Hudson Heights Weather

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I-Petition Against Quadriad Realty's Tower Plans

Update:  Community Board 12 voted against Quadriad Realty's proposal for four towers on Broadway.  The board's voting is advisory only and Quadriad can still proceed to the City Planning Commission, which gets the real vote on whether zoning changes and special permits will be permitted for this project.  As a reminder, however, this blogger heard directly from Henry Wolman that the Quadriad would not proceed with four, large towers if the community voted "no."  Instead, Quadriad would proceed with its plans for two, smaller, as-of-right towers--one on each side of Broadway.  So, Mr. Wolman, is Quadriad still going to the City Planning Commission?

For more on this story, see Carla Zanoni's article at DNA INFO.  


Several months ago, Quadriad Realty announced its intention to construct four soaring towers around Broadway and 190th Street, three on the eastern side of the block ("phase 1") and one on the western side of the block ("phase 2").   The towers would substantially exceed zoning limitations and would therefore need discretionary approvals from the City Planning Commission.  Quadriad also did something virtually unheard of among developers--it pledged to respect the Community Board's non-binding vote on the proposed applications.  To sweeten the deal, however, Quadriad also pledged a variety of subway, park and streetscape improvements if the project goes forward.   It has also pledged to dedicate a substantial portion of the rental units in the four towers to "middle-income families," which includes families that earn between 60 and 180% of the City's median income.

Since then, Quadriad has pitched its proposal at various meetings of the Community Board and its committees.  The community's response has ranged from ambivalent to hostile.  The four towers are simply too tall for many neighbors.  Notably, however, the current zoning would still permit Quadriad to build at least one very large tower over the 190th Street stop of the 1 train, albeit half as tall of the three towers that require zoning changes or special permits.  

Community Board 12 may vote on the project at its September 27 meeting at the Millstein Family Heart Center at 173 Fort Washington Avenue (between 165th and 166th Streets).  If the project is on the agenda, this is the best chance to make your voice heard.

One reader points out that opponents have an online petition against the project (Thanks for pointing this out Amy.)  For information about the project's four towers, check out  And for some sharp-tongued commentary, check out Curbed, New York City's real estate gossip site.

This blogger has had mixed feelings about the project since the start.  On the one hand, there is definitely a need for new housing uptown and I don't see anything wrong with market-rate apartments.  On the other hand, these towers are completely out-of-scale with our community.

Perhap the real deciding factor for me, however, is that these would be rental buildings.  I have absolutely no faith in owners of rental buildings to maintain these towers in first-class condition in the long term (see, e.g., Bridge Towers above).

So, I wish Quadriad good luck in developing these sites and give the company great credit for choosing Northern Manhattan for its next development project.  There is clearly a need for new housing, particularly family-sized housing.  But the current project is simply too big and too risky for Hudson Heights.  

-C. Rizzo

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