A large crowd gathered at University Settlement’s Speyer Hall last night for a contentious Community Board 3 meeting.
It was standing room only last night at University Settlement, where angry residents descended on Community Board 3’s transportation committee to fight Greyhound/Peter Pan’s proposal to establish a new bus stop on Essex Street in front of Seward Park. When it was all over, the committee voted unanimously (5-0) to tell the city’s Transportation Department to find another spot for the stop, which would facilitate 16 arrivals and departures daily between New York and Philadelphia. It remains to be seen how the DOT will respond. No representative from the transportation agency was present last night.
In the past two weeks, outraged residents mobilized to oppose the plan to create the stop across from 3 Essex Street in front of the playground at Seward Park (at Canal Street). They submitted letters, postcards and an online petition (with more than 1100 signatures). More important, they came in large numbers to last night’s meeting to testify against a proposal they argued could destroy the fabric of the neighborhood. It was one of the largest crowds assembled for a CB3 public hearing in many months.
Bus in front of 7 Essex Street this morning.
Tonight’s meeting of Community Board 3’s transportation committee is going to be a doozy. As of a few minutes ago, more than 1100 people have signed an online petition opposing an application from Greyhound/Peter Pan to establish a bus stop in front of Seward Park, across from 3 Essex Street. As previously reported, residents are outraged about the proposal for many reasons, including concerns about street and sidewalk congestion, pollution and loitering in front of an historic playground. The application has touched off a furious response from many different neighborhood constituencies. Here are the latest developments.
The original application called for 28 daily arrivals and departures from the proposed bus stop, which is currently used by the MTA. Community Board 3 confirms that Greyhound has now reduced its request to 16 stops. Greyhound is making the case that there’s a need for additional discount bus service in Chinatown and on the Lower East Side in the aftermath of the federal government’s decision to shut down 26 interstate operators in the past couple of months. Greyhound did not specifically request the Essex Street stop; the location was suggested by the NYC Department of Transportation.
3-5 Essex Street.
It’s been a couple of years since we’ve seen any activity at 3 Essex Street, the former home of M.Schames & Son, the longtime ower East Side paint store. The business relocated to 90 Delancey Street, after the demolition of a neighboring building (5 Essex Street) destabilized Schames’ northerly wall. Now both buildings have been sold.
According to records filed with the city’s finance department, “3-5 Essex Partners LLC” purchased both properties. Schames sold 3 Essex for $2.5 million. A separate owner, “49 Essex Street Property LLC” sold 5 Essex (an empty lot) for $3.5 million.
In the last few weeks, new fencing went up in front of 5 Essex. We’ll have more on the future of this site in the next couple of weeks.