Washington Heights Towers Would Add 500+ Parking Spots on Top of 1 Train

Since January, Upper Manhattan has been abuzz with news of a proposed development that could bring four new residential towers to Washington Heights. And according to developers Quadriad Realty Partners, there’ll be ample parking to go along with them.

A new skyscraper development in Washington Heights could put up to 550 parking spots next to the 191 St. 1 train station at Broadway, marked by the red circle. Image: Quadriad

The Quadriad buildings, which would be constructed on both sides of Broadway at 190th Street, would stand in stark contrast to the neighborhood’s stock of low-rises. As reported in the Manhattan Times, there are two plans on the table. One would mean the construction of two towers for market rate housing, each more than 20 stories tall, on either side of Broadway, which Quadriad says could be built without rezonings or special permits.

The company’s preferred option, dubbed the “New Strategy” plan, is to erect four buildings of 23, 33, 39 and 42 stories. The company says the project’s 650 or so housing units would be a combination of market rate sales or rentals and affordable housing (as defined by the city, which would still put the units beyond the reach of most Upper Manhattanites). The company would need city approval for its preferred plan.

Until recently, not much was known about the parking component of the proposal. Quadriad Chief Operating Officer Charles Lauster told Streetsblog in February that the company wanted “to get more input from the community before we get specific about the parking issues.” At a Wednesday night meeting of the Community Board 12 committee on land use, some of those specifics were revealed. Local resident and DNAinfo reporter Carla Zanoni was there:

Henry Wollman [Quadriad president and CEO] said the “New Strategy” plan (the one that includes the 42-story building) would include parking for approximately 500-550 cars and that they are currently looking into different garage systems to accommodate that type of load.

He also said that they were looking to create that amount of parking in response to community interviews they’ve held in which residents said “parking is a big problem in the neighborhood.”

Despite the fact that only around 25 percent of households in Upper Manhattan own cars, and that the area is served by a number of buses and two subway lines — the “New Strategy” plan would include partial renovation of the 191st St. 1 train station at Broadway — Quadriad will probably get no argument from CB 12 that its district suffers from a lack of parking. It’s more likely that the promise of an 85 percent parking spot to apartment ratio won’t be enough to satisfy the folks who killed a neighborhood Greenmarket to preserve unfettered access to 19 curbside spaces.

Assuming Quadriad and CB 12 come to terms, and if the project gets the all-clear from the City Planning Commission and City Council, residents of Washington Heights and Inwood — pedestrians and drivers alike — may find themselves wanting a new strategy to deal with the traffic generated by those 500+ parking spots.

With reporting from Noah Kazis.