Draft Environmental Review Doesn’t Take into Account Effects of 3 LES Waterfront Super-Talls, CB3 Says

Posted on: April 21st, 2017 at 5:00 am by
The new Lower East Side waterfront

The new Lower East Side waterfront

The Department of City Planning this month issued its initial review of the overall impact that three mega-developments on the Lower East Side waterfront – composed of 2,700 rentals and condos – will have on the surrounding community. The Land-Use subcommittee of Community Board 3 met this week to discuss the city’s assessment of the situation, and it went over exactly how you’d think.

All at once, JDS Development (1,000 feet), Starrett Corp. (724 feet), and CIM/L+M (800-feet) are planning as-of-right super-talls in the backyard of a low-income neighborhood. The developers previously conceded – at the behest of the city – to participate in the environmental review process to help determine the area impact, resulting in a few meetings with the community over the last several months. (They didn’t always go as planned, like when angry activists filibustered the meeting in January.)

On March 17, Councilwoman Margaret Chin and Borough President Gale Brewer sent a letter to the developers urging them to delay the EIS Scoping Hearing to allow for more community input. They denied that request, but were overruled by the city two weeks later, and forced to delay the meeting by an additional month for additional outreach and to provide proper translated documents for non-English speaking residents.

Photo: JDS Development

Photo: JDS Development

The environmental review before CB3 Wednesday night was the Draft Scope of Work. Board members found that there isn’t enough consideration for how the three developments will affect public transportation (the F station at East Broadway is already over-crowded), medical facilities, overcrowding in schools, and also the effects on rent-regulated apartments in the immediate vicinity.

From Curbed:

[The Draft] dedicates a section to indirect residential displacement, but proposes to only account for how market-rate apartments will be affected by the new development. “The bottom line is that we really care about neighborhood character and affordability,” said Lisa Kaplan, a member of the Land Use Subcommittee. “I think how it’s described [in the review] of only affecting non-regulated apartments is egregious.”

The review also proposes to look into the displacement of business that’s accelerated by the new development. Tenant organizer Melanie Wong addressed the issue, noting that changes in business may also contribute to making the neighborhood less affordable. “They’re assuming that secondary displacement takes place only because the rent is too high and we all know that’s not true.”

If CB3 ratifies the subcommittee’s concerns, they’ll be incorporated into the final Environmental Impact Statement. The aforementioned public scoping meeting, the penultimate step before finalizing the review, is planned for May 25.

Environmental scoping session, January 2017

Environmental scoping session, January 2017

Recent Stories

Clayton Patterson Revisits the Pyramid Club with ‘Portraits’ Exhibit

The Pyramid Club of yesteryear is revived, albeit temporarily. Indeed, prolific photographer and activist Clayton Patterson is showcasing his documentation of an era rife with struggling artists immersed in a culturally diverse neighborhood at its peak of creativity. His photos of the scene are often considered a pioneering record of the evolution of drag in […]

CW Pencil Enterprise Reopens on Orchard Street this Friday

The so-called “purveyors of superior graphite” are readying their illustrious return to the Lower East Side. CW Pencil Enterprise just announced that the store will resume retail operations at the new Orchard Street digs this Friday. The change of scenery was owed to interior remodeling at its old Forsyth Street location. Renovations reportedly created a […]

‘Stranger Things’ Lights up Delancey Street

It’s T-minus ten days until Stranger Things returns for a second season. Last week, an intricate billboard of same appeared at the mouth of the Williamsburg Bridge on Delancey Street. Above the low-rise retail strip that houses Coco bubble tea and the endangered Happy Wok Chinese restaurant, among others. The advert includes profile cutouts of the […]

About that Bronx Zoo ‘Bootique’ on Allen Street

Allen Street has a new “Bootique” on its hands. Well, had. The Bronx Zoo spent the weekend promoting the month-long “Boo at the Zoo” Halloween festival with a pop-up experience at 91 Allen Street. The banner remains atop the textured marquee as a continuous advertisement. Temporarily at least. Boo at the Zoo runs through October […]

Construction Commences on 12-Story Luxury Rentals at Former Moscot HQ on Delancey Street

The northeast corner of Orchard and Delancey Streets is getting boxed in as we speak. Indeed, after many months of neglect – the fence itself was constantly falling down – construction is set to commence on a shiny 12-story luxury phallus. Plywood supports were installed yesterday afternoon around the sidewalk perimeter of the 86 Delancey […]