Mixed messages in mixed-income

(Photo via Multifamily Executive Magazine)

In the world of multifamily, particularly luxury rentals and condos, it is all about the amenities. Each new development that we read about has the latest and greatest pool, fitness center, concierge or some other service that we haven’t even heard of yet. As my colleague Anna wrote recently, amenities are becoming the deciding factor for potential tenants.

This all seems like good news for those residents who can afford to pay the rents in these buildings, but the New York Times discussed another side to this trend that isn’t as positive.

Mixed-income developments are sometimes designed so that the market rate units and affordable units have separate entrances and separate amenities. In some New York buildings, long-time residents with rent-regulated apartments are being barred from new amenities available to market-rate residents. In one case in the Upper West Side, a resident of 60 years is not allowed to use her building’s new gym facilities.

Sure, market rate renters pay more, but what kind of message does this send? It certainly isn’t good for the developer’s reputation in the community. Tenant advocates say that it is demoralizing and there are lawmakers looking to stop these policies from being made in NYC. It will be interesting to see what decisions are made about this real estate practice, and how cities offer amenities while preserving affordability.

What do you think? Are these policies fair? Let us know in the comments.

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