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Renderings of 1998 Second Avenue (Bolivar Development) Renderings of 1998 Second Avenue (Bolivar Development)
Peter Fine, founder of Bolivar Development, may be one of the most optimistic about the future of New York City. In May 2020, when the city was on lockdown and seemed to face a rather precarious future, his development company secured a $70 million construction loan for 1998 Second Avenue, a 12-story rental project conceived with a planned Second Avenue subway extension in mind.

Just over two years later, the city’s rental vacancy rate is at an all-time low, President Biden’s proposed budget includes a $400 million U.S. Federal Transit Administration grant for additional Second Avenue subway stops extending service north from 96th Street to 125th Street, creating three new stations at 106th, 116th, and 125th streets. While too early to benefit from the subway extension,1998 Second (at the corner of 103rd Street) is within easy walking distance to the line's current terminus at 96th Street, and come August 2022, will bring online 164 much-needed apartments to the city.
1998 Second Avenue construction (June 2022)
The reputable firm of GF55 Architects is behind a congenial facade of red brick and operable picture windows. A curved corner anchors 103rd Street and stone-colored cornice lines mark a series of setbacks. The glassy top floor hosts a communal lounge and leads to an expansive roof deck with open views of the east side skyline and East River. A June 2022 visit to the construction site shows the superstructure has topped out, windows installed, and the red-brick cladding is beginning to make its way up the structure.
The mid-scale project participates in the controversial 421-a(16) Affordable New York Housing Program and allocates 51 of its 164 units to affordable housing. Market-rate prices are expected to start at $2,400/month, and a housing lottery for 51 rent-stabilized units is currently in effect. Individuals and households earning $75,429-$215,150 have until July 14, 2022 to apply for apartments ranging from $2,200/month for studios to $3,750/month for three-bedrooms. Full details and the application may be found here. Prospective renters for the unsubsidized apartment can register here for updates and forthcoming availabilities here.
1998-Second-Avenue-02 Lottery criteria (Housing Connect)

All 164 studio through three-bedroom apartments will feature:

  • Interiors by GF55 Architects
  • Large windows
  • Kitchens with quartz countertops and Bosch and Blomberg appliances
  • Baths with walk-in rain showers
  • In-unit LG washer/dryers

The building is pet-friendly, and five-star amenities include:

  • 24-hour attended lobby
  • Free storage for each residence, including bike rack
  • Media/screening room
  • State-of-the-art fitness center by Perform Better
  • 12th-floor lounge with bar, fireplace, large-screen television, floor-to-ceiling windows, and a folding glass wall leading to the roof terrace
  • Roof terrace with swimming pool, 17-foot LED TV, barbecue areas, table seating, and views of the East River and surrounding neighborhood
1998-Second-Avenue- Terrace

1998 Second Avenue is gearing up to bring new units on the market at a time when housing is in particularly short supply. CityRealty listings show only 4,320 publicly listed units for rent in Manhattan, northern Brooklyn, and parts of Queens and the Bronx. A few weeks ago, Curbed reported that the city’s Airbnb units outnumber the number of available rental units.
The crisis is especially pronounced at the affordable level. Earlier this spring, a report from the Department of Housing Preservation found that the vacancy rate for the city’s most affordable apartments (defined here as $1,500/month and below) is less than 1%, the lowest it’s been in 30 years. The city defines “rent-burdened” as those who spend more than 30% of their income on rent; about half of New York’s renters would qualify under that criterion, and one-third of the city’s renters spend more than half their income on rent. Mayor Adams is expected to announce a series of zoning initiatives that will, among other things, ease the conversion of empty office space into affordable housing; while a promising start, he has not yet revealed a full affordable housing plan.

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