Rendering: Handel Architects.
State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron ruled on Wednesday 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, amNY reported, 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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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’
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).
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.
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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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Rendering of 247 Cherry Street via SHoP Architects
In an effort to slow construction of three residential towers in the Two Bridges neighborhood, City Council Member Margaret Chin and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer will submit an application to the Department of City Planning that forces the plan to go through the city’s land use review process. Developments at the waterfront site include a 1,000+ foot tower from JDS Development Group, a 1.1 million-square-foot development from L+M Development and CIM Group, and a 724-foot rental building from Starrett Development. According to Politico, the Manhattan pols hope the review process will encourage public scrutiny of the projects, including a demand for shorter structures.
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L to R: One Manhattan Square, 247 Cherry Street, 260 South Street, and 271-283 South Street. The image above, created by CityRealty, depicts the possible massing of the new towers; No official design has been released
When L+M Partners and CIM Group announced plans last May for two 50-story towers at 260 South Street, their project joined a growing list of controversial towers sprouting up along the Two Bridges waterfront, including Extell’s 823-foot condo One Manhattan Square, JDS and SHoP Architects’ possible 1,000+ foot rental at 247 Cherry Street, and Starret Group’s shorter rental at 275 South Street. Now, in what’s becoming a trend for the Lower East Side-meets-Chinatown ‘hood, L+M and CIM have revealed plans for their project that actually show increased heights of 69 and 62 stories, or 798 and 728 feet. As first reported by The Lo-Down, the developers plan to include up to 1,350 apartments, 338 of which will be reserved as affordable, senior housing, ground-floor retail, landscaped outdoor spaces by Mathews Nielsen, and an upgraded flood-protection system.
Renderings and more details ahead
L to R: One Manhattan Square, 247 Cherry Street, 260 South Street, and 271-283 South Street. The above image, created by CityRealty.com, depicts the possible massing of the new towers; No official design has been released
The hotly contested Two Bridges neighborhood–the area along the East River, near the footings of the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges where the Lower East Side meets Chinatown–has been making headlines nearly every week, whether it be for a new supertall tower or local residents’ opposition to what they feel is out-of-scale development for the mostly low-rise and low-income neighborhood.
Just yesterday, The Lo-Down obtained information through a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request that reveals preliminary plans for two more residential projects that together “would add more than 2,100 residential units and 1.7 million square feet” to the area. A building at 271-283 South Street may rise 60 stories, while another at 260 South Street could reach 66 stories. To put into perspective just how much this planned and under-construction new development will alter the LES skyline, CityRealty.com has put together this Google Earth rendering of all the proposed towers.
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