Harlem residents raise questions about East River Plaza tower

Forest City Ratner, Blumenfeld hold public hearings to discuss traffic, affordable housing issues
August 11, 2014 03:10PM

East Harlem residents are sounding off in meetings with Blumenfeld Development Group and Forest City Ratner Companies over plans to build residential towers above the East River Plaza mall.

The proposed project would add 1,000 residential units above the shopping complex situated between East 116th and 119th streets along the FDR drive. The developers announced the project last month.

Some residents voiced concern over the loss of a quiet cobblestone street ending in a cul-de-sac on East 118th Street, DNAinfo reported. They also worry that parking would be lost, increased traffic would make streets unsafe for pedestrians and too little affordable housing would be built, according to the website.

Blumenfeld and Forest City Ratner currently plan to make 25 percent of apartments affordable, slightly above the typical 80-20 percent split, the website noted. Melissa R. Burch, an executive vice president at Forest City Ratner, pointed out that the developers also intend to turn the cul-de-sac into a community plaza with space set aside for small businesses. [DNAinfo]Tom DiChristopher