Upper West Side condo to have separate entrances for rich and poor tenants

(PIX11) – A tale of two cities?

An Upper West Side luxury apartment building being built is planning on separating tenants by income, according to a New York Post report.

As a way to receive millions in tax breaks, Manhattan developer Extell is building 55 low-income units at 40 Riverside Boulevard. But there is a catch.

Like the hit show “Downtown Abbey,” poorer tenants will have to enter theĀ  33-story building from a back alley entrance. More affluent residents will have a front entrance, with ritzy condos facing the Hudson River, while low-income renters won’t enjoy the same view.

According to the Post, Extell is seeking a 421a exemption, which is a tax break given when affordable housing is included in market-rate to luxury buildings.

Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal blasted the proposal, saying, “It’s a blatant attempt to segregate people. It’s just not a good thing for the city of New York to be supporting.”

Community Board 7 wrote a letter to the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development in regards to the controversial idea. The board is worried the separate entrances will create a discriminatory environment for the rental tenants.

“I don’t think it’s a good idea. I don’t think people should be separated by income,” one man said outside the building site.

Extell has yet to comment on the proposal and their application is still under review with the Housing Department.

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