Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project

Last Updated July 02, 2014

On September 18th, 2013, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled plans for Essex Crossing, which will transform the largest stretch of undeveloped City-owned land in Manhattan below 96th Street into vibrant, mixed-use space in one of New York's most dynamic, diverse and historic neighborhoods. Essex Crossing was selected for the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project, which gained public approvals in October 2012 and for which Requests for Proposals were released in January 2013.

Project Updates

  • Project Update

    Plans Unveiled

    On September 17th, 2013, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled plans for Seward Park. The anticipated groundbreaking for the project, to be called Essex Crossing, is spring 2015.

Overview

As a result of a successful collaboration between the local community and the City, through NYCEDC and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), sites that have largely sat vacant for more than four decades will finally be reintegrated into the vital, urban fabric of the Lower East Side. On September 18th, 2013, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg unveiled plans for the project, called Essex Crossing, to be developed by Delancey Street Associates LLC, a joint venture comprised of L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners.

Located near the intersection of Essex Street and Delancey Street, the nine sites in Essex Crossing will become a 1.65-million-square-foot development anchored by 1,000 units of housing, half of which will be permanently affordable for low, moderate, and middle-income households and senior citizens. In addition, the project, to be called Essex Crossing, includes a 15,000-square-foot open space, a new and expanded Essex Street Market, a dual-generation school operated by the Educational Alliance, a community center run by Grand Street Settlement, a rooftop urban farm, the Andy Warhol Museum, 250,000 square feet of office space, and a diverse mix of retail space. Seward Park will also become a hub of small-business incubation, with micro-retail spaces and creative and tech co-working and incubator space.

Project Details

The project will create a vibrant mixed-income community anchored by new market-rate and permanently affordable income-limited housing, offering both rental and homeownership opportunities:

  • There will be a total of 1,000 new rental apartments and condominium units, with 500 units being permanently affordable to low-, moderate- and middle-income households, including senior citizens.
  • The project will also include homeownership opportunities, with 20 percent of the condo units being affordable to moderate-income households.

Other project components include:

  • A new, expanded Essex Street Market facility relocated directly across Delancey Street (to the southeast corner of Essex and Delancey Streets).
  • An extensive assortment of retail and commercial uses, including a grocery store.
  • The Market Line, a natural light-filled concourse spanning the cellar level of three sites south of Delancey Street, which includes small to medium-sized vendors stalls with tenants that include retail and food-oriented uses, a culinary incubator, and a center dedicated to encouraging entrepreneurs to learn craft skills and produce and sell hand-made merchandise.
  • A bowling alley, movie theater and fitness center.
  • 250,000 square feet of office space, including creative and tech co-working and incubator space.
  • The Andy Warhol Museum.
  • A dual-generation school run by local partner Educational Alliance will offer Head Start and Adult Education programs.
  • A community center operated by Grand Street Alliance will provide early childhood and senior services.
  • A 15,000 square foot open space.
  • A rooftop urban farm.
  • A site has also been reserved for a public school, which may be developed in the future by the School Construction Authority. The developers will also upgrade the existing DOT plazas on Delancey Street.

The anticipated groundbreaking for the project is spring 2015. The first five buildings, consisting of 580 units of housing including 316 permanently affordable units, are anticipated to be completed by Summer 2018. The next two buildings, including the majority of the remaining housing, are anticipated to be completed by Summer 2021. The final two buildings are anticipated to be completed by 2022 and 2024.

Delancey Street Associates LLC (DSA) is comprised of affordable housing developers L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners. Senior housing developers B&B Supportive Housing will co-develop the senior building. DSA will work closely with local community partners Grand Street Settlement and Educational Alliance on the community center and dual-generation school, respectively.

Community Involvement

The approved ULURP program was built on the framework of all the hard work done by the local stakeholders. Starting in 2008, Community Board 3’s (CB3’s) Land Use, Zoning, Public and Private Housing Committee worked diligently to gain community consensus on a development program for Seward Park.  NYCEDC, HPD, and the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) participated in the process, providing technical support and resources to facilitate the community’s discussion and analysis. CB3 worked to develop a set of project guidelines that were unanimously adopted in January 2011 and a set of urban design principles that were passed in June 2011. The guidelines called for a mixed-use and mixed-income development that is reflective of and compatible with adjacent communities, and the guidelines were used to shape the ULURP application (certified March 2012).

After ULURP approval in October 2012, a Task Force designated by the Community Board met regularly with NYCEDC and HPD, and the RFP issued in January 2013 included their priorities. Respondents to the RFP were required to specifically address the community criteria in their proposals, which were formally part of the selection criteria. Going forward from September 2013, the Task Force will meet quarterly with the development team, and will be consulted on key project aspects throughout pre-development and construction. The development team will also establish a community liaison and website to serve as a resource for public inquiries. The development team presented to CB3 at the October 9, 2013 Land Use, Zoning, Public & Private Housing Committee meeting.

Documents related to the CB3 public process can be found at the following link:

View the documents related to the CB3 public process

Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP)

The Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is the formal City public review process for land use changes. The Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project was approved by a unanimous City Council vote on October 11, 2012. The complete original Seward Park ULURP Application (prior to changes during the process) can be found at the following link:

View the complete Seward Park ULURP Application

Environmental

In September 2011, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development as lead agency began the environmental review process for the Seward Park Mixed Use Development Project. The Final Environmental Impact Statement was filed on August 10, 2012.  For more information regarding the project’s environmental review see the following link:

View more information regarding the project’s environmental review

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