Tomorrow is a big day for the Lower East Side. The city is poised to announce the development team it has chosen for the Seward Park site.
Since this past May, when proposals were due, city planners have been working on selecting a developer for the nine parcels near the Williamsburg Bridge — a site that languished since 1967. Yesterday word began to spread throughout the neighborhood that the process had come to an end. Both successful and unsuccessful bidders received phone calls from city officials.
A community task force, sworn to secrecy, has been advising city agencies in charge of the project. Last night, at a Community Board 3 hearing, task force member David McWater, co-chair of CB3’s land use committee, said he had just returned from the offices of the NYC Economic Development Corp., where a Seward Park meeting had taken place. He did not specify the purpose of the meeting but there is little doubt today why task force members had been called together. Our information comes from multiple sources, but not from task force members.
The Seward Park plan calls for 1000 units of housing (50% of it affordable), a large amount of commercial space and a new Essex Street Market. The site is the most valuable city-owned development parcel in Manhattan. City officials were intent on selecting a developer before Mayor Bloomberg leaves office at the end of the year.
More details as soon as they become available…