The Real Deal New York

Massive LES development finally takes step forward

May 23, 2012 02:30PM

The Lower East Side’s Community Board 3 gave its expected seal of approval to development plans for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area last night, Crain’s reported, but with one condition. The board demanded the affordable housing slated for the site, composed of five city-owned lots southeast of the corner of Delancey and Essex streets, be permanent.

The project calls for 1.65 million square feet of mixed-use development, two-fifths of which would be commercial. The remaining residential component would have 900 apartments, half of which would be affordable. But rather than remain so for 30 or 60 years as had been suggested, the community board wanted assurances that the affordable housing be permanent.

The demand represents a departure from previous calls for the entire residential component to consist of affordable housing and so the city agreed to accommodate the request.

Though the vote is just one step in what will likely be a long public review process, it marks the first advancement for a project that’s been 40 years in the making. The community also secured assurances that it would remain involved in the development process as the project passes through city bureaucracy. [Crain’s]