More on the 12-Story Second Avenue Housing Plan
Tuesday afternoon, the Local East Village dropped bombshell news that the block of Second Avenue between East Houston and First Street is on course for some heavy change. Not just renovation. It would spell at least two years of demolition, construction, and misplaced tenants and businesses. And if all the necessary hurdles and red tape are cleared, this could be a glimpse of the future. Can you imagine Mars Bar as we know it living and breathing here?
Now that we have your attention, let’s dive into some of the details. This issue was the leadoff item on the agenda at last night’s CB3 zoning committee meeting. Juan Barahona of developer BFC Partners was in the house to further explain their plans. The proposed twelve-story building will contain roughly sixty total units, twelve of which are slated to become affordable housing. Nine of said units are earmarked for returning families; three are for new families (lottery). Meanwhile, the remaining lot will be market rate living, but BFC is still unsure if they’ll be rentals or sales.
But concessions are definitely in order for the nine returning families. Those living in 9 Second Avenue will receive comparable living quarters. However, the four tenants in 11-17 Second Avenue with 2,000 square-foot lofts agreed to downsize to 1,200 square-feet in the new building.
One committee member was alarmed that the affordable tenants might quickly turn around and flip after purchasing for only $1. She was assured, however, that flip taxes are a component of the inclusionary program to discourage such schemes (7% net profits reinvested in building). A short time later, thirty-year building resident Gretchen Green had the conch, as it were, and spoke in support of the measure, reiterating how the living conditions aren’t 100% safe and how this would be a welcome change.
The board voted to carry the measure, with one abstention. While there were other issues on the agenda last night, this was the most popular. Much of the crowd dispersed after the vote.