Luxury building removes ‘poor porch’ after Post report
New York Post
By Gary Buiso
03 May 2015
Erik Clancy and his girlfriend Erin McFadzen behind their fenced off
"poor porch" in December. Photo:
Tear down the poor porch!
A luxury Queens building that blocked portions of palatial balconies
belonging to some rent-stabilized tenants — so that high-paying,
tiny-terraced residents didn’t develop a case of porch envy — has
finally removed the partitions.
“We are happy that it’s over and done with,” said a relieved Erik
Clancy, who along with girlfriend Erin McFadzen was featured in a Post
exclusive last December that blew the roof off the “poor porch” — a
reference to “poor doors,” separate entrances for lower-income tenants
in ritzy towers.
“It made you feel bad to be behind a fence on your own space,” said
The couple figured they landed the steal of the century in March 2014
when they laid eyes on the rent-stabilized $2,186-a-month two-bedroom
unit in the 17-story Q41 building in Long Island City.
And it was made even sweeter because it came with a wrap-around terrace
that can comfortably accommodate 50 people.
But when they showed up in the summer to move in, they were stunned to
see a six-foot-high, DMZ-style wire partition.
“We’re caged in,” McFadzen said at the time. “Every time someone comes
over, I have to explain why the fence is there . . . and tell them
we’re rent-stabilized, like it’s a badge I have to wear.”
Meanwhile, a $3,692-a-month, 16th-floor market-rate apartment with a
similarly large terrace had no such fence.
The building’s developer, Queensboro Development, claimed the space was
fenced off to provide space for window washers.
“I think everyone who heard that kind of scratched their heads,” Clancy
Gjon Chota, the building’s former super, apparently revealed the true
purpose of the fence, telling the couple in an e-mail it “was there to
stay” because “the same size apartment above or below you with smaller
balcony pay the same rent.”
Once The Post revealed the poor porch, building manager Wavecrest
Management scrambled to avoid any more publicity.
On April 21, the steel partitions were finally removed — but tenants
had to agree to a litany of provisions, including: no drinking, not
using their patios as storage space, no hanging of signs or flags, no
kids without adult supervision, no barbecues and no bird feeders.
A spokesman for the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and
Development said management, tenants and a window-washing company
hammered out a plan that maintained the “safety of tenants without
impeding window washing.”
The building started off as a failed condo project, resuscitated thanks
to $7.6 million in subsidies and $28 million in construction loans from
the city. In return, 108 of the units are income restricted or
rent-stabilized — as low as $1,103 for a studio.