By Michelle Deal Winfield
A new building in Kips Bay, which includes some housing for disabled residents, is now ready for occupancy. The completion of the project comes seven years after it was first discussed by Community Board Six’s Manhattan’s Housing Committee and Full Board.
Henry Phipps Plaza South Development — now referred to as 325 KB — is located at 325 East 25th Street, between First and Second Avenues.
The newly constructed building was built on a vacant lot that had been used as a basketball court. Phipps is awaiting a Certificate of Occupancy which the owner expects to receive in two weeks. It consists of 55 rental apartments: 10 studios, 18 one-bedrooms, 27 two-bedrooms, and the superintendent lives on the first floor. Forty percent of the apartments are affordable, which in this case means under 80 percent of the NYC area median income (AMI). The other 60 percent of the units range from 20 percent at 120 percent of the AMI, 20 percent at 145 percent of the AMI and 20 percent at 165 percent of the AMI.
According to Adam Weinstein, president of Phipps, a nonprofit developer, there were 50,000 applications received for the apartments.
“That’s normal,” he said. “One thousand people applying per apartment.”
On Monday, November 21, Community Board Six Vice Chairperson Claude L. Winfield arranged for a tour of the new development. Those in attendance were: Weinstein; Joe Stila, Monadnock Development Construction; Council Member Rosie Mendez; Jill Schoenfeld; representative of Assembly Member Brian Kavanagh; Howie Levine, representative of Council Member Dan Garodnick; Marie Winfield, president of East Harlem’s Community Land Trust; Community Board Six Members: Pedro Carrillo, Aaron Humphrey, Gene Santoro, Raj Najar, Housing Committee Chair; Claude L. Winfield and Michelle D. Winfield, Tilden Democratic Club housing chair.
Weinstein, who gave the tour of the building, noted that The Phipps Corporation does not receive subsidies from the government “and therefore can focus solely on building affordable housing.” He mentioned how the new building features facial recognition cameras. The cameras record the eyes, the nose other facial features.
“In other buildings, people can share keys or give someone their fobs (key-cards) to non-residents to enter the building,” said Weinstein, who added, “We do not want people to sublet.”
There are five apartments set aside for physically challenged residents and three for the hearing impaired. In the apartments for the hearing impaired, two strobes have been positioned on the wall to alert the resident in the case of an emergency or fire. When a guest rings the doorbell a light flashes in the living room. Wheelchair users can fit easily under the counter space in the kitchen. The stone counters are 34” high and the microwave on the counter is easily reachable. All doorways and bathroom are ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliant, which means a wheelchair can fit in and be able to turn around in the space. The lobby has a ramp for wheelchair users.
Amenities in the building include a laundry room and a concierge and the outside space is being landscaped.
Additionally, there is a community room or not-for-profit space next door toward Second Avenue that’s available for rental.