Last Night’s CB3 Meeting on SPURA Project Planning

Posted on: March 31st, 2011 at 8:34 am by

It was a jam-packed meeting at the Abrons Arts Center on Grand Street last night, as CB3 held another meeting to discuss the decades-vacant SPURA site.  Officials from the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Department of City Planning, and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s office all attended the contentious gathering.

Architect Neil Kittredge of Beyer, Blinder, Belle presented a development plan that centered on three main themes: street and pedestrian network, open space, and building mass and height.  To aid him in this feat, Kittredge displayed a scaled Styrofoam model of the SPURA site, complete with a layout of the size and density of possible buildings that could compose the area.

Kitteredge also addressed the significant issue of street and pedestrian network within this new micro neighborhood.  For instance, how to balance vehicular traffic with pedestrian activity, maintaining the street grid, and addressing the challenging of cars short-cutting through the area.

Another theme discussed was open space.  Kittredge displayed a map of parks within a fifteen minute walk of Delancey and Essex Streets.  “We wanted to take a look at what exists in the neighborhood and what these parks are used for,” said Mr. Kittredge.  “A large park is not the most essential thing on the SPURA site.”  He recommended putting a park on site 5, which is the largest site.  He used similar examples like Cobble Hill Park in Brooklyn and ABC Playground on Houston Street.

The final theme discussed was building mass and height.  Kittredge spoke about how, thanks to recently-passed zoning, the wider thoroughfares of Delancey Street and Grand Street allow for buildings with more height and density.  The possiblity of a school, hotel, or even office space was floated for the approximately 1.5 million square feet of open development.  An architect’s wet dream.  “I want to come up with a design that we all like,” said Kittredge.

Another topic of significance that was actually discussed at the outset was the fate of the Essex Street Market.  Cynthia Lamb has collected almost 500 signatures on her petition to save the Essex Street Market.  Her target is 2,000.   You can head here to sign the petition and read other people’s comments; or post your own.  The fate of our beloved neighborhood market is currently an agenda item at next month’s meeting, to be held Monday May 2nd.

-Written by Andrew Cohen

Recent Stories

"The Bowery as it is today [1900]," Photo: NYPL
That Time When Locals Wanted to Rename the Bowery ‘Piccadilly’ or ‘Parkhurst Avenue’

In an age when the Bowery moniker is gold – emblazoned across apparel and television screens – it’s difficult to fathom how its name was once threatened. At the turn of the last century, a collection of local Bowery merchants petitioned on numerous occasions to force the city to rename the thoroughfare. At least three […]

fred-nyc-orchard-1
New Salon-Cafe Called ‘FRED.’ is Opening at 192 Orchard Street

A fifth hair salon is currently gearing up to open on Orchard Street between East Houston and Delancey Streets. Indeed, the former Naked Eye Optical headquarters at number 192 underwent a transformation during the last couple months, and ultimately resulted in an upscale hair joint called “FRED.” FRED. NYC is the eponymous brainchild of stylist Fred Connors, […]

rickys-md-spring-street
Rumored Kardashian Complex at 63 Spring Street is Cited for LPC Violations

With a new ground floor business in Ricky’s NYC, 63 Spring Street is now paying for it. The building resides in the SoHo Cast Iron Historic District, and the landlord apparently implemented several upgrades to the facade without the necessary permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Owner Jack Terzi - who acquired the property for $15 […]

creffle-cafe-stanton
‘Creffles’ Challenge Cronuts in New Stanton Street Cafe

When owner (and Elmhurs resident) Al Tak first told us about his new cafe at 115 Stanton Street last month, it carried the moniker “Green and Brown,” named for the coffee bean havest-to-roast process. However, it’s since been renamed after its signature confectionary. The Creffle Cafe doles the standard fare alongside the namesake dessert concoction […]

crumpler-closing-spring
The Crumpler Store on Spring Street in Little Italy is Kaput

Crumpler is pulling the plug on its minuscule retail outpost in Little Italy. The Melbourne-born company has maintained a presence at 45 Spring Street for a decade, but a recent visit revealed a leasing sign in the front window. Javis Realty from Long Island is brokering the property, but there isn’t any hard data just […]