Elizabeth Street Garden Advocates Outline Alternate Future, Lawyer Up
The Department of Housing Preservation and Development awarded the contract last month 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.
Nevertheless, the Elizabeth Street Garden nonprofit (not to be confused with the splinter Friends of ESG) further confirmed the commitment to “protect & preserve the space in a way that allows the unique qualities, statuary, and architectural aspects to remain, while providing the large amount of public open green space and free programming that our community desperately needs.” To that end, they’ve announced the legal retainment of Norman Siegel to stymie city efforts to redevelop the land.
The nonprofit yesterday also unveiled illustrations of a potential future for the Little Italy greenspace. A so-called sustainable future.
“ESG urges Mayor Bill de Blasio and Councilmember Margaret Chin to rescind the RFP, save Elizabeth Street Garden and build the proposed affordable housing plan on the alternative site designated by Community Board 2 and the community,” Reiver noted in a media advisory. “Thousands of community members and many elected officials — 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 — support saving Elizabeth Street Garden.”