Lower East Side

September 19, 2019

The city wants to put a self-filtering floating swimming pool on the East River

Swimming in the East River may once again become a reality. The city's Economic Development Corporation is seeking ideas for a floating pool that would filter the water of the East River to allow for safe swimming, according to a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) released Wednesday. A similar idea was first announced in 2010 by the nonprofit +POOL, which has been working with the city for years, as THE CITY first reported. The pool would likely be built between the north side of Brooklyn Bridge and the south side of Pier 35 on the Lower East Side, according to the request.
Get the details
September 11, 2019

COLORS restaurant, founded by 9/11 survivors, to reopen on the Lower East Side

COLORS restaurant in downtown Manhattan was originally founded by employees of the Windows on the World restaurant on the 107th floor of the World Trade Center, and employed many restaurant workers who lost their jobs on the day of the terrorist attacks. COLORS closed in 2017, closing the door on an establishment that had helped survivors to thrive. Now, am New York reports, on the 18th anniversary of the attacks, that the restaurant is re-opening in October.
More good news, this way
August 26, 2019

Nine mixed-income apartments available in the LES tower that replaced old Moscot HQ

Rendering of 118 Orchard Street by Gorlin Architects; View of former Moscot HQ via Google Street View A lottery has opened for nine mixed-income units at the new residential building rising in the Lower East Side at the corner of Orchard and Delancey. The new construction at 118 Orchard Street replaced the iconic Moscot eyeglasses store that had been there for 77 years until it moved across the street. The 12-story building topped out earlier this summer and will comprise 24 apartments in total. Individuals and households earning 70 to 130 percent of the area median income are eligible to apply for the handful of one- and three-bedroom apartments, which range from $1,115 to $2,777/month.
Find out how to apply
August 8, 2019

Uncovering the stories behind downtown’s overlooked synagogues

On August 8, 2008, Village Preservation and the East Village Community Coalition (EVCC) submitted a request to the LPC to landmark a little-known but remarkable survivor– Congregation Mezritch Synagogue at 515 East 6th Street between 1st Avenue and Avenue A.  The building was the last operating “tenement synagogue” in the East Village. A young, little-known developer named Jared Kushner was planning to tear it down and replace it with condos and a new space for the tiny congregation, which had operated out of the building since 1910. The story has a (relatively) happy ending – the synagogue and much of its surroundings were landmarked in 2012, and the demolition plan was dropped. But unlike the deservedly beloved and celebrated Eldridge Street Synagogue, now a National Historic Landmark, Mezritch is one of several unique but in many cases overlooked historic synagogues still standing in and around Greenwich Village, the East Village, and the Lower East Side, which in the early 20th century contained what was by many accounts the largest Jewish community in the world. Ahead, we take a look at the history of seven of them and what makes them so unique.
Learn about the history
July 23, 2019

Mount Sinai files plans for new $600M Beth Israel facility in the East Village

Mount Sinai Health System filed an application with the Department of Health to close its current facility and redesign a $600 million Mount Sinai Beth Israel facility two blocks away, slated to open in 2023, Crains reports. The new facility and Mount Sinai's New York Eye and Ear Infirmary will share a campus. The hospital's $1 billion downtown development plans also include a $140 million behavioral health center on the Lower East Side for mental health and substance-use treatment.
Find out more
July 18, 2019

New court ruling may mean more delays for Lower East Side’s Two Bridges megaproject

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.
More details this way
July 15, 2019

City presents new design for its East Side Coastal Resiliency Project following community feedback

The city unveiled last week an updated design for its plan to protect an area stretching from the Lower East Side to East 25th Street from flooding. The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) presented on Thursday its preliminary design for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR) to Community Board 3, as Curbed NY reported. In response to concerns from residents about the closure of East River Park during the construction period, the city's updated design incorporates community suggestions, including a new amphitheater and an outdoor fitness area.
See the plan
July 8, 2019

12K/month Lower East Side loft on the Bowery features a boat-like wooden ceiling

This 2,250-square-foot loft is located at 259 Bowery, between East Houston and Stanton Streets in a 1910 building that was converted to five full-floor apartments in 2000. The Lower East Side pad stands out with a unique, wooden ceiling in the living room that looks like an inverted boat hull, luxurious finishings, hardwood floors, and 11.5-foot ceilings throughout. Renting at $12,000 a month, the unit can come unfurnished or with "most furnishing included," per the listing.
See more
June 27, 2019

Rem Koolhaas’ OMA reveals New Museum expansion on the Bowery

Renderings via OMA/Bloomimages.de The New Museum has revealed the first look at plans for its second building, designed by OMA’s Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas in collaboration with Cooper Robertson. The design replaces an existing property at 231 Bowery that the museum acquired in 2008 with a seven-story, 60,000 square-foot building that will double the museum’s exhibition space, provide a permanent home for its cultural incubator NEW INC, as well as increased public amenities and improved circulation. As 6sqft reported when the project was first announced in 2017, this will be OMA’s first public building in New York City.
All the details
June 25, 2019

MAP: Where to watch the 2019 4th of July fireworks

The talented folks behind the hotly anticipated Macy’s Fourth of July live fireworks spectacular happening next Thursday evening have provided a detailed guide to the prime Manhattan spots for watching the night sky light up. Read on to get the scoop on official viewing points–and some unofficial favorites–and use the interactive map to make sure you’re in the right place when the pyrotechnics start at the Brooklyn Bridge.
More top viewing spots
June 19, 2019

84 studios for low-income seniors up for grabs at new Essex Crossing building, from $331/month

The city launched on Wednesday an affordable housing lottery for 84 affordable studios on the Lower East Side exclusively for low-income seniors. The building at 140 Essex Street sits as part of the nine-site Essex Crossing development and contains 92 units total. Qualifying senior households earning between zero and 60 percent of the area median income can apply for the apartments, which range from $331/month to $761/month.
Find out if you qualify
June 13, 2019

The Urban Lens: Capturing the final days of the Lower East Side’s shuttered Streit’s Matzo Factory

6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Joseph O. Holmes shares his photo series of Streit's Matzo Factory, the now-shuttered LES institution. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected]. In 2015, after nearly 90 years in operation, Streit's Matzo Factory on the Lower East Side closed its doors. But before the property's new owners demolished the site to make way for luxury condos, the Streit family let photographer Joseph O. Holmes tour the space. Through photos of the four-building factory, its old-school machinery, and its workers, Joseph captured the final days of this neighborhood icon. "If I hadn't shot it, most of it would be forgotten," Joseph told 6sqft. Although Streit's closed more than four years ago and condo building 150 Rivington has since risen in its place, Joseph's poignant photos were given new life this month. The developer purchased some of the photos to hang permanently in the lobby of 150 Rivington as an ode to the building's industrial roots. Ahead, hear from Joseph about what it was like to photograph the maze-like factory and why he finds old machines so beautiful.
See inside and meet Joseph
June 13, 2019

Essex Crossing’s public park is now open on the Lower East Side

A 15,000-square-foot park—the latest component of Essex Crossing to open to the public—is now complete on the Lower East Side, right in time for summer. Designed by landscape architecture firm West 8 (best known for designing the Hills at Governors Island), the park is a welcome addition to the neighborhood, where the ambitious Essex Crossing project is still in full swing, with seven of its nine sites now open or under construction.
More details
June 6, 2019

Judge halts Two Bridges development temporarily after hearing lawsuits

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'
June 5, 2019

My 450sqft: Stamp artist and Rivington School rebel Ed Higgins shows us his LES apartment of 40 years

In 1976, with a recently earned art degree, E.F. Higgins III moved from Colorado to the Lower East Side. A small advertisement in the Village Voice led him to a rent-stabilized place on Ludlow Street for just $100 per month. Forty-three years later, Ed has never lived anywhere else. As expected, his rent has risen over the last four decades. He now pays “$500 and change” for his one-bedroom. Upon arriving in Manhattan, the Midwestern-born artist became part of an art scene that was antithetical to what was happening anywhere else. Ed was a founding member of the Rivington School, a group of anti-commercial artists who took the city’s open land as their own, creating make-shift gallery spaces and performance centers in basements and on vacant lots. A painter and printmaker by trade, Ed is a part of the mail art movement, which involves sending art through the mail via postcards, decorated objects, and original stamps. 6sqft recently toured Ed’s apartment, which is full of his own Doo Da Post stamps, mail art that was sent to him, paintings, hand-written notes, and so many tchotchkes it’s hard to discern one room from the next.
See inside and meet Ed
June 4, 2019

For $6,500/month this furnished Lower East Side two-bedroom is move-in ready for your cat too

Right across the street from Sara D. Roosevelt Park and steps away from East Houston and Bowery, this fully-furnished two-bedroom at 210 Forsyth Street offers an eclectic mix of contemporary, vintage, and rustic decor for the asking price of $6,500 a month. Available for a 12-month lease beginning on July 1st, the chic Lower East Side space doesn’t shy away from divisive design choices—there’s a bathtub in the bedroom—and even includes furnishings for cats.
Get the full tour
May 14, 2019

Essex Crossing reveals new renderings of trendy office space

If you're looking to attract top talent these days, you better have an office outfit with the amenities to lure a millennial. So it comes as no surprise that Essex Crossing developer Taconic Investment Partners has begun to market its 350,000 square feet of office space just days after the new Essex Street Market opened and a few weeks after a Regal theater opened. The office space is split evenly between two mixed-use buildings at the complex, 145 and 155 Delancey Street. According to a press release, "A worker at Essex Crossing will have direct access to one of the largest marketplaces in the world, indoor gardens, a 14-screen movie theater and four subway lines – all within one complex."
Check out more renderings here
May 14, 2019

See inside the newly-opened Essex Street Market

The latest version of the Lower East Side's beloved Essex Street Market, its name streamlined to simply Essex Market, opened Monday in its new home inside the Essex Crossing development at 88 Essex Street. It's triple the size of the original market, from which 21 vendors (yes, Shopsin's remains) have moved in, along with 18 new stalls and two full-service restaurants. The old market officially closed its doors on May 5, making this the first new public market to open in the city since 1955.
See more, this way
April 25, 2019

The Lower East Side’s forgotten Lung Block: The Italian community lost to ‘slum clearance’

In 1933, a new development rose on the Lower East Side. It was Knickerbocker Village, the first federally-funded apartment complex in the United States, and one of the first developments that would later fall under the umbrella of the city’s “Slum Clearance” program. The “slum” that Knickerbocker Village replaced wasn’t just any rundown collection of buildings – it was the notorious “Lung Block” between the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges, bounded by Cherry, Monroe, Market and Catherine Streets, which in 1903, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ernest Poole named the most congested and disease-ridden place in the city, or, perhaps, the world. But was it? “The Lung Block: A New York City Slum and its forgotten Italian Immigrant Community,” a new exhibit opening April 25th at the NYC Department of Records curated by researchers Stefano Morello and Kerri Culhane, will revisit the neighborhood and the immigrant community that called it home. With maps, journals, photos and other artifacts, the exhibit will consider the connections between health and housing, affordability and gentrification, public health and progressive reform, and architecture and the immigrant experience.
Learn more about this community
April 24, 2019

New Essex Market officially opens on the Lower East Side next month

Essex Market's new home on the ground floor of the mega-development Essex Crossing officially opens to the public on May 13. Located across the street from its nearly 80-year-old home, the market is hosting a free event on Saturday, May 18 at 88 Essex Street to celebrate, as Eater NY first reported. The market's more than 20 existing vendors will make the move across the street, to be joined by 18 new vendors and two restaurants. The old market will officially close its doors on May 5.
Find out more
April 23, 2019

Pier 35 eco-park and ‘urban beach’ is open to the public

After years of anticipation, Pier 35 on the East River waterfront is officially open (h/t Curbed). The project, designed by SHoP with Ken Smith Workshop, consists of a new eco-park and an "urban beach" anchoring the northern flank of the East River waterfront esplanade and providing much-needed public space on the waterfront. The park also functions as a habitat restoration feature: "Mussel Beach" was created to replicate the characteristics of the original East River shoreline.
See more of pier 35, this way
April 5, 2019

Sample the wares and see what’s new at NYC’s top flea and food markets

The city's local flea and food markets set up shop in springtime, bringing irresistible edibles and covetable goods to a neighborhood near you. Though dates and locations vary and favorite vendors come and go, the mighty market phenomenon keeps growing. The shop-and-nosh mecca Brooklyn Flea again changes locations (hello, WTC!), a favorite night market returns in Queens, and the Manhattan classics are back to offer more of what you didn't know you couldn't live without. Some of the best fairs are the most fleeting, and one-offs like the annual Renegade Arts and Crafts Fair are always worth the trip. The list below rounds up the city's top food and flea picks. Let the hunting and gathering begin!
Plan your market strategy
March 22, 2019

Lower East Side residents sue city to stop development of Two Bridges ‘megatowers’

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).
Learn more
March 14, 2019

Sebastian Errazuriz’s Lower East Side sculpture live streams NASA satellite footage of the Earth

When 6sqft visited designer, artist, and activist Sebastian Errazuriz in his Bronx studio last year, we noted that "nothing he does is cookie-cutter." This outside-the-box thinking is now on view for all of NYC to see in his latest public artwork titled blu Marble, a 20-foot, LED structure in a vacant Lower East Side lot that depicts live NASA satellite footage of the Earth. Located at 159 Ludlow Street, blue Marble will be on view until 14th to "inspire awareness and mindfulness in our everyday lives."
Find out more
January 22, 2019

City’s new $1.45B East River Park flood protection plan leaves community groups high and dry

Last July, Rebuild by Design, a collaborative organization formed to address the affects of climate change, released an RFP for a stewardship partner for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project (ESCR), a reconstruction of the 64-acre, 1.5-mile East River Park. The project, a flood protection system conceived in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and budgeted at $760 million, was the first of three phases in a series of self-sufficient flood zones stretching from West 57th to East 42nd Streets. In October, the Mayor's Office announced an updated $1.45 billion design that would begin in spring of 2020. 70 percent of the original design was updated, ostensibly to allow flood protection to be in place a year earlier, by summer 2023. But, as the New York Times reports, the new plan, which basically calls for burying the park beneath 8-10 feet of landfill and starting over–has left community groups who participated in the original plan feeling like they've been hung out to dry.
Find out more
January 3, 2019

Rental tower at Essex Crossing’s new foodie mecca launches leasing from $3,750/month

Leasing has officially launched at The Essex at 125 Delancey Street, the newest rental residence at the Lower East Side's Essex Crossing. Delancey Street Associates (DSA), the project's developers, announced the official launch of the building's 98 units today along with new renderings of interiors and amenity spaces within the tallest tower at the nine-site development. The 26-story Essex, designed by Handel Architects, also launched its website, which shows even more detail on the available units, which range from studios to three-bedrooms, starting at $3,750.
See more, this way