Elizabeth Street Garden Advocates Bury the Hatchet, Ramp up Opposition to Redevelopment

Posted on: June 8th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Advocates for the endangered Elizabeth Street Garden are rallying the troops for another round of battle to ward off certain redevelopment of the Little Italy lot.

But first, a truce between the warring factions of the garden.

The two nonprofit groups committed to saving the namesake green space – Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden and Elizabeth Street Garden – buried the proverbial hatchet this week to focus on coordinating legal efforts to stop an affordable housing project on the open-air parcel.

“As the City moves forward with plans to develop on the only public green space in Little Italy and SoHo, the community will take whatever necessary steps, including litigation, to preserve Elizabeth Street Garden in its entirety, for generations to come,” the joint statement reads.

Photo: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Friends has retained the legal services of Michael Gruen, President of the City Club; ESG has retained Norman Siegel of Siegel Teitelbaum & Evans, LLP.

The proposed building, as previously reported, 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. Significantly less than what’s there now. Department of Housing Preservation and Development awarded the contract to Penrose Development.

Opposition has long maintained that a site on the west side (388 Hudson Street) is better suited to affordable housing:

The City has plans to destroy the Garden for an affordable housing development, ignoring our community’s need for public green open space, tremendous local support for saving the Garden and an alternative site on a vacant city-owned lot at 388 Hudson St. — where up to five times as much senior housing and a 10,000-square-foot-park can be built without destroying treasured public green open space.  ESG and Friends recognize that these two critical city objectives should not be pitted against one another, especially when we can achieve both.

Community Board 2 will host the developer later this month (June 25) in an open forum at 32 Waverly Place.

Photo: Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Recent Stories

East Broadway Subway Station Turns 85

The East Broadway subway station wasn’t always a shady dungeon attracting crime. Once upon a time, the transit stop inspired celebrations across the Lower East Side. It was exactly eighty-five years ago – January 1, 1936 – that the East Broadway subway station debuted to the public. The feat of subterranean engineering, then known as […]

Looking at the New Ludlow House Annex Atop Demolished Libation Site

Well, that was quick. With Libation excised from the Lower East Side, the hole is now filled. Taken over by Ludlow House. The building at 137 Ludlow Street was demolished last year, and replaced in a matter of months. In fact, it’s already operational. The architecture of this one-story newcomer mirrors design elements of its […]

Stringer Promises ‘Fair Share’ of PPP for City Businesses

City Comptroller (and mayoral candidate) Scott Stringer held a press conference yesterday at the Chinatown kiosk on Canal Street, announcing a plan to funnel federal Payroll Protection (PPP) dollars to New York city businesses. It certainly triggered an uncomfortable memory of last year’s PPP fiasco. The first round of PPP went into effect just a […]

‘Open Streets’ Town Hall Yields More Questions than Answers

Tuesday night’s Town Hall on Open Restaurants and Open Streets, hosted by Community Boards 3 and 6 – left residents with more questions than answers regarding the long-term impact these pandemic-era health and economic neighborhood solutions have on a post-COVID city. However, the online meetup did bring a wide scope of information in terms of […]

Unused Half of Bowery’s Sunshine Hotel Flophouse Available to Rent

The leasing banner has been strung from the facade of 241 Bowery for more than two years. Without much success. The second and third floors (combined 8,938 square-feet) – once part of the Sunshine Hotel flophouse – are again on the market. And at a hefty price: $6,495 for a “raw” space that requires renovations […]