They Want to Build WHAT In Washington Heights?

inwood page 04 They Want to Build WHAT In Washington Heights?Just because they call it Washington Heights does not mean super-tall apartment buildings are welcome in the typically low-rise neighborhood.

A while back, Curbed got wind of an outrageous-looking plan for a complex of four towers ranging in size from 23 to 42 stories. Like our blogging pals, The Observer figured this was a pie-in-the-sky leftover from the last real estate boom–Extell’s Aerial towers on the Upper West Side come to mind. After all, who would live in a 40-story penthouse north of 100th Street, let alone 190th Street?

And developer Quadriad couldn’t even get the neighborhood right, calling this the “Inwood Project” on its Web site, with a plan date of a year ago. It must just be an outdated napkin sketch, right?

Well, it looks like Quadriad is serious about its Washington Heights plans, having now made numerous presentations to the community board. The developer even says it has the money to build the project, and it will only need a rezoning. That could be a difficult proposition, though. The project promises considerable affordable housing, but the price point is more than most Washington Heights locals could afford.

This is not unlike a similar plan Quadriad tried to tackle on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg, where it sought a 20-story tower on the popular BroBo thoroughfare. The community board there put up stiff opposition, and the developer wound up building an as-of-right five-story building instead. So has Quadriad learned its lesson this time around?

mchaban@observer.com