MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS COMMUNITY COALITION
PLATFORM FOR RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN MORNINGSIDE HEIGHTS
Manhattan’s residential real estate boom has arrived in Morningside Heights. Two luxury rental projects have recently been completed: the 428- apartment Enclave on West 113th Street and the Stonehenge with 96 apartments on Amsterdam Avenue. St. Luke’s Hospital is selling four vacant buildings for $115 million for conversion into hundreds of high-rent apartments. Jewish Theological Seminary recently sold the rights to build a luxury condominium tower of up to 40 stories on West 122nd Street to the Savanna Real Estate Fund for $ 77 million and sold buildings at 3060 Broadway and 415 West 120th Street, with a total of 86 apartments, to investors for $54 million. Union Theological Seminary is planning to sell the rights to build a condominium of up to 40 stories on its campus.
Neighborhood organizations want to make sure that the planned developments do not harm the Heights and in fact offer real benefits to the neighborhood, its families and public services. Our platform for residential development consists of seven features.
Height Consistent With Nearby Buildings
The height of new buildings should be consistent with their neighbors. In the cases of Jewish Theological Seminary and Union Theological Seminary they should not exceed the Manhattan School of Music and the Teachers College residences, which are each 18 floors.
Exteriors Harmonize With Surrounding Buildings
The exteriors of new buildings should be of the same or similar materials, mainly stone or brick, as buildings in their immediate vicinity.
Views of Nearby Landmarks Preserved
The views of nearby landmarks, such as Riverside Church and the UTS tower, should not be blocked by new buildings nor should they cast intrusive shadows.
Mitigate the Impact on the Environment and Local Services.
Mitigate any adverse impacts of new development, especially its cumulative effects. This includes transportation, parking, schools and other public services, shopping, resident displacement as well as air quality, sanitation and noise during and after construction.
Provide Affordable Housing
At least 30% of the apartments in the buildings or in nearby locations should be designated permanent affordable housing.
Support Local Social and Economic Development
Institutions and developers that will benefit from the planned housing should invest in local social and economic ventures. This might include education and employment for youngsters, assistance for seniors, aiding local businesses and reusing the gate house on Amsterdam.
Rezoning Morningside Heights
The neighborhood’s zoning should be revised to encourage appropriate development in terms of land use and the height and bulk of buildings.
In addition, guiding practices for building construction should stress well-paid jobs, training and local business opportunities.