There’s a new residential high-rise going up in New York that will have separate entrances for rich people and not-rich people. No this time it’s not the Onion. It’s for real.
Extell Development Company, the firm behind the new building, announced its intentions to segregate the rich and poor to much outrage last year. Fifty-five of the luxury complex’s 219 units would be marked for low-income renters—netting some valuable tax breaks for Extell—with the caveat that the less fortunate tenants would stick to their own entrance.
The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development approved Extell’s Inclusionary Housing Program application for the 33-story tower this week, the New York Post reports. The status grants Extell the aforementioned tax breaks and the right to construct a larger building than would ordinarily be allowed. According to the Daily Mail, affordable housing tenants will enter through a door situated on a “back alley.”
Anything else? Piranhas? A row of burning tires between the alley and the door? Buckets of decomposing sludge emptied on the differently moneyed as they open the door?
Any of the unwashed folk who complain about such a convenient arrangement, of course, are just being ungrateful. As the Mail points out, fellow poor-door developer David Von Spreckelsen explained as much last year:
“No one ever said that the goal was full integration of these populations,” said David Von Spreckelsen, senior vice president at Toll Brothers. “So now you have politicians talking about that, saying how horrible those back doors are. I think it’s unfair to expect very high-income homeowners who paid a fortune to live in their building to have to be in the same boat as low-income renters, who are very fortunate to live in a new building in a great neighborhood.”
But it’s not a boat. They don’t get in a boat to go to their respective apartments. It’s an entrance. It’s a door, and an approach to a door, and a lobby or hall. There’s no need to worry about a boat; it’s just the entrance to a posh apartment building. The rich people won’t be made filthy and malodorous merely by using the same front door and lobby that the less-rich people use. They won’t be assailed by intolerable smells and sounds merely by proximity to people who aren’t millionaires.
But this is America, where we believe that only good people are rich and only evil people are poor.