Behemoth on the Backside: Proposed Cherry Street Tower to Reach 1000 Feet

Posted on: June 29th, 2016 at 5:00 am by

247cherry-rendering-1

Extell tends to hog headlines when conversations arise about the changing skyline on the Lower East Side waterfront. Their market-rate tower – One Manhattan Square – will reach peak height of some 80 stories. But the real behemoth is on the backside, so to speak. The Cherry Street tower that will trounce the nearby senior center, thanks its own sponsors Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing (“Two Bridgeset”).

Yes, the community was led to believe that the new 247 Cherry is “smaller” in scope at 77 stories. The truth of the matter, however, is that this number only referred to the liveable residential component. In actuality, its true height is really at or above 1,000 feet, dwarfing both Extell (823 feet) and the 107-year-old Manhattan Bridge (336 feet) in one fell swoop. And it’s literally built on the backs of seniors (i.e. Two Bridges Senior Center).

Check out this architectural rendering from City Planning. The roof sits at 983 feet, but factoring in the parapet will presumably add even more height.

347cherry-rendering

Acting as conduit (i.e. a wolf in sheep’s clothes), the longtime Two Bridgeset partnership together sold a package of 500,000 square-feet of air rights to prolific developers JDS Development Group and SHoP Architects for $51 million. The plan here, as previously reported, is to demolish the small community center flanking 247 Cherry and construct this 1,000-foot cantilevering beast over the top of the existing senior housing building. It’ll be composed of 600 rentals, approximately 150 of which earmarked as “permanently affordable” (25% of the total). JDS also committed to creating a 4,600 square-foot community facility within 247 Cherry.

Neighbors claim that they will see little benefit from this building, especially 82 Rutgers, whose air rights were transferred as part of the project. There is pretty much no trust between TBNC and their tenants. Until a couple months ago, there hadn’t been a tenant meeting in years. And when it finally happened, the leadership was bashed into submission. Two Bridges President Victor Papa was, and still is, singled out as being crooked, and lining his own pockets. Indeed, tenants simply don’t understand how this monstrosity could benefit the overall community, as its mere presence is a destructive force. No one – except maybe developers – wants this area to become “another Battery Park.”

jds-shop-towery-cherry

Meanwhile, Little Cherry Development, LLC previously laid claim to part of the land, having agreed to purchase the parcel, known as 235-247 Cherry, from Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund for $4 million. The organizations balked, and Schoenberg leveled a $50 million lawsuit for breach of contract. That lawsuit is making its way toward settlement as we speak. It’s conceivable that the developers will cover the settlement monies. Once leases expire on the former pharmacy box – Extell holds half the space until 2044, and Schoenberg has the other half – the thought is to build more retail at the base.

Recent Stories

Early ’00s LES Rock History ‘Meet Me in the Bathroom’ will be Adapted into Docu-series

You may have seen this… New York’s beloved gritty indie musc scene circa 2000s is getting a second life, through a four-hour docu-series. That’s right, the resurgence is a visual retelling based on Lizzy Goodman’s 600-page oral history called Meet Me in the Bathroom: Rebirth and Rock & Roll in NYC 2001-2011. The documentary will […]

Anti-Gun Mural Painted on Hester Street

Shots fired. Muralist Otto Schade is throwing shade at gun control with this powerful new piece on Hester Street, just east of the Bowery. It was painted last week. The liberty eagle’s wingspan runs the length of the brick wall, and is composed solely of weaponry. Machine guns and knives. And the bird is clutching […]

‘Tang’s Noodle’ Joins the Leon Hotel on Canal Street

Chinatown has another noodle shop to its name. Coming soon to the four-year-old Leon Hotel is Tang’s Noodle. If the signage is to be believed, this is the first stateside restaurant for the import. Build-out of the small ten-table establishment had been underway since summertime. And it’s not to be confused with the new hotpot […]

Construction Resumes at East Broadway Modular Development Site After Collapsed Sidewalk

The modular housing construction on East Broadway reactivated in a big way last week after its second sidelining since summertime. Pile driver and backhoe are stationed onsite. The project parcel at 201 East Broadway has been relatively silent for much of the last six months. Twice in that time, progress was stymied thanks to safety […]

City Council Passes Bill for Increased ‘Urban Renewal’ Transparency

Earlier this week, City Council unanimously voted to pass legislation that would require the City to provide public access to urban renewal plans, which have been changing the real estate landscape of New York City for decades. Intro 1533-A, sponsored by Councilwoman Margaret Chin, would require the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to […]