Washington Heights Towers Would Add 500+ Parking Spots on Top of 1 Train

Since January, Upper Manhattan has been abuzz with news of a proposed development that could bring four new residential towers to Washington Heights. And according to developers Quadriad Realty Partners, there’ll be ample parking to go along with them.

A new skyscraper development in Washington Heights could put up to 550 parking spots next to the 191 St. 1 train station at Broadway, marked by the red circle. Image: Quadriad

The Quadriad buildings, which would be constructed on both sides of Broadway at 190th Street, would stand in stark contrast to the neighborhood’s stock of low-rises. As reported in the Manhattan Times, there are two plans on the table. One would mean the construction of two towers for market rate housing, each more than 20 stories tall, on either side of Broadway, which Quadriad says could be built without rezonings or special permits.

The company’s preferred option, dubbed the “New Strategy” plan, is to erect four buildings of 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories. The company says the project’s 650 or so housing units would be a combination of market rate sales or rentals and affordable housing (as defined by the city, which would still put the units beyond the reach of most Upper Manhattanites). The company would need city approval for its preferred plan.

Until recently, not much was known about the parking component of the proposal. Quadriad Chief Operating Officer Charles Lauster told Streetsblog in February that the company wanted “to get more input from the community before we get specific about the parking issues.” At a Wednesday night meeting of the Community Board 12 committee on land use, some of those specifics were revealed. Local resident and DNAinfo reporter Carla Zanoni was there:

Henry Wollman [Quadriad president and CEO] said the “New Strategy” plan (the one that includes the 42-story building) would include parking for approximately 500-550 cars and that they are currently looking into different garage systems to accommodate that type of load.

He also said that they were looking to create that amount of parking in response to community interviews they’ve held in which residents said “parking is a big problem in the neighborhood.”

Despite the fact that only around 25 percent of households in Upper Manhattan own cars, and that the area is served by a number of buses and two subway lines — the “New Strategy” plan would include partial renovation of the 191st St. 1 train station at Broadway — Quadriad will probably get no argument from CB 12 that its district suffers from a lack of parking. It’s more likely that the promise of an 85 percent parking spot to apartment ratio won’t be enough to satisfy the folks who killed a neighborhood Greenmarket to preserve unfettered access to 19 curbside spaces.

Assuming Quadriad and CB 12 come to terms, and if the project gets the all-clear from the City Planning Commission and City Council, residents of Washington Heights and Inwood — pedestrians and drivers alike — may find themselves wanting a new strategy to deal with the traffic generated by those 500+ parking spots.

With reporting from Noah Kazis.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

In Development Plan, NYCHA Commits to Keeping Parking Perks

|
It’s easy to see why the New York City Housing Authority’s recent proposal to develop new housing on some of its property in Manhattan has aroused strong passions. Under the proposal, NYCHA would enter into 99-year ground leases with developers to build new residential buildings at eight properties in Manhattan below 110th Street. Most of the new units […]

At Long Last, DOT Proposes Bike Lanes for Upper Manhattan

|
Responding to years of citizen advocacy and a resolution from Manhattan Community Board 12, DOT has proposed bike lanes for a number of streets in Upper Manhattan. Most of the lanes, concentrated in Washington Heights [PDF], would be installed next year, after a consultation with CB 12 this fall. One would be protected by parked […]

This Map Shows Where de Blasio Wants to Reduce Parking Mandates

|
In February, the Department of City Planning outlined the broad strokes of how the de Blasio administration will seek to change the rules that shape new development in New York. After eight months of public meetings and behind-the-scenes work, City Hall’s proposals were released this week. The documents reveal details of how the city wants to handle parking minimums in […]

Take a Stand Against Affordable Housing By Saving This Parking Garage

|
In NYC’s current affordable housing shortage, every square foot counts. With that in mind, the city announced plans earlier this year to relinquish three parking garages it owns on West 108th Street to make way for 280 units of new housing, all of which would be reserved for people earning less than the average income in the area. Naturally, hysteria ensued. Since […]