Lower East Side (PIX11) – The Lower East Side is about to get a dramatic face lift. A massive development is set to sprout where tenements once stood.
The location is Delancy Street near Essex where the city cleared nine lots of low rise tenement buildings back in 1967. Elizabeth Muscarelli lived in the neighborhood when she was a little girl and told PIX11, “There were buildings on the land and also a police station and they moved it. Now its all together different.”
The plan back then was to build affordable housing on the plot which is now the largest available chunk of land in Manhattan below 96th Street. Officials wanted to revitalize the neighborhood. But the housing was never built and there has been a lot of tension over what would happen on the land, something they have been haggling over for almost 50 years.
Now after five years of negotiating, planning and compromising involving the community, the city and developers they have an agreement. Plans call for a $1.1 billion development featuring an urban farm and an Andy Warhol museum and 1.65 million square feet of commercial and residential space. The complex will include 1000 apartments and half of them will be permanent affordable housing.
The project will be built by Taconic Investment Partners, L and M Development Partners and BFC Partners. “I think it’s good because people can use apartments as long as it’s affordable for people who are middle class and not too expensive for them,” Elizabeth told us, adding, “I’m very surprised they are building it up finally.”
The plan is to break ground over the next 18 months and complete the project within seven years.