City Planning Commission Holds Seward Park Hearing Tomorrow

The Seward Park sites south of Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.

Here’s a reminder about tomorrow’s City Planning Commission hearing on the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Plan. After winning support from Community Board this spring, the sweeping land use application is making its way through the approval process.

Members of the public will have the opportunity to comment about the proposal, which would allow for 900 apartments, up to 600,000 square foot of commercial space and community facilities. The meeting begins at 10 a.m., and will likely be a drawn-out affair (the Seward Park item is #17 on City Planning’s meeting agenda).

In the hours before CB3’s momentous vote, the city agreed to permanent affordability for 50% of the apartments to be built on the Seward Park parcels, in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge.   During tomorrow’s hearing, said board Chair Gigi Li, CB3 will continue to advocate for several other provisions omitted from the city’s plan. They include: a new public school, limits on big box stores and guarantees concerning local hiring.

Also at the hearing, another show of force is expected from a group known as the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side. In recent weeks, the organization has stepped up its call for 100% affordable housing on the Seward Park site and taken aim at City Council member Margaret Chin. Today they announced a plan to collect 10,000 signatures in support of their campaign.   Coalition members met with Chin several weeks ago, and later denounced her decision to support a 50% affordable/50% market rate housing compromise.  Chin has called the coalition’s stance unrealistic and unproductive.

The hearing takes place at 22 Reade Street, Spector Hall.   We’ll have a full report follwing tomorrow’s meeting.