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

Chinatown Art Brigade Protests Racially Insensitive ‘Poverty Porn’ at James Cohan Gallery

A controversial show at the James Cohan Gallery that’s drawn local ire in the Chinatown community was the site of an invasive protest action yesterday. The Chinatown Art Brigade, known for its nighttime projections of “Chinatown is not for sale” onto building facades, organized the rally on Grand Street in response to the racially insensitive […]

City Installs Countdown Clock at Rutgers Street M9 Bus Stop

Hark, weary commuters. There is a new piece of tech hardware at the northwest corner of East Broadway and Rutgers Street. Indeed, the city installed a new countdown clock for the downtown M9 bus stop over the weekend. The bus information is posted on both the sign and available via audio cue. This is seemingly […]

Scenes from Yesterday’s Lower East Side Pickle Day [PHOTOS]

Yesterday afternoon, mere hours after a woman was shot nearby, the Lower East Side Pickle Day took up residence along the northern third of Orchard Street. Attracting throngs of tourists to Hell Square, as is the case each year. Even the Pickle Guys’ Grand Street location was jam-packed throughout the afternoon, handling the party overflow… The […]

‘Tang Hotpot’ Unveiled on the Bowery, Opening Soon

After six months of construction, the final pieces are falling into place for Tang Hotpot. The new Szechuan restaurant at 135 Bowery recently dispensed with the sidewalk shed to reveal its unique exterior, complete with decorative door, teaser signage, and fishbowl window. Tang Hotpot is a loose spinoff of The Tang in the East Village […]

Surveillance Footage Shows Perp Fleeing on Moped After Rivington Street Shooting [VIDEO]

Surveillance video just surfaced of the perp who allegedly shot a 26-year-old woman near the Hotel on Rivington early yesterday morning. The victim reportedly exited a cab shortly after 5am when a bullet grazed her upper left shoulder. According to police, four shots were fired, and as many 9mm casings were recovered. By yesterday afternoon, crime scene tape […]