Elected Officials Come out Against Redevelopment of Elizabeth Street Garden as Senior Housing
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development awarded the contract last Friday for an affordable housing project atop the Elizabeth Street Garden. All but a death sentence for the open space.
The proposed building – developed by Penrose Development – will rise seven stories and carry 121 permanently affordable apartments for seniors. And as if to placate aggrieved locals, the plan also calls for the inclusion of 7,600 square-feet of publicly-accessible garden space. Apparently, nearby neighbors will participate in the design and development of the resultant green area.
Despite the entrenched support of both Mayor de Blasio and Councilwoman Margaret Chin, a slew of other local politicians voiced immediate opposition to the proposed development. A coalition including State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick together joined with Community Board 2 Chair Terri Cude to issue the following joint statement on the matter:
The City’s decision to build housing at Elizabeth Street Garden is both unfortunate and a great disappointment. We oppose this development proposal. Lower Manhattan needs both more affordable housing and more open space, and we reject as false the idea that we must choose between these two vital community needs. There’s no doubt we must address our City’s affordability crisis. We have all been and will remain deeply committed to that effort. But affordability cannot come at the expense of the precious open spaces in our communities. We can — and must — both build affordable housing and preserve our green spaces.
Rather than razing a much loved and much needed community asset in Elizabeth Street Garden, the City should work with Community Board 2 to select more appropriate locations that will allow for both affordable housing and preservation of the Garden.”
Meanwhile, advocacy group Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden is holding an opposition press conference outside City Hall today at 1pm.
Expect a bitter fight during the ULURP process…