As controversy over so-called "poor doors"—separate entrances for affordable housing created by luxury condo developers to get tax breaks—grows, one development is getting a bit of a makeover. At 1 West End Avenue (also known as 10 Freedom Place) on the Upper West Side, the Wall Street Journal reportsthat the affordable housing tenants will have "access to a courtyard and a 12,000-square-foot roof deck facing west over the Hudson River."

Those changes were made after discussions between city officials and developer Larry Silverstein. The WSJ adds, "Independently, executives from Mr. Silverstein and its partner, El Ad Group, also decided to position the entrance to the project's affordable building so it faces a planned, 4-acre public park. It will also have a lobby with a glass facade and a custom-wood entrance the developers hope won't just feel like a back door." The building will have around 250 market-rate condos and 116 affordable rental units.

Housing Preservation and Development Department Commissioner Vicki Been said, "I do think we've made a blueprint. The blueprint is that you've got to have a building that signals, 'You are welcome here. You are just as valuable as every person in this neighborhood." However, City Council Member Helen Rosenthal's isn't just going to let it go, sending out a press release saying, "The Mayor's Housing Preservation Commissioner went to extraordinary lengths to strengthen the affordable housing guarantees for a new building, 1 West End Avenue / 10 Freedom Place on the Upper West Side. Regrettably, the developer chose to exploit the affordable housing zoning code of the prior administration, which allows for a separate entrance for tenants in affordable housing units, commonly referred to as a 'poor door.'"

Rosenthal was part of the negotiations and said that while the roof deck and courtyard access were a first step, "exploiting the poor door loophole is not in the spirit of the extensive community negotiations around this development, and it is abhorrent... Unfortunately, the inclusionary affordable housing zoning laws negotiated in the previous administration allow for 'segmented buildings' with separate entrances, elevator cores, etc. for the market-rate and affordable housing residents. At Riverside Center, the Developer exploited a loophole. Now, we have to close it."