As rent prices continue to rise, some New York City developers are working to make high-quality apartments in luxury buildings affordable

7 Dey Street’s rooftop terrace. Rendering courtesy of SL Green Realty.

Rent prices continue to increase as millennials and Gen Z move back to the city. But developers across the five boroughs are making a range of high-quality apartments in luxury buildings affordable to renters.

7 Dey Street in the Financial District is the first property in Lower Manhattan built under the Affordable New York Housing Program. The property includes 209 new rental units and is located across from the Fulton Transit Center, providing easy access to Manhattan and the tri-state area. 

The 260,000-square-foot building includes 63 mixed-income apartments and amenities including a co-working space, outdoor terraces and 26,000 square feet of commercial space. Leasing launched by SL Green and Douglas Elliman on September 7.

“Mixed income developments add to the city’s housing supply and help meet the renter’s demand for the long term,” said Jarrod Whitaker, Senior Vice President of Residential Real Estate, RXR Realty.

Gotham Point in Long Island City, Queens is bringing 1,132 residences to the Hunter’s Point South waterfront neighborhood with 75 percent priced at affordable rates. The latest residential development by the Gotham Organization, in partnership with RiseBoro Community Partnership, set aside 98 units for low-income seniors.

Gotham Point’s North Tower (left) and South Tower (right). Rendering courtesy of VUW Studio.

Gotham Point includes on-site amenities, waterfront views, a community facility and retail space. The South Tower is projected to be completed late 2021 with the North Tower to be completed in 2022. 

The Willoughby in Brooklyn is a new 34-story mixed-use building offering 143 amenitized apartments to New Yorkers whose income does not exceed 130% of the Area Median Income. If someone’s combined household income is between $86,503 and $167,570, they could qualify for a brand new residence in the community, Whitaker said. 

“RXR’s greater mission is to build not only best in class residential communities, but to also do good by fostering long positive social impacts in New York City and every market that we enter,” said Whitaker. “The HPD Affordable Housing Lottery launch is scheduled to commence in the coming weeks and we encourage all New Yorkers to learn more about the value of this housing.”

The mixed-use building by RXR Realty and Douglas Elliman includes a fitness center, outdoor courtyard, on-site parking, views of New York City in all directions. Located at the intersection of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, the building is a short walk from the Atlantic Avenue transit hub. The building opened in September. 

The Willoughby hero image. Image courtesy of RXR Realty.

“These luxury apartments will be subject to rent stabilization and we anticipate that our affordable renters will realize a savings of thousands of dollars a year, and nearly tens of thousands of dollars over a 15 year period, as compared to market rate units,” Whitaker said. 

The lottery for these rent-restricted apartment homes, priced for middle- income households will be open to all income eligible New Yorkers.

Driving factors of rising rent premiums in New York City include scarcity of land, rising construction costs and general supply shortages, Whitaker said. But there are ways for renters to navigate the luxury market in an affordable way.  

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development recently launched Housing Connect 2.0 to help people apply for affordable rental and homeownership opportunities and have streamlined the application process to an electronic application process.

Affordable options for buyers

There are also affordable options for New Yorkers looking to buy. 

Huxley, a residential new development in East Harlem located at 181 East 101 Street. The nine-story mixed-use building, designed by Workshop Design + Architecture, includes retail space and 71 condominium residences ranging from studios to three bedrooms. The building by Wonder Works Construction offers amenities including a fitness center, recreation room, bike room, furnished courtyard with outdoor fireplace and rooftop terrace with a BBQ area.

Sales launched on October 18 by SERHANT. New Development, a multidimensional real estate brokerage founded by Ryan Serhant of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing New York

According to SERHANT. New Developments, what makes Huxley affordable is the up-and-coming location and low monthly costs.

Rendering of Huxley Photo courtesy of Alessandro Tamburello

Data from SERHANT showed an increasing buyer demand in East Harlem with condo sales up 43% year-over-year. Huxley brings accessible luxury residences to the neighborhood with units starting at $480K. 

As part of the Huxley sales process, SERHANT. and Wonder Works Construction are jointly pledging to donate a portion of all sales commission earned at Huxley back to the local community – totaling $101,000, representative of 101st Street, according to a press release from SERHANT. 

These affordable luxury developments across the city are attracting young professionals who work in a multitude of industries including finance, tech and media, Whitaker said. 

“Last year there was a ton of supply and very little demand,” said James McGrath, co-founder of Yoreevo, an NYC-based residential brokerage. “Over the last year the city has become much more active with young people moving back to the city, the vaccine, schools reopening, offices reopening, and all of that inventory got absorbed, so it’s very competitive.”