That GreenStreets Pedestrian Plaza Outside Punjabi Deli & Grocery Won’t be Ready Until October 2016

Posted on: January 13th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The clusterfuck that is the East Houston Street reconstruction project is a pounding migraine that refuses to abate. Residents in the vicinity have, for years, contended with excess noise, street dust, and traffic bottleneck. But for the Punjabi Deli & Grocery, it’s had a negative effect on customers and bottom line alike.

Three months after presenting updates regarding ongoing infrastructural project, the contractor’s liaison Paul Kidder returned to Community Board 3 last night, but also dragged along the spokesmen from DDC, Con Edison, and Verizon for more detailed info. Unfortunately, the operative word of the night was – unsurprisingly – delay. Not only is the project delayed three years, but the September 2016 completion date previously provided was stretched again by another month. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s easily the third revised end date in recent memory. Blame more of the “utility interference” that contractors encounter each time the roadway is torn asunder (i.e. encountering issues with different agency wiring that needs attention).

This image has been archived or removed.

As previously reported, the GreenStreets pedestrian plaza outside Punjabi Deli (once part of East First Street) is complete. Yet the city agencies refuse to remove the staging area there, and make good on the promise to finally plant greenery and park benches. The excuse given was that the project wouldn’t be finished until October 2016 (one month past initial delayed end date), and they didn’t want to potentially damage the new plantings. This angered District Manager Susan Stetzer, who reminded the team that the community was promised a springtime planting, and that there’s no reason why the 100%-complete area can’t be given back to the public.

The multimillion-dollar capital works project began on the west side of Manhattan over a decade ago and reached the Bowery around June 2010. This was the start of Phase II, initially slated to last three years. Not surprisingly, the estimate was twice revised – first to December 2015, and most recently to September 2016

The project has gotten so out of hand that even now City Hall is finally paying attention. Each of the representatives present last night was summoned and given the directive to expedite.

This image has been archived or removed.

Other updates:

  • Some of the road restoration should commence by springtime – paving roadbed, establishing medians, and planting the beds. (Before GreenStreets??)
  • Con Edison is responsible for ripping up the roadway at First Avenue to upgrade the 30″ gas mains. They’re taking advantage of the open project, but won’t finish until the end of next month. DDC can’t continue until the utility completes its job.
  • You may have noticed that the Second Avenue intersection was also excavated to install more piping. That’s delayed due to the utility interference.
  • Member David Crane voiced concern over whether the plumbing of these planting beds (i.e. “concrete bathtubs”) will still drain the water. There is worry that overflows would flood the business that are below grade.
  • The community is sick of being held hostage by multiple staging areas clogging up the nearby blocks. The DDC was supposed to have addressed the situation back in October, but obviously didn’t.
  • The M15 and M21 bus stop east of Chrystie Street won’t return until the construction period concludes next October. The concrete roadbed, curb, and sidewalk must first be rebuilt.

Community Board 3 ultimately voted and carried a resolution that memorialized the concerns.

Recent Stories

Get Sauced: New ‘Sauce Pizzeria’ Opens this Friday on Rivington Street

From the crumbs of cupcakes rises another – it’s the dawn of a new dough. Indeed, slice slinging Sauce is ready to debut on the Lower East Side, and its adding some new square options to its culinary repertoire. As previously reported, four months after opening a standalone pizza parlor in the East Village, Sauce […]

Argument Leads to Face Slashing at ‘Remedy Diner’

An argument inside Remedy Diner on East Houston Street late last week turned violent when one of the patrons slashed the other across the face. Police say that two men – apparently strangers – were fighting at 4:00am Friday morning. The suspect slashed his 32-year-old victim then took off. Paramedics later transferred the man to […]

‘Tonic Tapes’ Revisits Band Demos from Music Venue

The once-beloved Tonic celebrates its death date this spring, marking twelve years since its demise at the hand of gentrification. Priced out, the music venue closed forever on April 13, 2007 after a performance by John Zorn. (It was Friday the 13th that year.) Being sandwiched between two luxury condo developments – Blue and the […]

Highline Ballroom Loses Lease and will Close Next Month

The Highline Ballroom will close next month after twelve years in the shadow of its namesake elevated park. News of its closure started bubbling up late last week. However, official confirmation from the venue arrived Saturday afternoon. Highline Ballroom will indeed close, as the landlord “decided not to” renew the lease. “For over a year, […]

CB2 Holds Final Hearing Tonight on Haven Green’s Controversial Plans for Elizabeth Street Garden

While Community Board 2 won’t produce a final resolution on the redevelopment of Elizabeth Street Garden until a full-board meeting scheduled for January 24, tonight’s “big meeting” before the Elizabeth Street Garden Working Group committee will offer the community its best chance to weigh in on the controversial Haven Green affordable housing project. This time, CB2 […]