More than 100 Speakers Lambast Two Bridges Mega-Towers at City Planning Hearing

Posted on: October 18th, 2018 at 5:04 am by

Photo: Councilwoman Margaret Chin’s office

Yesterday was a day of reckoning for the Two Bridges community on the waterfront. The City Planning Commission held the final public hearing regarding the Environmental Impact State for a trio of controversial skyscrapers along South Street.

As previously reported, three developers (JDS Development, Starrett Corp., CIM/L+M) together seek “minor modifications” to the current zoning that would allow larger constructions than permitted under the Two Bridges Large-Scale Residential Development site plan (from 1972).

It was an eight-hour day stacked with testimony, in which more than one hundred people, from local populace to elected officials, registered to speak. The hearing was at capacity with a long queue for the remaining overflow. And almost all speakers were against the towers, insisting that the three out-of-scale projects be subject to the Uniform Land Review Process.

“The idea that these immensely tall towers are ‘minor modifications’ is appalling,” Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer noted. “These developments will have a negative impact and drastically and permanently alter the neighborhood.”

“The three proposed projects will deliver approximately 700 much-needed units of permanently affordable housing, representing one of the largest infusions of affordable housing in Manhattan in decades and a critical addition amid the ongoing housing crisis,” a statement excerpt from the developers read. “At the same time, the proposed developments include investments that will provide genuine and lasting benefits for current residents of the neighborhood.”

(The latter refers to improvements that include revamping the decaying East Broadway subway station, upgrades to Coleman, Captain Jacob Joseph, and Little Flower Playgrounds worth $15 million, and various streetscape improvements.)

The City Planning Commission did not schedule a date for vote, but will likely make its final determination within thirty days. In the meantime, the public has until October 29 to submit written testimony to the Commission regarding the waterfront development.

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