Proposed tower is 25% affordable; others want more. 

More than 20 years after the Sept. 11 attacks, a 900-foot apartment tower could soon rise at the World Trade Center site. The 80-story project at 130 Liberty Street, would include 1,200 apartments — of which 25 percent, or 300 units, would be permanently rented at below-market value — as well as office, retail and community space. A team led by the developers Brookfield Properties and Silverstein Properties could begin construction in 2023, if approvals are met.

Pushing for tenant preference for 9/11 survivors and essential workers

But a group of local residents and elected officials, frustrated by the dearth of affordable housing citywide, is pushing for more — a tower that could become the world’s tallest 100-percent-affordable housing project and a symbol of equity for the workers and families who rebuilt Lower Manhattan, even as they have been priced out of their homes. (The group hopes to include a tenant preference for 9/11 survivors and essential workers.)

It is an ideological battle being waged on one of the few sites in the city where these questions could seriously be posed: Can the city build sky-high towers for lower- and middle-income New Yorkers, when “supertall” — a term used to describe buildings just shy of 1,000 feet — has become synonymous with luxury condominiums? And would the political and symbolic significance of the site make it worth the expense, although three or four times as many affordable units could likely be built elsewhere for the same cost? Read more


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