A luxury building is still luxury weather it's residents are all wealthy, middle class or poor. Manhattan is an urban global city. There is diversity here. On almost any given block there is a mix of commercial and residential housing with every socio economic and ethnicity.
35 - 40 years ago the upper middle and middle class were fleeing the city Now they all want to live here. Selling their suburban homes for Manhattan condos and coops. They're my clients. They all love Manhattan particularly the Upper West Side but some of them want to suburbanize the city so it's more comfortable to their familiar suburban interests, values and "ethos."
"I didn't expect scratched and beat-up elevators after walking through a decent lobby, and I did not expect to see or hear teens/young adults, sometimes accompanied by young infants, swearing or talking loudly".
Your comnment implies the 20% scratched the elevators and have loud teenages and infants. The reason 80/20 works is you don't know who is 80 and who is 20. Unless those loud teenagers told you their parents were poor and renting in the 20% program you are making an assumption based on a stereotype.
IMHO, for $5000/month there are many beautiful apartments in Manhattan. Either they are looking in all the wrong places, they need a good broker or Manhattan and urban living may not for them or their parent.
Actually, it's not a contradiction. Not only rentals, but some pretty beautiful condos including a unit I recently sold in magnificent new condo building i Downtown Brooklyn. According to the NYC website, the 80/20 Program uses tax-exempt bonds to create affordable housing for low-income tenants in "desirable neighborhoods throughout the city." By using these tax-exempt bonds for construction of these buildings, the cost for the builder/developer is reduced. They, in turn, are required to set aside 20% of the units for "low income" tenants which is defined as individuals earning no more than 50% of the median income of the area. This is a far cry from the days of building "projects" as low-income housing.
You can read more here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/apartment/faqs-for-apt-seek
Hope this helps.
a subtext here....... clearly the building did not meet your definition of "luxury", but I'm not sure that beat-up elevators and loud swearing tenants are particular to 80/20 buildings.
As you pointed out this is Manhattan. You have to share the same space in the subway with people from all walks of life; and so you must also share living-space in Rental buildings designed only to give the Developers a tax break while you pay for your space as well as for those who get to live in it at a fraction of what youre paying. Thats the luxury of living in NYC. Someone has to pay for it.
All Points Realty LLC
Manhattan Connecticut and Westchester
It's been a while (34 years) since I lived in Manhattan so I'm clearly suffering from sticker shock and the realization that $5,000 a month probably won't secure my child and a roommate an apartment of the size, or the character, in the neighborhood that they'd like -- and, before you say it, they've already agreed to make compromises!
Ultimately, I suppose I view the 80/20 regulation as another way in which the middle classes are being squeezed and taxed, while the wealthy remain relatively insulated. Too bad.
The best you can do for your daughter is to google the building and go to the local precinct and check out the crime stats for the area/building.