City Planning Commission Approves SPURA Plan

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

More now on the City Planning Commission’s historic vote this morning in favor of the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Plan.  The decision means there’s only one more major step remaining before the city begins soliciting proposals from private developers for the 1.6 million square foot residential/commercial project at the foot of the Williamsburg bridge.  Sometime this fall, probably, late September or early October, the City Council will be called on to approve the land use plan.

Today’s decison was unanimous.  The commissioners actually voted on 19 separate land use “actions” necessary to move forward with the proposal, which would create 900 apartments (half of them permanently affordable), hundreds-of-thousands of feet of commercial space, community facilities, a small park and a new Essex Street Market. 

City Planning Commission Holds Seward Park Public Hearing

Yesterday’s City Planning meeting at 22 Reade Street.

The City Planning Commission hosted a public hearing yesterday on the Seward Park Mixed-Used Development Plan, a proposal that would transform nine parcels adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge that have languished for four decades.  A sweeping land use proposal garnered the endorsement of Community Board 3 in May. As part of the public review process (ULURP), the Planning Commission and the City Council must now weigh in before developers begin submitting proposals.

The land use document allows for 900 apartments, up to 600,000 square foot of commercial space, a new Essex Street market, a small park, a hotel and community facilities.

At the meeting, the proposed plan enjoyed support from the Mayor’s office and members of the community board, as well as from other local leaders and activists. Jeff Mandel, on hand to voice the Mayor Bloomberg’s support for the plan, commended the community board for building consensus on the Lower East Side regarding the contentious issue of the Seward Park site. “They have been fantastic leaders in marshaling a wide range of stakeholder input,” he said. Mandel added that the community board’s efforts are especially impressive given the fact that agreement on a redevelopment vision had been so elusive for so many years.

City Planning Commission Holds Seward Park Hearing Wednesday, July 11

Rendering: NYC Economic Development Corp.

A week from Wednesday, the City Planning Commission holds a public hearing on the land use application for the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project.  Two months ago, Community Board 3 unanimously approved the proposal, which would create 900 new apartments and up to 600,000 feet of commercial space on nine parcels near the Williamsburg Bridge.

The Manhattan Borough President, City Planning and the City Council are now being called on to approve the Seward Park plan. The borough president’s review period expires this week.  The Planning Commission hearing takes place Wednesday, July 11 at 22 Reade Street (Spector Hall), at 10 a.m. The city agency has 60 days to review the application before it’s taken up by the City Council.

Before the plan was passed by CB3, city officials agreed to the community’s demand to guarantee permanent affordability in the Seward Park project. Half of the apartments to be built will be affordable.

See our previous coverage of the Seward Park process here.