7,500-Name Waitlist Opens for 975 Affordable Units at Harlem’s Riverton Complex

one moment please…Riverton Square, Madison Avenue, New York, NY, United States+ Expand- collapse<p

one moment please…Riverton Square, Madison Avenue, New York, NY, United States+ Expand- collapse

Like Stuyvesant Town, the Riverton Square residential development in Harlem opened in 1947 as an affordable complex for World War II veterans and was built by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. But unlike Stuy Town (and Met Life’s Parkchester in the Bronx), black and Hispanic tenants weren’t barred from renting in Riverton. According to the Times, over the years the seven-building site was a sought-after address for the middle-class and was home to such notables as jazz pianist Billy Taylor, former Mayor David Dinkins, and former vice president of Motwon Records Suzanne de Passe.

But in 2005, again similar to its downtown counterpart, Riverton was sold to Stellar Management, who tried to swiftly remove long-term tenants and replace them with higher-paying residents. Unable to convert the rent-stabilized units to market-rate and saddled with debt, Stellar lost Riverton to its lenders in 2008. This past December, after nearly a decade in limbo, the 12-acre site was sold to A&E Real Estate Holdings for $201 million in a deal with the city which, like the recent terms at Stuy Town, dictated that 975 of the complex’s 1,229 units be reserved for working- and middle-class families for 30 years. In return, the buyer will receive about $100 million worth of tax breaks and incentives. The waitlist is now open for these affordable units, and 7,500 randomly selected applicants will earn themselves a spot.

Photos via Riverton Square Facebook

Riverton is located on the site bound by 135th and 138th Streets and Fifth Avenue and the Harlem River. Amenities include outdoor seating/green space, a basketball court, children’s playground, 24-hour security, and on-site laundry. In addition, Douglas Eisenberg of A&E has agreed to make $40 million in capital improvements based on input from tenants.

The 975 affordable units are available for three income levels that are said to reflect the complex’s current makeup. Rents range from $980 one-bedrooms to $2,891 three-bedrooms and are available to single persons earning between $34,972 and $38,100 annually up to families of six making between $100,971 and $131,375.

Google Earth image via CityRealty

The deadline to submit an application for the lottery is July 8, 2016. Qualified persons can apply online here. And find below 6sqft’s map of other ongoing housing lotteries:


Apply for One of Stuyvesant Town’s Affordable Apartments, Starting at $1,200/Month Lottery Launches for 181 Affordable Units in Pacific Park’s Modular Tower Live in Extell’s Hudson Yards Skyscraper 555Ten for $910/Month

Lead image via Maisey “Maze” M./Yelp