As New York City’s Housing Authority tries to dig itself out of a $60 million budget deficit, the agency has filed plans for an 18-story residential building on the parking lot of one of its old projects, the mid-1960s Fulton Houses in Chelsea.
The development will likely be mixed-income and affordable, and it appears to be part of a Bloomberg-era policy to lease unused housing authority land to developers. While NYCHA announced last summer that they were resurrecting the program, Fulton Houses was not included on the list of developments where the agency hoped to build. So far, officials are soliciting proposals to develop the Ingersoll Houses in Fort Greene, the Van Dyke Houses in Brownsville, and the Mill Brook Houses in Mott Haven. The agency’s request for proposals required that any new apartments built under the program be rented to families who make no more than 60 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), or $48,960 for a three-person household.
The new building will rise at 413 West 18th Street, between Ninth and Tenth avenues on the western edge of Chelsea. The 172-foot-tall development will have 160 apartments divided across 118,392 square feet of residential space, for average units of 739 square feet. The ground floor will also have a 4,560-square-foot community facility.
The units will break down into 51 studios, 70 one-bedrooms, and 38 two-bedrooms. They’ll rent to a large range of incomes, from families between 50 percent to 165 percent AMI. (That means a family of three could make as little as $40,800 or as much as $134,640.)
The agency is listed as the owner on the permits, but Artimus Construction is the developer. Gerner Kronick + Valcarcel Architecture will design the project.
This won’t be the first affordable project to rise among Chelsea’s public housing towers. In 2012, the city opened a new development for low- and middle-income families at the Chelsea-Elliott Houses, which runs from 25th to 27th streets between Ninth and Tenth avenues. Artimus Construction developed the 168-unit building, which offered 30 units for NYCHA residents.
Both projects are the result of a deal made under the Bloomberg administration, according to a NCYHA spokesperson. When the city rezoned West Chelsea and Hudson Yards 12 years ago, the former mayor promised to build affordable housing. These two NYCHA developments are meant to fulfill that promise. They signal the end of a process that began in 2006, when the city issued a request for proposals to develop 383 units within pubic housing projects on the West Side of Manhattan.
The Fulton Houses development stalled during the financial crisis eight years ago and finally cranked back into motion in 2014.
The Fulton Houses, which are named after commercial steamship pioneer Robert Fulton, were completed in 1965. The 11-building complex runs from 16th to 19th streets between Ninth and Tenth avenues. They house 2,175 tenants in 944 apartments.
Update: NYCHA sent us additional details on this project, and we’ve updated this post since it first went up. They also sent along the following statement:
“Following through on a commitment made during the Bloomberg administration, the developer partner is completing the second of two mixed-income projects in the area – the first was built at Chelsea-Elliott Houses in 2012. The Fulton Houses project will provide affordable housing for New Yorkers at a time when affordable housing is increasingly difficult to come by, with NYCHA residents given a rental preference for 25% of the units. The project also includes improvements to the existing basketball court and playground, as well as the creation of a new community gardening area.”