Lowline could boost prices, revenues on the LES

December 26, 2012 08:30AM

The Lowline, an underground park proposed in a long-abandoned trolley terminal under Delancey Street on the Lower East Side, could raise land values by between $10 million and $20 million and generate between $5 million and $10 million in sales, hotel and real-estate taxes over 30 years based on a net-present-value basis, according to a economic-impact summary written by the park’s champions Dan Barasch and James Ramsey, the Wall Street Journal reported.

In January the city will begin seeing proposals from developers wanting to build residential and commercial space as part of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, or SPURA, near Delancey and Grand streets. The backers of the Low Line are banking that the flood of money set to flow into the neighborhood will help make their unique vision a reality, especially if the city, MTA and builders see the park as a boon for development.

The Lowline’s backers are attempting to raise $55 million, estimating that the actual cost will range between $44 million and $72 million, including donations, and between $7 million and $14 million in tax credits. Operating costs are estimated to run between $2 million and $4 million.

But according to Bob Zuckerman, executive director at the Lower East Side Business Improvement District, the park is still anything but certain. “There’s a schism,” Zuckerman said, “between ‘Can it happen?’ and ‘Will it happen?'” [WSJ]Christopher Cameron