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.

Recent Stories

Cajun Quietly Comes to Hell Square with ‘Parish NYC’

Out of nowhere, this new Cajun spot for Hell Square. Parish debuted last month at 146 Orchard Street. The arrival of Parish (the word for “county” in Louisiana) comes on the heels of Butcher Bar, the Astoria-based barbecue bar that shuttered back in September after little more than a year. According to its mission statement […]

NYC Half Marathon Foists Thousands of Runners onto the Lower East Side Next Month

On your mark, get set … for thousands of marathoners on the proverbial doorstep. The New York City Half Marathon is less than a month out, and for the second year running, the Lower East Side is in the crosshairs. The race route shifted last year to include spanning the Manhattan Bridge, Canal Street, and […]

Bowery Demolition Site Hits Market for $26M

One year ago, side-by-side three-story tenements comprising 139-141 Bowery were quickly demolished. The narrative at the time was that of a mixed-use replacement tower to rise in its place. Instead, it’s been crickets for much of the interim. Now, the double-wide property – measuring 50-by-100 feet – is on the chopping block for a hefty […]

Did You Spend $22 at Tower Records on Valentine’s Day 1985?

Here’s a fun find. Local music ephemera from 1985. Bowery Boogie contributor Robert Carmona discovered this pristine receipt from Tower Records while working a residential construction job on East 3rd Street. Date of the archaic transaction is Valentine’s Day 1985, most likely at the store nearby on East 4th Street (RIP 2006). One item was […]

Lesbian Shopkeepers on Orchard Street Win Empire State Building’s Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest

Love is in the air! One Lower East Side couple will have their heads in the clouds this Valentine’s Day. Literally. Co-owners of home design store, Coming Soon on Orchard Street, Fabiana Faria and Helena Barquet were one of two couples to win the Empire State Building’s 25th annual “Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest.” Their 15-minute […]