The City Doesn’t Care About a Wall of Glass to Blight the LES Waterfront
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Be very afraid … but not surprised. The city certainly doesn’t care about the inevitable wall of glass to rise on the Lower East Side waterfront.
Word came down the pike last week that the City Planning Commission denied the community’s desperate request for a land review procedure (aka “ULURP”) with regard to three large-scale developments in the area. Much needed in these parts as the carpet-bagging has run rampant. It didn’t really matter that the proposal was further championed by several elected officials including Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Daniel Squadron, and Councilwoman Margaret Chin.
Without this formal process, neighborhood input on the project is pretty much non-existent. Usually the process would involve several layers of critiquing from the Community Board, Borough Board, City Council, and then the mayor before final approval. Yet without the added scrutiny, developers can essentially just do what they want. Worse, there is no requirement to include any affordable housing in these pillaging monuments of greed.
So, you should expect to see a large influx of towering skyscrapers; a wall of luxury glass in the backyard of low income. Developments like Extell’s One Manhattan Square (850+ feet), the potential JDS/SHoP Architects tower (1,000+ feet), the 66-story building on the Lands End II parking lot, and the 60-story Starrett project at Clinton and South Streets.