Saturday, March 14, 2015

Four Lower East Side Towers to Break Ground This Summer

Forty-eight years after the bulldozers came through, the Seward Park area of the Lower East side is being redeveloped into Essex Crossing at a price tag of more than $1 billion. The 1.9 million square-foot mega-project will include more than 1,000 units of housing at nine sites near the intersections of Essex and Delancey Streets. The development site is the largest city-owned plot of land below 96th Street. The build out will create 250,000 square feet of office space, a rooftop farm, a Regal Cinema, a bowling alley, an Andy Warhol museum and retail stores. The project is expected to create 4,400 construction jobs, most of which will be union. 

Taconic Investment Partners, L+M Development Partners, and BFC Partners were selected through a competition to develop the project. The consortium, known as Delancey Street Associates, will invest a total of $1.1 billion in the project.

Demolition of Site 2 is set to begin at the end of January and ground breaking on Phase1 is planned for this summer.

Construction at sites 1, 2, 5 and 6 should be finished by 2018, with the entire project anticipated to be complete by 2024.

The project’s amenities will include a bowling alley and movie theater. A site has also been reserved for a public school, which will be developed by the School Construction Authority.

The Essex Street Market will relocate across Delancey Street, doubling in size to approximately 30,000 square-feet on the ground floor, plus a mezzanine of roughly 7,000 square feet.

The new market, anticipated to open in 2018, will accommodate all the existing market vendors at the time of the move and provide room for new vendors in a range of sizes.

The project will include an extensive assortment of retail and commercial uses, including the unique space to be known as the Market Line, a subterranean esplanade with vaulted archways that weaves from the second floor through the cellar of the three sites south of Delancey between Essex and Clinton Streets.

[See ElectricWeb | Blogger, June 6, 2012]

The natural light-filled, continuous Market Line will include a variety of spaces, consisting of small- to medium-sized vendor stalls with tenants that include retail and food-oriented uses, a culinary incubator and a center dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurs to learn craft skills and produce and sell hand-made merchandise.

In addition, approximately 40 retail spaces will be developed in the Market Line. The project also includes a large grocery store.

But one big concern is a lack of additional parking in the development plan.

Isaac Henderson, project manager of L+M Development Partners, said the developer consortium has been working with DOT on traffic issues. He explained that after talks with the DOT, they determined that with the congestion around the area of the Williamsburg Bridge, it wasn’t safe to include more parking.

Long known as the Seward Park Renewal Area project, the city has wanted to redevelop the sites since 1967, when it began tearing down old tenement buildings that were occupied by working-class immigrants.

The Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project grew out of collaboration between community leaders and elected officials, who have worked on the Essex Crossing plan for more than seven years. [See ElectricWeb | Blogger, Nov 13, 2012]

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