Stanton Street Parcel Likely to Become Interim Community Garden

181 Stanton Street.

A resident group is one step closer to winning approval from the city for use of two vacant parcels on Stanton and Attorney streets for an interim community garden.  A spokesperson for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which controls the properties, tells The Lo-Down the agency is willing to allow the group to use the spaces until the lots are needed for any residential development project.  Last week, Community Board 3’s Parks Committee voted unanimously to support the garden proposal.  The group has been working with GreenThumb, a division of the city’s Parks Department, to properly license the parcels.

This past spring,  Community Board 3 approved a preliminary concept from a developer to put up a building on the site containing 14 apartments, three of them affordable.  The project would have utilized three adjacent lots: 139 Attorney Street (owned by the estate of William Gottlieb) and 137 Attorney and 181 Stanton (both owned by the city).  The city spokesperson said that while there was a preliminary proposal from a development company, no commitments were made and, at least for now, there are no plans to develop the site.

A Sukkah Pops Up at 181 Stanton Street

181 Stanton Street.

At this time of year, sukkahs sprout throughout the Lower East Side.  Here’s one at 181 Stanton Street, a city-owned lot across from the Stanton Street Shul.   This past summer, community activists spruced up this neglected parcel, which the Department of Housing Preservation and Development is looking to sell to a private developer.  A week from tonight, a group interested in using the space on an interim basis will go before Community Board 3’s parks’ committee to detail their proposal. The Jewish holiday of Sukkot continues until this coming Sunday.


Residents Plan Sunday Event to Create “Community Space” at 181 Stanton Street


As you can see from this flyer, there’s an organizing event on Sunday at 181 Stanton Street, which local activists want to reclaim for a community garden.  But there’s a twist to this story.  181 Stanton is part of a development parcel (also including 137-139 Attorney Street), which is destined to become a five-story residential building.

This past spring, Community Board 3 gave its blessing to the city to sell 181 Stanton and 137 Attorney Street to the estate of Bill Gottlieb. As we reported last year, 139 Attorney Street has been part of Gottlieb’s huge Manhattan portfolio for decades.  The activists, however, have other ideas.  Sunday’s event is being coordinated through “596 Acres,” an organization which helps “neighbors form connections to the vacant public lots in their lives.” There’s a long conversation on the web site detailing the organizers’ efforts to reclaim the space.

Sunday’s event takes place from 1-4 p.m.


Project For Empty Space Opens Tomorrow at 181 Stanton St.

Project for Empty Space (PES) is holding the opening for their fall project tomorrow evening from 6-8pm.  PES is a non-profit organization founded in September 2010 that is “dedicated to bringing contemporary art out of its traditional ‘high-brow’ places and into abandoned and unusual urban spaces.” They are popping up in the  city-owned lot at 181 Stanton Street. Their hope is “to foster community building and education through the development of interactive public art.”

Good Morning: Aces and Eights Shuttered, Grand Street Construction, Garden Activists Meet

Photo by Jennifer Strom

If you’ve walked past the bar Aces and Eights, 34 Avenue A, in the last couple of days, you might have noticed those tell-tale yellow signs indicating the business has been closed by “order of the Health Department.” Lo-Down contributing writer Jennifer Strom has been looking into what led to the closure. The chain of events she’ll detail later this morning makes for quite an illuminating story.