Rich Man, Poor Man…

21373F New York City has its’ own version of Downton Abbey, complete with servant entrance.

The income inequality problem is becoming even more disparate.

A new high-rise apartment building at 40 Riverside Boulevard on the Upper West Side will feature separate entrances for wealthy folk and the riffraff who merely rent affordable housing.

Extell Development Company, the firm behind the new building, announced its intentions to segregate the rich and poor last year to vocal dissent. 

When it’s completed, 40 Riverside will have 219 expensive, river-facing condos to sell to people who are in a position to buy them and 55 street-facing places to rent to pathetic losers who earn 60 percent or less than the median income. 

The less fortunate tenants will have to stick to their own back alley entrance. The richie rich entrance will be on the Hudson River side.

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved Extell’s Inclusionary Housing Program application for the 33-story tower. The status grants Extell the aforementioned tax breaks and the right to construct a larger building than would ordinarily be allowed. Affordable housing tenants will enter through a door situated on a “back alley.”

Any of the less desirable who complain about such a convenient arrangement, of course, are just being ungrateful.

According to David Von Spreckelsen, a senior vice president at Toll Brothers, the luxury building company, “No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations. So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”

40 Riverside Drive, NYC
40 Riverside Drive, NYC

Can we deduce that the super rich have the right to never see, smell  or acknowledge the less fortunate? I assume expecting the privileged to share an entrance would be unfair.

“This ‘separate but equal’ arrangement is abominable and has no place in the 21st century, let alone on the Upper West Side,” stated Assemblymember Linda B. Rosenthal (D-UWS). “A mandatory affordable housing plan is not license to segregate lower-income tenants from those who are well-off.”

Extell, which says it is following zoning laws, begs to differ. Since it is designating the affordable units on floors two through six as a “separate entity,” the Zoning Resolution requires that it have a separate entrance with its own elevator.

By segregating the low-income floors, Extell won’t just be saving millions in tax dollars, it also stands to make as much as $100 million in floor space it couldn’t previously build.

The local Community Board members have written to the city departments responsible for overseeing the tax breaks  asking them to “avoid a situation in which the Affordable Housing tenants are relegated to the status of second class citizens.”


Next time I move, I am going to request a separate entrance just for me. As long as I don’t have to interact with anyone, I do not mind entering through a poor door in a back alley or underground tunnel.

I think development companies should start having “Pass It Forward” or “Nice Folk” doors and “Entitlement” or “Asshole” entrances.

I never like anyone in the buildings I reside. For me, it has nothing to do with what people earn and everything to do with their sense of entitlement and usually just a real piss poor attitude.

Look at what my rich neighbors have done to my NYC Coop, turning it into a swimming pool with the continual flow of damaging and costly plumbing incidents and how the powers that be have completely ignored the situation.

In Santa Monica, rich, entitled 20-somethings allow their pets to poop and pee in the courtyard, the elevator and never clear it up. The parties kick off at 3am…wahoo.

Rich, poor, not the issue. Being a decent, kind, thoughtful, law abiding person has everything to do with co-existing. Privilege, unfortunately, does not necessarily guarantee good manners.

I rest my case.

One Comment

  1. We can console ourselved with the knowledge that on a windy day on Riverside Drive-of which there are many- no one can get in or out from the entrance facing the Hudson River and all will flock to.any entrance but that!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *