Penn South

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Coordinates: 40°44′52″N 73°59′54″W / 40.747911°N 73.998359°W / 40.747911; -73.998359

The Penn South cooperative as seen from the Empire State Building
Penn South buildings along Ninth Avenue

Penn South is the common name for the Mutual Redevelopment Houses, a limited-equity[1] housing cooperative development located between Eighth and Ninth Avenues and West 23rd and 29th Streets, in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City. The 10-building. 2,820-unit complex – every tower has 22 floors – was built in 1962, and was sponsored by the International Ladies' Garment Workers Union based on the cooperative model promoted by the United Housing Foundation.[1] It was designed by Herman Jessor.[2] The dedication ceremony, in May 1962, was addressed by President John F. Kennedy with former First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in attendance.[3]

To help keep Penn South affordable to those with limited incomes, New York City gave the development 25 years of tax abatements, from 1961 to 1986. After that, the cooperative's shareholders voted for a 25-year phase-in of real-estate taxes, which was approved by the city's Board of Estimate. A further adjustment was made when the development asked the city in 1999 for tax relief when the building boom in Chelsea caused the project's assessed value to skyrocket. The city responded in 2001 by allowing the development's taxes to be calculated based on the cooperative's income, as is done with Mitchell-Lama housing. In return, the development must remain a limited-equity cooperative until 2022.[1]

Building 7 of the complex was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016. Apartment 9J in the B portion of the building was home to civil and gay rights activist Bayard Rustin from 1962 until his death in 1987.[4]

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  1. ^ a b c "About" on the Penn South website. Accessed:2011-03-10
  2. ^ White, Norval & Willensky, Elliot (2000), AIA Guide to New York City (4th ed.), New York: Three Rivers Press, ISBN 978-0-8129-3107-5 , p. 188
  3. ^ "Penn South - Rising to the Challenge". AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. December 2, 2011. Retrieved 29 October 2015. 
  4. ^ "NRHP nomination for Bayard Rustin Residence" (PDF). National Park Service. Retrieved 2016-08-20. 

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