Upper West Side building stirs controversy by restricting gym

Lucy Yang reports from the Upper West Side.
February 24, 2014 3:28:16 PM PST
Questions are being raised about a Manhattan building's gym policy, in which rent-stabilized tenants are being told to keep out.

Working out in a gym is widely encouraged, but not for all the folks at an apartment complex on the Upper West Side.

"That's not fair, I don't think so. It should be available to everybody in the building," said one resident.

Many residents of the building on 97th Street between Columbus and Amsterdam pay rent stabilized rates. The rest pay much more in market rates.

Stonehenge Village, in an effort to attract more market rate tenants, recently built a small gym in the basement.

But it has stirred a storm of controversy. The gym is exclusively for the higher paying renters. The rest are not allowed to use the facility.

"I live here longer than most of them. Now we're not allowed. Crazy," said a resident.

According to Stonehenge Management, they have already invested more than $5 million to the common areas of the building. That benefits everyone. But the gym, that's different.

In a statement, Stonehenge said: "It is aimed specifically at new and prospective tenants who expect certain amenities, available to market rate renters."

"It makes them feel like second class citizens, goes against everything New York is supposed to be," said a tenant.

The gym is small. Some rent-stabilized tenants tell me they would rather pay to go to a bigger gym.

But it's just the principle of being told they are not welcomed in their own building.