More Drilling on Forsyth Street Ahead of Proposed Subway ‘Ventilation Plant’

Posted on: September 11th, 2018 at 5:00 am by

Another Davey Drill was spotted on Forsyth Street last week (above Delancey), but as before, it’s not related to the controversial Rivington House condo conversion. But rather, an infrastructure project by the MTA.

Indeed, the transit agency remains committed, despite prior community opposition, to constructing a new subway ventilation plant beneath Forsyth Street. Installing this machinery was deemed “a critical life safety project” since the operating M line equipment was built in 1962 and is “too small and one-directional to be useful anymore.”

However, the MTA struck a chord of controversy in October 2016, as it was revealed that the project could ostensibly take a bite out of M’Finda Kalunga Garden, an historic African American burial ground. (The land served as the City’s second African American burial ground between 1794 and 1853.) Specifically, the area housing the hen coop and turtle pond (southeast corner). There was also growing concern that, while the project is in early stages of development, there is little communication with the community about plans and intent. Indeed, the Sara D. Roosevelt environs was completely caught off guard. Neighbors understood the situation based on rumors, and later confirmed by Community Board 3, but not presented by the MTA itself.

At the time the story first broke, MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz was in damage control, and assured the neighborhood that there will be “absolutely minimal or virtually no impact on: the area presently occupied and used by the Park, the existing Park fencing along the Forsyth Street, the existing Pond located within the Park that has fish and turtles, the entrance to the Park including public access, the Ecology and the Environment.”

Neighbors simultaneously worried that the city agency would keep the project “hidden” from view. And they have a point, as conversations with the community did not happen.

Now, they finally are. The city will officially discuss its plans next week with the Transportation subcommittee of Community Board 3 (September 17).

Recent Stories

Are We Really the Fairest Big City with a Mayor for the 1%? [Op-Ed]

The following editorial was written by David Tieu on behalf of Youth Against Displacement, a group formed by youth across the City who aim to stand up against the Mayor’s pro-developer agenda and protect our communities from displacement. Last week, New Yorkers were greeted with two new proposals from the de Blasio administration: a “municipal […]

‘The Forward’ Ceases Print Publication After 121 Years

The Forward will do so without its print edition. The 121-year-old Jewish-American publication, founded as the Yiddish language Jewish Daily Forward on the Lower East Side in 1897, suspended print operations this week and will refocus efforts toward its online verticals. As a result, forty percent of the staff was reportedly laid off, including editor-in-chief […]

RIP Lower East Side Man in White, ‘Jimmy Blanco’

It’s a sad day for the Lower East Side. Jimmy Becker, known colloquially as “Jimmy Blanco” for perennially roaming the streets dressed in all white, passed away this week after a battle with Lymphoma. It’s believed he was about 69 or 70. Apparently, a neighbor in his building called EMS a couple weeks ago after […]

Tictail Brick-and-Mortar Market on Orchard Street Goes Under

Tictail officially closed down its Lower East Side market last month. The former shop at 90 Orchard Street is now a vacancy with the token farewell letter on the door. This retail surrender follows just a short while after the Swedish startup’s high-profile acquisition by Shopify. As for what’s next, expect nightlife of some sort. […]

More on ‘Gouie New York’ Sake Bar at the Market Line

The team behind Itzakaya, Davelle, and Samurice is multiplying again on the Lower East Side. More specifically, joining the ever-swelling roster of the Market Line concourse at Essex Crossing. As previously reported, the entity is to be a Japanese sake bar called Gouie New York. And now we have some additional details, including sample menu […]