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.”

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