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City Hopes to Turn NYPD Parking Lot Into 100 Percent Affordable Housing

By Rosa Goldensohn | July 10, 2015 3:49pm | Updated on July 13, 2015 8:11am
 The spot is now used as parking lot.
The spot is now used as parking lot.
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DNAinfo/Rosa Goldensohn

HELL’S KITCHEN — A city-owned parking lot at Eleventh Avenue and West 39th Street took one step closer to becoming a fully affordable apartment building, the city's Economic Development Corporation confirmed Friday.

The city will put out a request for proposals this summer with its goals for the space, which has been used as an NYPD parking lot for decades. The city's RFP for the space would include commercial and community space in addition to the maximum number of affordable units, according to spokeswoman Kelly Magee.

The EDC said their goal is for the building to be 100 percent affordable housing, but the total number of affordable units will ultimately depend on the developer's plans.

City Councilman Corey Johnson helped negotiate the deal in a series of meetings with representatives from EDC and Department of Housing Preservation and Development held at his office, according to his chief of staff, Erik Bottcher.

"After identifying this site for the de Blasio Administration and over a year of discussions, hundreds of units of new affordable housing are coming to Hudson Yards," Johnson said in a statement. "This is a huge win for our community."

The local community board had pressed for the permanently affordable building in a May resolution.

"There was unanimity from both community and MCB4 members that a 100 percent permanently affordable building should be developed on the site," the board's letter said.

"With rising rents in the Hell's Kitchen/Clinton neighborhood and the increase of high-end market rate residential units threatening the economic diversity of the District, the need for 100 percent affordability on a city-owned site is considered crucial."

The plan is for the building to have a mix of different levels of affordability for income diversity, according to Eric Bederman from HPD.

The site at 493 Eleventh Ave. was once the slaughterhouse of the New York Butchers' Dressed Meat Company, which closed in the late 1950s, according to the board’s letter. The city took over the deed in 1975 after its owner stopped paying taxes on it, and the old building was demolished in the 1980s.

"The original six-story Neo-Renaissance style building of steel and masonry was designed by Horgan & Slattery with lower floors faced with limestone and upper floors with dark orange brick and white terra cotta," they wrote. "A 'roof garden' for livestock was accessed by a seven-floor ramp visible only from the west. The killing floor was one floor down."

The board also asked for a roof garden, as well as family-sized units and that the building's design "include façade articulation and avoid looking like a dystopian glass box."