Chinatown

Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

Rendering: SHoP Architects

Three projects that include the construction of four towers and the creation of nearly 3,000 housing units in Two Bridges meet all zoning requirements and can move forward without City Council approval, an appeals court ruled Thursday. The Appellate Division of State Supreme Court reversed a lower court’s ruling that had stopped the Manhattan megaproject from going ahead.

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Chinatown, Design, Restaurants

All photos courtesy of Emily Andrews for Rockwell Group

Chinatown’s Mott Street got a colorful upgrade on Wednesday with a block-long outdoor installation designed by architect David Rockwell. His firm, Rockwell Group, launched DineOut NYC earlier this summer to help New York City restaurants safely open outside by providing design templates for creative ways to use sidewalk and street space. Mott Street, now closed to cars between Mosco and Worth Streets, serves as the program’s first community-wide dining area, with multiple restaurants on the strip using the facilities.

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Chinatown, Restaurants

Photo by josh s jackson via Flickr cc

NYC’s largest Chinese restaurant, Jing Fong, has temporarily shut its doors at 20 Elizabeth Street amid the coronavirus health crisis. The situation is two-fold for the iconic dim sum restaurant; not only is business down 30 to 40 percent, according to the Post, but since the restaurant has 800 seats, they fall under Governor Cuomo’s order that gatherings of 500 or more be shut down. The effect of the pandemic has been especially hard for restaurants in Manhattan’s Chinatown, as well as those Chinatowns in Flushing and Sunset Park.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron upheld an August 2019 ruling that four towers planned for the Lower East Side Two Bridges development cannot move forward. The judge’s decision invalidates the City Planning Commission’s 2018 approval of the towers on the grounds that City Council authority regarding the land-use review process was illegally bypassed and that the controversial skyscrapers must go through the city’s full application process. The ruling prevents the Department of Buildings from issuing permits until the multi-billion dollar project has the proper approvals. The decision represents a rare victory for those opposed to the skyscrapers, including the City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and several Lower East Side and Chinatown community groups.

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Chinatown, Restaurants, Tribeca

Rendering courtesy of Mercato Fabbrica

Plans to bring an Italian market to the First National City Bank building at 415 Broadway (or 296 Canal Street) have just been announced. The narrow block between Lispenard and Canal Streets once housed the largest commercial bank in the world and is known for its Art Moderne facade. The 35,000-square-foot interior will be transformed into Mercato Fabbrica, a “culinary destination inspired by the great markets, department stores and social clubs around the world.” The idea has been in the works since 2018 and is slated to open later this year.

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Chinatown, Museums

70 Mulberry Street, Map data © 2020 Google

The Museum of Chinese in America has launched an online fundraiser after a fire likely destroyed most of its extensive archive. Last Thursday night, a fire broke out at 70 Mulberry Street in Chinatown, in a building that housed a number of nonprofits, including about 85,000 irreplaceable items from the museum’s collection. According to the New York Times, priceless artifacts like traditional wedding dresses from the early 1900s and documents from 1883 about the Chinese Exclusion Act are thought to be among items lost.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

A recent ruling by a panel of state appellate judges may add more delays–at the very least–to the rise of JDS Development Group’s proposed addition to the multi-tower Two Bridges development on the Lower East Side/Chinatown waterfront, The City reports. The ruling states that the property’s long-term leaseholder, Little Cherry LLC, which has 25 years left on their lease at the currently-vacant 235 Cherry Street, must have a say in how the property’s development rights are used. The developer plans to stack a 1,000-foot, 100-story waterfront apartment tower on top of and cantilevered over the Two Bridges Senior Apartments and one-story retail space–and they need the Cherry Street property’s development rights to move forward.

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, New Developments, Policy

two bridges

Rendering: Handel Architects.

State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron has extended a temporary halt on the Two Bridges high-rise development after hearing testimony on several lawsuits aimed at the controversial project in the Lower East Side and Chinatown, Gothamist reports. As 6sqft previously reported, several groups of Lower East Side residents and other community organizations filed a lawsuit against the city to stop four skyscrapers from rising in the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. The lawsuits accuse the city of illegally approving the multi-billion dollar project, claiming the City Planning Commission bypassed City Council authority regarding the land-use review process and that one of the towers violates a 32-year-old deed restriction that ensures housing for low-income residents with disabilities and the elderly.

‘An 800-pound gorilla’

Chinatown, Lower East Side

two bridges

Rendering via Handel Architects

A group of Lower East Side residents on Friday filed a lawsuit against New York City to stop three luxury developments planned for Two Bridges. The residents, who are being represented by the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors (LESON) and the Asian-American Legal Defense Fund, argue the new skyscrapers violate zoning rules meant to protect against out-of-scale development (h/t Bowery Boogie).

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Chinatown, Lower East Side, Major Developments, Policy

two bridges, nyc development, handel architects

Via Handel Architects

During a City Planning Commission hearing on Wednesday, local residents and officials of the Two Bridges community voiced their strong opposition to four towers planned for the Lower Manhattan neighborhood. Those who testified against the buildings questioned the developer’s draft environmental impact study (DEIS), which found the projects would not cause displacement, amNY reported. Developers also announced measures to mitigate the potential adverse effects on the neighborhood, which include upgrading the F train station at East Broadway, improving public parks, and implementing flood protection measures.

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Archtober2020