Thursday, February 26, 2015

Residences rising from the former Mary Help of Christians lot will now be market-rate condos


[Photo from December by Peter Brownscombe]

It's time to revisit the plans for the former Mary Help of Christians lot off of Avenue A between East 11th Street and East 12th Street.

Aside from some soil testing, the lot has been quiet since late 2013 while the plans awaited city approval.

A quick recap. Developer Douglas Steiner bought the property in 2012 for $41 million. During the summer of 2013, workers demolished the church, school and rectory.

The permits that Steiner's reps filed with the city in October 2013 called for a 7-story, 158-unit 164,720-square-foot structure with frontage on Avenue A, East 11th Street and East 12th Street. The U-shaped building would feature rentals (and a rooftop swimming pool).


[View from Avenue A]

In addition, the project would contain 22 affordable units designated as Inclusionary Housing units ... consisting of four studios, 14 one-bedroom units and four two-bedroom units.

Apparently all this has changed. Steiner's reps told Community Board 3 on Tuesday night that the residential complex will now feature — market-rate condos. Updated paperwork at the DOB now shows a total of 82 residential units (with the pool and deck on a lower level).

This size of the development was of concern to nearby residents when Steiner's team presented the plans to CB3's Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee in November 2013 ... made somewhat palatable with the affordable component. Not now, though. One neighbor called the switch to condos "total bullshit."

We'll have more on the new plans here as soon as additional information is available.

Previously on EV Grieve:
New residential complex at former Mary Help of Christians lot may include rooftop swimming pool

Meet your new neighbor on Avenue A

Permits filed to demolish Mary Help of Christians church, school and rectory

Preservationists call for archeological review of former cemetery at Mary Help of Christians site

The 'senseless shocking self-destruction' of Mary Help of Christians

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

How the bait n switch works ???

Anonymous said...

Ah, and I bet "luxury" condos again. Striking how the site went from a total of 180 apartments (158+22) to 82, meaning (unless they'll do fewer floors, which I doubt) that these will be large apartments totally out of reach for a vast majority of people.

Anonymous said...

Kind of torn- don’t like losing the affordability component, but it’s quite a drop in the amount of units and hopefully moving the pool and deck to a lower level (hopefully off the roof) should benefit neighbors in terms of noise. We'll see.

Anonymous said...

So they got approval to do this without any affordable units? Like someone else said, bait and switch! Who do we complain to about this? Is there anything that can be done?

Gojira said...

How is this legal? How is this even legal?

DrBOP said...

Congratulations Dougie on perfecting this greed-pig maneuver....REAL classy!

Snort on!

Anonymous said...

From a neighborhood perspective, larger homeownership units, whatever the level of affordability, means more people who will care and be involved in the community, compared to new market-rate renters. I think a few "affordable" units for a couple of lucky winners aren't worth greater density that affects is all.

Anonymous said...

I assume the development is as-of-right and they are foregoing a tax benefit by doing condo's instead of market apartments with an affordable component. Not sure what the big deal is here? I don't think there is a bait and switch, unless I am missing something.

Anonymous said...

If these are pied-à-terre condos, this lot could be just as "empty" as the parking lot before it - not a bad trade-off. But seriously, if they procured a 421a abatement for the rental building, those affordable units have to be built somewhere.

bowboy said...

A pool on the roof -- in the plans from the start -- it should have been a big, big ! sign to anyone. People in Inclusionary Housing don't get pools. How the Community Board didn't see this coming is astonishing.

Anonymous said...

Looks like the market is solid enough to do sales instead of rentals and the property owner would rather have sales and a quicker return on his investment. The rental tax credits required the 20 per cent affordable. The condo's well I am curious if they get the 421 abatement?

Goggla said...

100% exclusionary housing.

Anonymous said...

Don't be naïve about the condo component people. These will attract investors and speculators not homeowners. They will buy these for their spoiled children or rent them to a bunch of 20 somethings, who will join the obnoxious packs that roam our streets now. The pool will be for keg parties etc. There is a special place in hell for this guy Steiner. Maybe the fact that there is a burial ground under this site as we have heard and that the owner of the lot desecrated a church will scare some folks away, but I doubt it.

Anonymous said...

As far as this place going condo versus rental, the true owners won’t live there, of course. They will just rent to the college and the just post college transient crowd. Or just Airbnb the apartments. Just another dorm style development with all the negative impact. That's the RE EV/LES/Gramercy BM.

Anonymous said...

And a school and church closed for this??? Everyone's implicated here, though, Church and developers, equally.

Well, there might be some truth to those working class souls buried underneath rising up in revolt.

Anonymous said...

Wonder what the church did with the 41m tax free of course...Father can you help an old altar boy?

Anonymous said...

421 is out the door.

Anonymous said...

Doom and gloom from just about everyone, lets wait to see the pricing on these apartments before we profile the residents.

Anonymous said...

5:56, did you notice the name of the blog? I always know what to expect at a blog with "Grieve" in the title. But personally, I like the morbidity. Ha, Doom and Gloom.

Anonymous said...

Market rent would not be even close to enough to meet the mortgage payments on newly built apartments like these.

Some people wail and complain about things they have very little understanding about.

The people who will live there will most likely love the EV enough to spend that kind of money to be here; especially when they will have comparable options in Harlem, Washington heights, Hell's Kitchen, etc.

Anonymous said...

De Blasio's supposedly gonna mandate affordable housing in all developments that are upzoned. Can't happen soon enough (of course, upzoning would mean taller buildings and still-greater density and a lot of EV Grieve readers would throw a NIMBY hissy, but it's basically that or we become San Francisco East, a homogenously affluent and white-ish little museum city).

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster who says we shouldn't be fooled into thinking an influx of condo owners into the neighborhood will be a great thing. It will likely be a lot of parents buying for their kids who will be partying their asses off and disrespecting the neighbors while their parents pay the rent. Responsible adults who can afford to buy in the city don't want to live in the East Village because of what it has turned into.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of getting demolished by the EV Grieve crowd, I have a little story to tell. I've lived in the East Village for the last 10 years since I graduated from college. I've always wanted to live here and I want to raise my family here. I started in a walk-up on 5th between 2nd and Cooper sq., then moved to a place on 13th and now I'm in the reviled A Building (renting).

The A Building, I've read widely here and elsewhere, started as a place full of rowdy spoiled rich kids doing drugs in the rooftop pool. I've never experienced that, but I just moved in recently. My early impression of my neighbors is that they're mostly 30 somethings with dogs. Many couples with young kids. I haven't encountered any partiers in the hallways, but I guess it's not summer time yet so we'll see.

I guess my point is, I think the likelihood of annoying frat dbags is actually much LOWER in an 80 unit condo building (like the A Building) than in a 180 unit rental. Also, not everyone that lives in the "luxury" buildings in the East Village are the enemy.

Giovanni said...

@1:21 PM. Welcome to the East Village, you certainly sound much more civilized the many of the other people who arrived here more recently than you. Let's see how the pool parties go this summer. If predictions are correct New York will soon have three times more days in the 90s and will feel hot and humid like Miami all summer long. So maybe you could invite us all over next time there's a big heatwave, and we can all cool off together.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 2/26 8:39pm, Grieve and whine are not synonyms.

Jill said...

I think 82 condos is preferable to 158 rentals though the loss of the affordable apartments is awful--but now we are saved feeling humiliated by the poor door that they had planned. Even if some are sold to parents, they won't all be that, and some might be unoccupied due to investment, which sounds good, and others might be rented out, and others might have adults living there. Plus, home owners will be more responsible in the aggregate than short term renters based on what we've seen renting here the last several years. But overall having fewer people is better because the future of this immediate area is about to become seriously overrun with new development.

Anonymous said...

How much do you think the annoying new slum lords tip the interns that post the suburban, pro douche comments here?

Anonymous said...

The discussion here has become more annoying than visiting the park slope food co op. My two fingers are crunching.."smush your little head", every time I read a fake pro land lord annoying twit 20 something rubbish comment.

les native said...

That is disgusting. I only live here ,because it is the only place I know and Im not sure how or where to go. If you are here by choice, and you think ny is still a cool town, then you specifically are apart of the problem. There is a war on the poor and no one wants to admit to participating, but you all are. Just by paying 3000 for a tenemebt that some grandma got forced out of her lifelong and ond only home, so.you can make shitty art about your fake rich people problems. You arr the.incentive.driving their.cruelty and greed.

Anonymous said...

I've lived in the EV since 1985 (yeah, yeah, relative newcomer and all that) but I have to tell you i like that this building will be condos not rentals. I may very well buy one so I can have a permanent home here in the neighborhood I love.And by permanent I mean... retirement.

I'm a longtime renter and I would love to buy my current apartment but if the Mary Help location offers the opportunity I'll take it. Why so much negativity towards condos?

I helped make this neighborhood what it is. Why should someone resent an opportunity for me to make it permanent?

Anonymous said...

People still think they have affordable units here. can you do an update confirming they do not.
thank you.