New York’s City Planning Commission voted yes this week on the controversial SPURA plan that would redevelop the Lower East Side lot and bring a bevy of new buildings (many that are unwanted by neighbors). The project for a cluster of city-owned blocks was finally approved after a whopping 50 years of debate. According to the plan, construction will soon begin on a bevy of new apartments, commercial space, community facilities, a hotel, a park and a brand new Essex Market for the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.
The final unanimous decision was a decades-long compromise, and attempts to make as many advocating groups as happy as possible. Community Board 3, individual advocates and the Department of Housing Preservation & Development worked together to finally come to a decision to start the redevelopment plan.
Soon, the scores of empty parking lots will first be transformed into 900 new apartment units and half of the new apartments will be sanctioned for permanent affordable housing, securing low income living space in Manhattan for years to come.
The commercial aspect of the project will award 600,000 feet of space to new shops and boutiques, with a potential combination of big box stores and small businesses. The current Essex Market will move to the south side of Delancey Street, creating an upgraded facility for residents to buy local produce and other food. The quiet Eastern side of Broome Street will also get its own green space, with a 10,000 square foot park.