The City is About to Screw the LES Waterfront Again with this 1,000-Foot Tower

Posted on: August 26th, 2016 at 5:16 am by
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The city will screw the Lower East Side waterfront by allowing this 1,000-foot tower to proceed. Indeed, the Department of City Planning reversed course this week, and will now hear the case for this monstrosity. This despite the ongoing litigation over the contested few parcels on the backside of Extell’s One Manhattan Square. It’s certainly a busy summer down on the coastline…

JDS Development Group and SHoP Architects are trying to purchase 500,000 square-feet of development rights from nonprofits Settlement Housing Fund and the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council 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 spire-on-stilts atop 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.

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247 Cherry rendering, Note the egregious stilts and cantilever

As for the lawsuits, per Crain’s

Developers Gary Spindler and Roy Schoenberg are suing the nonprofits Settlement Housing Fund and the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, which own the Rutgers Slip site and an adjacent parcel at 235 Cherry St. Spindler and Schoenberg allege that the nonprofits reneged on an agreement to sell them 235 Cherry St. so they could instead strike a more lucrative $50 million deal to sell the air rights from the site to JDS Development. The additional air rights would allow JDS to build its 80-story residential tower, while Spindler and Schoenberg need the same air rights for their proposed roughly 300,000-square-foot mixed-use project.

With City Planning seemingly ready to roll on the application, and its decision this month to deny the community’s desperate request for a land review procedure (i.e. “ULURP”), it’s definitely not looking good. (Unless you’re a deep-pocketed developer or complicit nonprofit.) Plus, 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 ULURP and inevitable rubber stamp by Hizzoner, this glass monster is virtually unstoppable.

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