Lower East Side Partnership Looks to Expand its Reach by Annexing Canal Street
The recently-rebranded Lower East Side Partnership is looking to expand its boundaries by annexing new territory on the nebulous border of Chinatown. Specifically the bottom of Ludlow Street and around the corner onto Canal and Essex.
It just launched an exploratory effort to drum up local support for the push. The Partnership already set two “envisioning” events in as many weeks where locals can discuss a potential future for the block. The first is this evening, onsite from 5pm to 7pm. “Give your feedback on street crossings, parking, loading and delivery, bike lanes, curb extensions, and more through on-street activities,” a flyer boasts. The street will be closed for during the session.
In addition, the Partnership is also asking area residents to use an online design tool – created by Streetmix – to design a utopian vision for Ludlow and Canal Street.
The second such event will be held at the Tenement Museum on September 22 (6pm). No surprise there, either. Both organizations are remain opposed to a landmarked Lower East Side Historic District in this area.
In truth, the block in question is already “softening” for the Partnership to swoop in. Meaning, that mom-and-pops are giving way to squeaky-clean establishments such as the three Dimes locales, Little Canal, or the Metrograph movie theater.
You are forewarned. Just remember their influence over Orchard Street the last several years decades. What’s there now other than store after store of bars and businesses dedicated to nightlife? Not to mention the loss of a weekly pedestrian mall.
The function of the Lower East Side Partnership from the very beginning – founded in 1991 by Sion Misrahi to re-brand the area as a “bargain district” – was to prop up the neighborhood stakeholders. Landmark status for these streets below Delancey would effectively limit the take; it wouldn’t be as easy to knock down century-old tenements and/or make building modifications.