Controversial Two Bridges towers get city approval despite community ambivalence

December 6, 2018

Rendering courtesy of Handel Architects.

Update 12/7/18: The City Council and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer filed a suit in the Manhattan Supreme Court “claiming city planners usurped the Council’s authority over land-use issues in approving the project,” reported The Real Deal.

The City Planning Commission gave the green light Wednesday to a controversial application filed by four developers to build three new residential towers in the Lower East Side’s Two Bridges development, which are expected to add 3,000 housing units between them, The Real Deal reports. 700 units will be affordable. The large-scale residential towers were approved in a 10-3 vote on Wednesday, after a lengthy, often acrimonious review process. The towers are comprised of JDS Development’s 1,000-unit rental tower at 247 Cherry Street, L+M Development and CIM Group’s 798-foot tower at 260 South Street; and Starrett Corporation’s 730-foot building at 259 Clinton Street.

In addition to the 700 affordable units, $4.5 billion would be invested in the neighborhood with the new developments. The developers said in a joint statement, “The three proposed projects will deliver lasting and meaningful benefits for the Two Bridges community,” in the form of repairs needed by a neighborhood NYCHA complex and the East Broadway subway station in addition to the affordable housing units, as 6sqft previously reported.

The application to build the towers has been plagued with controversy over the impact the buildings will have on the neighborhood. The projects did not require special approvals–they are being developed as-of-right, though several failed attempts were made to force them to go through the city’s land-use process. The trio of buildings were, however, subjected to an environmental study to see what could be done about possible negative effects to the community in the form of traffic congestion and school enrollment.

[Via TRD]


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