Getting Acquainted with the Wall of Glass on the LES Waterfront

Posted on: February 16th, 2017 at 5:00 am by

The new Lower East Side waterfront

The new Lower East Side waterfront

Two of three waterfront developers offered an informational session last night regarding the wall of glass planned for the coastline. Starrett Development and L+M Development/CIM Group respectively presented highlights of 259 Clinton Street and 260 South Street to the Land Use subcommittee of Community Board 3. There was a subtle feeling of defeat detectable in the air, though. Of knowing that nothing will derail this gravy train.

If only we had a dollar for every time the word “affordable” was uttered during the dual presentations, we’d be able to make rent. Hyperbole, to be fair, yet such was the case throughout the evening. Both supertall skyscrapers were pitched through the lens of “affordability.” Both developers committed to earmarking 25% of overall apartments as affordable housing.

The ultimate takeaway is that the developers are in the opening stages of the preliminary phase; they didn’t want the public to forget that. With that said, here are some nuts and bolts…

259 clinton st. #1

259 Clinton Street, 724 Feet/62 Stories

  • They build projects “with the community not within the community.”
  • 750 units, with roughly 187 earmarked (25%) as “permanently affordable.”
  • There will be 14 units per floor; no basement.
  • Retail will face South Street.
  • Built above flood plain. Landscaping will increase resilience, and is “similar to the High Line.”
  • Ground-break in 2018; completion in 2021.


260 South Street, 798 Feet/69 Stories

  • To be built on the current parking lot for the Lands End II complex.
  • Two towers – one rising 798 feet, the other 728 feet – will sit atop a podium.
  • 1,350 units, with roughly 338 earmarked (25%) as “permanently affordable.”
  • Coupled with the renewal of Section 8 commitments in Lands End II, the block will house 45% of the housing on the block will be affordable.
  • There will be landscaping in the new courtyard created by the three buildings. 
  • Two retail pavilions proposed for Cherry Street front.

Number of apartments projected is constrained by whether the 421-a tax abatement program is revived.

Next steps are related to the environmental studies (EIS) which remain on track for a final scoping session in the fall, despite community opposition and push for pause to engage in more community discussion.

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