A $1.5 billion plan to tear down two New York City Housing Authority complexes in Manhattan and replace them with new high-rise apartments for current tenants is moving forward, city officials say.
NYCHA plans to demolish the Fulton and Elliot-Chelsea Houses in Chelsea and rebuild the complexes entirely, the agency announced Wednesday, saying it would cost more money and take longer to repair them.
The decision comes after 57% of nearly 1,000 Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses tenants voted in favor of tearing down the eight buildings that make up the complexes. Approximately 4,500 people live at the two complexes, city data shows.
The vote was conducted via a non-binding survey, available only to building residents ages 18 and up, according to the city.
While the vote did not obligate the city to tear down the buildings, it offered a runway for a new phase of planning. The city, working with private developers, will now create a demolition proposal.
Mayor Eric Adams praised NYCHA’s move to include residents in the process.
“Our administration has always put residents front and center in decision-making, and I am excited that the residents of Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea Houses have seized their opportunity to plan their own future,” Adams said in a statement. “No one knows better than the residents what they and their neighbors need, and they were smart to recognize the potential benefits of completely rebuilding their campus.”
The Fulton Houses are located between West 16th and 19th streets and bounded by Ninth and 10th avenues. The Elliott-Chelsea Houses, meanwhile, are located between West 25th and 27th streets and Ninth and 10th avenues. They are 58 years old and 76 years old, respectively.
Private developers said they were planning on prioritizing construction of the new buildings first, so that the majority of the residents could move into them before the buildings they are currently living in are torn down.
The new apartments will feature enhanced layouts and ventilation and energy efficiency.
The plan also calls for amenities, such as resident controlled in-unit heating and cooling; dishwashers, washers and dryers in every apartment; common area amenities; large multipurpose community spaces; and rooftop space.
Roughly 3,500 new mixed-income apartments, including about 875 new affordable apartments, will also be added to the campuses, NYCHA said in a news release.
“The tenants at Fulton and Elliott-Chelsea were front and center of the plan to redevelop their homes, and they have worked together to choose a plan for their homes that will improve their quality of life,” said chief housing officer Jessica Katz in a statement.
Completely demolishing aging public housing, rather than refurbishing it, has rarely been done in NYCHA’s history. The city has only ever completely torn down public housing complexes three other times in NYCHA’s history, the New York Times reports.
The city expects construction to be completed in approximately six years.