City Slows Plans for Pricey Apartments on Public Housing Land

| 02 Mar 2015 | 05:00

    Officials are backing off a plan to lease land in some New York City public housing complexes for new, mostly market-rate rental buildings.

    New York City Public Housing Authority Chairman John Rhea said Friday the authority wants private developers to submit ideas for possible new buildings at eight housing projects in Manhattan. Originally, NYCHA had asked developers to submit formal proposals. NYCHA has also asked developers to include first-floor commercial or community space in their new designs.

    The plan to build market-rate buildings on the developments is known as the Land Lease Initiative. City officials have said it would generate an estimated $30 million to $50 million a year for much needed repairs.

    But the development plan has angered many tenants and advocates who question the fairness of using public housing land for other purposes. On the Lower East Side, residents of NYCHA complexes that were identified as potential spots for the market rate development, like at Meltzer Towers at 94 East 1st Street, have been resistent to the plans and questioning how well they could be executed.