MIDTOWN — An agreement with the city that cleared two controversial Billionaire’s Row supertowers to reshape the city's skyline will only increase the city's affordable housing pool by a total of roughly 23 studio apartments, DNAinfo has learned.
Developer JDS, who's developing a tower at 111 West 57th Street, and Witkoff's 1 Park Lane, which is rising at 36 Central Park South, agreed to pay a combined $28 million dollars towards the development of affordable housing in exchange for the right to add 57,000 more square feet to their projects, according to the Department of Housing Preservation & Development and state documents obtained by DNAinfo.
Their money will subsidize the construction of a $43.3 million, 37-unit affordable housing building at 211 West 28th Street, which will be rented to AIDS service provider Friends House for $1,159 per month per unit, according to building plan documents obtained by DNAinfo through a Freedom of Information request.
The people who will be allowed to live in those units — which will range in size from 300 to 326 square feet — will have to make below 80 percent of the area median income, documents show.
Under the area's current zoning regulations, developers get to build 3.5 square feet of extra space for every 1 square foot of affordable housing they subsidize, according to HPD.
JDS paid about $445 per square foot for an extra 20,002 square feet, while Park Lane paid $435 per square foot for an additional 37,000 square feet, HPD said.
But by that math, JDS, which paid $9 million towards affordable housing at the site and Witkoff, which paid approximately $19 million, are subsidizing the cost of approximately 23 of the 37 units.
Along with the 66 affordable apartments that luxury apartment building One57 created in the Bronx, that brings the known affordable housing contribution from Billionaire's Row to 89 units citywide.
Community Board 5, which created a task force in a bid to bring attention to their concerns about the skyscrapers set to rise on the block, urged the city to demand more affordable housing in exchange for the development rights in May.
The current zoning does not achieve "sufficient public benefit for the bonus generated," the board wrote in a resolution, and "should become Inclusionary Housing Designated areas immediately so as to achieve a greater public benefit for added density."
Once completed, both buildings are set to be taller than the Chrysler Building. JDS’ Steinway tower will be the tallest high-rise on Billionaire's row , briefly, until Extell’s Nordstrom Tower is set to surpass it. The 1 Park Lane, which is set to replace the former Helmsley Park Lane, will be between 1,000 and 1,200 feet tall.
The Steinway tower will include a recital hall and 60 super-luxury apartments, including eight duplexes with between 5,000 and 6,500 square feet apiece, featuring up to four bedrooms and five and a half bathrooms each, according to documents filed with the state.
JDS declined to comment. Witkoff and the Arkers did not respond to a request for comment.