EDC releases wish list for Seward Park project

Plans to include 1,000 housing units, relocation of Essex Street Market
January 09, 2013 01:30PM

New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued a request for proposals to develop 1.65 million square feet of mixed-use real estate on the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. The RFP calls for 1,000 units of housing — half of them affordable — as well as commercial and community space, and a new and expanded Essex Street Market.

The Lower East Side development is expected to create 1,000 permanent jobs and 5,000 construction jobs.

“The release of this RFP is the culmination of an unprecedented community planning process,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. We look forward to receiving a robust set of proposals that will ultimately reintegrate these sites back into this vital community.”

Speaking about the affordable housing stipulation, HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua said that it represented an “an opportunity for the area’s residents and working-class New Yorkers to continue to grow with the neighborhood, to help define its character, and add to its stability.”

In addition, the plans for the project, which were unanimously approved in October, call for a 60-40 mix of housing and commercial space, reserves land for a potential new school, and expands and relocates the Essex Street Market to the southeast corner of Delancey Street and Essex Street. In December, the developers of the nearby Low Line underground park sought to tie their project to the Seward Park development, but the EDC said it would not be able to accommodate their request as the Low Line land is owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.  – Hiten Samtani