Elizabeth Street Garden will be Bulldozed and Redeveloped by Penrose Development

Posted on: December 8th, 2017 at 8:39 am by

Now that election season is over, there is finally movement toward the controversial destruction and redevelopment of the Elizabeth Street Garden. The city will apparently announce today that it’s chosen the developer to carry out this task.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development awarded the contract for the seven-story project to Penrose Development.

The proposed building will rise seven stories and carry 121 permanently affordable apartments. And as if to throw a bone to aggrieved locals, the plan also calls for 7,600 square-feet of garden space.

Meanwhile, an urgent clarion call for protest was sent to Garden supporters early this morning. Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden are holding a press conference outside City Hall on Monday at 1pm. Here is the text from the media advisory:

Do not be fooled by pretty architectural renderings. Pennrose’s development plan would destroy the Garden as it is today.

Building shadows would eliminate the sunlight that currently floods the Garden. The development would destroy the park, large trees, lawn, planting beds and public programming space and replace them with a small and heavily shaded privately owned public space on Mott Street.Yoga, movie nights, community events, children’s play space, and quiet reflection would no longer be feasible in the Pennrose Plan. A covered hallway from Elizabeth Street would serve as an amenity for a retail tenant and the public would have no access to rooftop terraces.

Mayor de Blasio and Margaret Chin have been adamant about constructing affordable housing on this spot. Maintaining all along, despite suggestions by advocates to relocate the project further westward, that the Garden site was “always meant to be affordable housing.”

Councilmember Chin slyly identified the site for affordable housing in 2012 during negotiations to close out the Essex Crossing Mega-development. It’s worth noting that since this inclusion transpired, CB2 previously held at least four public hearings on the matter, during which the overwhelming sentiment was to save the Garden and to visit an alternative affordable housing site (388 Hudson Street), where five times as much senior housing could potentially be built.

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