A six-acre parcel on the Lower East Side of New York City, vacant since tenements were torn down in 1967, will be the site of the new Essex Crossing mixed-use development. The product of a compromise between Mayor Michael Bloomberg and various interested community groups, the complex will include ~1,000 apartments, giving priority placement to some of the families who lost their homes in the demolition decades ago. Also on tap for the site, which is also known as the Seward Park urban renewal area, are retailing, offices, a movie theater, parks, and a museum showcasing the work of Andy Warhol.
The plan for the area is a joint effort of SHoP Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle. Developers L&M Development, BFC Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, and Grand Street Settlement will pay the city $180 million. The plan calls for half affordable and half market-rate housing units, representing a pullback in the position of some community groups who have long demanded that all housing on the site should be devoted to low-income residents. Concerns about uncontrolled gentrification have been amplified by the construction of the nearby Blue Building, a 17-story high-end condo project built in 2007.
A tentative timeline calls for the first Essex Crossing buildings to be started within 18 months.