise a family, stating that most residents who moved to the area were looking for two or three bedrooms apartments.

According to CB12’s committee, Quadriad’s proposed apartments appeared "smaller than the average unit size used by the Department of HPD [Housing and Preservation] in its various affordable housing programs."

Quadriad’s meeting with CB12 is one of many steps it will need to take before it can move forward with its plan.

One of the group’s proposed mixed-use developments will require an approved Uniform Land Use Review procedure application, commonly known as ULURP, from the Department of City Planning in order to receive a zoning modification necessary for the development.

CB12 will get a chance to weigh in on that application after Quadriad makes a formal presentation and participates in a community public hearing.

The next step will then be for Quadriad to present its plan to the Department of City Planning.

CB12’s next Land Use Committee meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. on Wed., March 2 at 711 W. 168th Street.