The Real Deal New York

Lack of 421a leads to bonafide changes at Essex Crossing

Site 8, originally slated for 80/20 condo project, now set aside for low-income senior housing
By Konrad Putzier | February 28, 2017 04:15PM

From left: Taconic’s Charles Bendit, a rendering of Essex Crossing on the Lower East Side, and L+M’s Ron Moelis

There are changes afoot at the Lower East Side megadevelopment Essex Crossing, in large part because of the dormant 421a program.

Site 8, which currently houses part of the Essex Street Market, was originally envisioned as a condo project with 80 percent of the units priced at market rates. But the developers are unable to tap into the expired tax abatement program 421a, so they’ve changed strategies, earmarking studio apartments for low-income seniors there instead.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation on Tuesday filed plans for a 93-unit, 56,285-square-foot building at 130 1/2 Essex Street, according to records. The change to set aside the units for low-income senior housing allows the developers to build 10,000 additional square feet at the site.

The change was part of a broader overhaul of the plans for $1.5 billion mixed-use project, increasing the number of affordable units across the project by 61, the Lo-Down reported. It does, however, mean that there will be fewer affordable condo units and affordable units set aside for larger families.

According to the Lo-Down, the developers — a consortium between L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners and BFC Partners — made the changes to ensure the project stays on track while politicians debate a replacement for 421a, which expired last year.

The development at Site 8 is part of the second phase of the megaproject. The first phase, which includes four new buildings and Market Line, a 150,000-square-foot marketplace connecting the buildings to the Essex Street market, is slated to open next year. The Essex Street market is also set to move to a new location.