Judge Rules in Favor of Community Lawsuit to Halt Two Bridges Towers

Posted on: February 25th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

The future coastline, Photo: SHoP Architects

A state Supreme Court judge yesterday ruled in favor of a year-old community lawsuit to halt the planned development of three luxury towers in Two Bridges.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over the case brought by the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors coalition, found that the slate of skyscrapers is in direct contradiction to the underlying Two Bridges Large Scale Residential Development zoning. In order to proceed, both City Planning Commission and the developers would have to contradict prior claims that there would be no impact to the surrounding environment.

This ruling is separate and apart from the City Council judgment last year, which forced the developers to follow the public land-use review process (ULURP).

“This is an amazing victory and it comes on the tails of victories across the city,” said plaintiff Tony Quey Lin in a statement. “From the Harlem rezoning to the tower planned to shadow the Brooklyn Botanical Garden, the people are taking the City to court, and we are winning. Just a month ago we delivered 5,000 signatures to our elected officials to stop the towers and pass the full Chinatown Working Group Rezoning Plan. Today we will celebrate, and tomorrow we will get back to work.”

As previously reported, JDS and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council proposed to erect a 1,008-foot rental building that cantilevers over a senior center, designed by SHoP Architects (247 Cherry Street); L+M and CIM proposed a 798 and 728-foot tower beast in the parking lot behind Lands End II, designed by Handel Architects (260 South Street); and Starrett planned a 724-foot tower, designed by Perkins Eastman (259 Clinton Street).

A spokesperson for the defeated developers stated – “We of course disagree with the court’s ruling, as these projects were lawfully approved, met all legal requirements, and are in compliance with zoning that’s been in place for more than 30 years. Together, they will deliver one of the largest single infusions of new affordable housing to Manhattan in decades, at a time when the creation of all types of housing is critical to slowing rent growth citywide. The projects were proposed after years of community consultation and environmental analysis, and would include investments of $40 million in upgrades to the East Broadway subway station that will make it ADA-accessible for the first time, $12.5 million in essential repairs to the nearby NYCHA complex and $15 million in upgrades to three public parks in the neighborhood.

We will appeal this decision in the near future.”

Recent Stories

The Ten Bells Rings in New Bushwick Bar

The Ten Bells is ringing in a new outpost – this time, not on the Lower East Side, but in Brooklyn. Bushwick, specifically. The natural wine bar has taken over a space that previously housed a Breaking Bad-themed coffee shop, Walter’s Coffee Roastery. The OG at 247 Broome Street is still alive and kicking, though […]

Graffiti Sheathed Burger King on Delancey Street Burns Out

Call it a BK bust. The Burger King on Delancey Street is no longer open. Enveloped in graffiti and plywood boards for the majority of the pandemic (owing thanks to a car that landed inside the restaurant) the fast food joint had nevertheless persisted. Rather than scrub the storefront, the franchisee took a page from […]

City Turbo Charges Essex Street Municipal Garage with Electric Car Stations

The municipal parking garage on Essex Street is charged up for a new future. That of electric vehicles. Last week, the Department of Transportation unveiled four new fast-charging stations in the carpark. The addition on the Lower East Side is the first in a rollout across the city for the technology, which provides an 80-percent […]

Bay Area Export ‘Beloved Cafe’ Aims to Serve by Month End on Allen Street

The Lower East Side will soon be flowing with golden milk. Beloved Cafe – a San Francisco-based vegan eatery and juice bar – is headed to 196 Allen Street. As previously reported, the new location is the first expansion for the company beyond its Bay Area environs. Ownership promises that the new cafe is to […]

Economy Candy Rebounds with New Store Layout

Economy Candy officially returned from the pandemic sidelines with a block party and fresh store layout. The celebration involved the Big Gay Ice Cream truck outside 108 Rivington Street, and Gotham chocolates parked inside doling free samples. In the remodel, the store did not lose any of its old-school-warehouse-meets-Willy-Wonka charm. And it’s now substantially easier […]