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Bloomberg Revives Stalled New York Mega-Project
By WPC Staff | September 19, 2013 11:01 AM ET
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg yesterday unveiled plans to build a $1.1 billion mixed-use development on six acres described as "the largest stretch of undeveloped City-owned land in Manhattan below 96th Street."
The 1.65-million-square-foot development, dubbed Essex Crossing, will feature retail space, 1,000 residential units and an Andy Warhol Museum. The plan designed by SHoP Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle will also include 15,000-square-feet of open space, 250,000 square feet of offices, a school operated by Educational Alliance, a rooftop farm, a community center and a "diverse mix" of retail space.
Essex Crossing, which combines nine city-owned lots, will become "a hub of small-business incubation, with micro-retail spaces," the press release says.
The city and an array of developers have spent decades trying to develop the site, officially known as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. Several projects have been proposed and rejected, due to disputes between community groups, the city and developers.
The current plans calls for half of the residential units will set aside as affordable housing and the existing Essex Street Market, a community staple, will relocate across Delancey Street and double in size.
The $1.1 billion to develop the site will come from Delancey Street Associates LLC, a joint venture comprised of L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners. The developers will pay the city $180 million for the site.
But the plan still might face opposition. Mr. Bloomberg is leaving office in four months, creating speculation a new mayor may try to overturn or revise the plan.
"The new mayor is going to want to put his own stamp on the project," Harold Jacob, general manager of the East River Housing Corporation, told the New York Times. "I don't believe the city produced a good plan."
The Bloomberg administration has been negotiating with developers and community groups since 2008. The development package was the result of "an unprecedented collaboration between community stakeholders, grassroots local leadership and elected officials," the mayor's office said.
Construction on the project is scheduled to begin by the spring of 2015.
"For decades, these lots have sat vacant and under-used - despite repeated attempts by various mayors to redevelop sites," the mayor said in his statement. "Now, that wait is finally over."
Video: Mayor Bloomberg Announces Project