New Affordable Housing at 235-247 Cherry St.; An Old Plan Revisited

235-247 Cherry St., December 2012.

235-247 Cherry St., December 2012.

Today’s New York Times report, “Reasons for Crossing Delancey” touched on the future of the former Pathmark site along South Street.  Gary Barnett’s Extell Development bought the large parcel last year and is planning a huge residential tower, apparently with a ground floor supermarket.  The article noted that, “The Two Bridges (Neighborhood Council) owns a lot adjacent to the Pathmark site, where (Two Bridges President Victor) Papa said he would like to build 75 more units of subsidized housing.”

It’s not news that Two Bridges, which along with Settlement Housing Fund built seven affordable housing complexes along the East River, has plans for the site mentioned by the Times.  The parcel, known as 235-247 Cherry St., formerly housed the Pathmark pharmacy.  But given all of the development activity in the area, we thought it worthwhile to revisit the status of this site.

On Settlement Housing Fund’s web site, there’s a description of completed projects in the former Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area and information about future plans at 235-247 Cherry St.:

The last site (in the urban renewal area) consisted of a twenty-one story tower with a row of small stores, developed with Verizon Capital as the limited partner. In December 2008, Verizon donated the row of small stores to a new nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization controlled by Settlement Housing Fund and Two Bridges.Settlement Housing Fund is now working to develop at least 70 units of new affordable housing on this site to be allocated for low-income families. Our development plan is innovative and appropriately suited to the uncertainty of the world today, and could be a model for other organizations that own sites with extra zoning capacity.We intend to develop the new building with Two Bridges and a development partner through the Mixed-Income Program of the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC).

As previously reported, Extell purchased the Pathmark site for $150 million and also acquired the grocery chain’s leases, including the lease for the pharmacy building.  Before a new residential project could be built on the pharmacy parcel, Extell would obviously need to relinquish its rights to the retail space.  In the past, Victor Papa has indicated he hopes to meet with officials from Extell about finding a new tenant for the old pharmacy space.   Two Bridges/Settlement Housing Fund would presumably seek a short-term tenant, or language in a new sub-lease allowing the redevelopment of the site when the time comes.