Essex Crossing construction site as seen from Hotel on Rivington, February 2017.
The developers of Essex Crossing last night announced changes in their plan for the large Lower East Side project, including the addition of 61 affordable apartments and more units for low-income seniors. The adjustments, forced by the expiration of the state’s 421-a tax break program, will also mean fewer affordable condo units, fewer affordable apartments for larger families and the elimination of mixed-income diversity in three buildings.
The changes were outlined at a meeting of Community Board 3’s land use committee by Isaac Henderson, project manager of Delancey Street Associates. That’s the consortium responsible for building the residential and commercial complex in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. The original plan was heavily influenced by CB3, which spent years reaching a community-wide consensus for the sites.
Essex Crossing was meant to include 1,000 apartments, 50% of them set aside for low- and middle-income residents. 157 of the units were supposed to be condos available for purchase (including 32 affordable condo units). But the plan was dependent on 421-a, a state program that offered generous property tax breaks in buildings which include blocks of affordable housing. 421-a expired more than a year ago and the mayor, governor and State Legislature have been haggling ever since about a new version of the program.
The developers say they’re revamping the housing plan to make sure the project stays on track while the Legislature weighs the latest proposal from the governor (approval in Albany is expected in the not-too-distant future, perhaps by the end of March).
The changes do not impact phase one of the construction project on sites 1, 2, 5 and 6. When the first four buildings open next year, more than half of the apartments planned in Essex Crossing will have been delivered, including 311 affordable units. But the second and third phases of the project will be impacted. Here’s an overview from Henderson’s presentation last night and from an interview with The Lo-Down earlier in the week.
–Site 3, located at Delancey and Norfolk streets, was originally planned as a rental building split evenly between market rate and affordable apartments (98 total residential units). Now that project will be 100% market rate condos.
–Site 8 (where one of the Essex Street Market buildings now sits) was intended as an 80/20 condo project, including 19 market rate and 5 affordable apartments. It will now consist of 92 studio apartments for low-income seniors. As senior housing, it’s available for a zoning increase of about 10,000 square feet.
–Site 9 (the current home of the Essex Street Market) was meant to be another 80/20 condo building. The developers are now hoping to make it a mixed-income rental project with half of the units designated as affordable. The plan assumes that a version of the 421-a program will be enacted in time to utilize tax incentives on this site. [The Essex Street Market, by the way, is moving to a new building within Essex Crossing and the current facility will remain open until the move occurs.]
–Site 10, formerly an 80/20 condo building, is now being refashioned as a market-rate condo project. A health care clinic has a lease on this parcel until the year 2021, so construction is not expected to begin for a few years.
Rendering: Essex Crossing. ShoP Architects.
In total, the changes mean there will now be 1.078 apartments in Essex Crossing, as opposed to 1,000. There will be an increase in low-and middle-income units of 61, making the project 52% affordable. The developers are adding 17 additional market-rate apartments.
One goal in revising the housing plan is to add more affordable units for very low-income households. In the new configuration, some apartments are set aside for families earning as little as 30% of Area Median Income (AMI). The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development encouraged the developers the add new income bands, which were not part of the initial Seward Park plan. Under the new plan, 343 apartments will be available to people earning 60% of AMI or below.
One downside in the revised plan is that 20 affordable condo units are being sacrificed. When a new version of 421-a is enacted, it is not expected to include a home ownership program. “Without a tax abatement,” said Henderson, “it’s virtually impossible to do affordable home ownership.” Delancey Street Associates is making up for this loss by creating a larger number of affordable units and by doubling the number of senior units in the project. The developers are relying on new tax breaks for the senior housing not impacted by the expiration of 421-a.
[In a related conversation last night, board members expressed serious concerns about the 421-a application for site 1, where 55 condo units are under construction. While 11 of those units are designated as permanently affordable, it has come to light that the tax abatement for those apartments will expire in 15 years. The unit owners will then be responsible for thousands of dollars each month in property taxes. We’ll have more about this situation in a separate story.]
When affordable housing lotteries begin in a few weeks, former tenants of the urban renewal area (displaced in 1967) will have priority status. But Henderson explained, “A lot of people are really concerned that the former site tenants, who will receive a 25% preference in each of these projects, won’t have an opportunity to live in these projects.”
“Most of them are going to be senior and most of them are going to be very low-income,” he added.
During last night’s meeting another concern was raised. The changes are forcing the elimination of 30 affordable apartments for larger families. Board member Lisa Kaplan said, “I get, 100%, that there is a real need for very low-income senior apartments.” But she added, “I think a lot of the seniors who are former site tenants and a lot of seniors in our neighborhood live with extended families. And I think the need for affordable units is not restricted to studio apartments (for seniors). There’s an overwhelming need for affordable housing at every apartment size. I regret that we weren’t able to find a solution here that allowed for deeper subsidies.”
Henderson said he understood Kaplan’s concern, which she has apparently voiced repeatedly during private meetings of a Seward Park community task force. But he argued that it’s important to evaluate Essex Crossing as a whole. “If you look at the overall project,” he said, “there are apartments available for a range of incomes (from 40-155% of AMI)” He said 40% of Essex Crossing’s affordable apartments are larger units.
One issue that did not generate much conversation last night concerns the mixed-income makeup of Essex Crossing’s buildings. The community board’s original guidelines placed a high priority on income diversity. Plans called for an equal number of affordable and market rate apartments throughout the project and in each building. This priority has been maintained in most of the buildings. But sites 3 and 10 will now be purely market rate, while site 8 will be all affordable.
Under the new plan, Henderson pointed out, 3 out of 5 parcels in the second and third phases will not require 421-a (or whatever replaces it). Essex Crossing is still dependent, however, on the tax abatement program for site 4 (located at Delancey and Suffolk streets) and for site 9. Delancey Street Associates and city officials are in conversations about a contingency plan should Albany fail to act on a 421-a replacement.
Delancey Street Associates is a partnership among Taconic Investment Partners, L+M Development Partners and BFC Partners.
Renderings by SHoP Architects.
Developers of the Essex Crossing project today unveiled renderings of the Market Line, a 150,000 square foot retail complex below Broome Street.
The renderings first appeared in Curbed. The underground pavilion will include many small-scale shops and a large beer garden. It will stretch across three buildings, from Essex Street to Clinton Street. Rohan Mehra of the Prusik Group (part of the development team) spoke with Curbed. Here’s part of what he had to say:
Mehra is, of course, aware of the perception that new projects like this—or megaprojects in general—can change the essential character of a neighborhood, or ignore the concerns of longtime residents. “When you talk about megadevelopments like that, that’s an issue—you’re creating something entirely new and wondering how it’s going to fit in,” he notes. “We’re not trying to create a new neighborhood, we’re trying to represent the next step in the evolution of the Lower East Side.”
The first phase of Essex Crossing is expected to be completed in 2018. It will include the first part of the Market Line and a new above-ground home for the Essex Street Market. The remaining two-thirds of the retail center will come online a couple of years later. If you would like to read more about the Market Line vision, you can check out our interview with the developers, conducted one year ago.
It’s been a hotly debated question for years now: which grocery store chain is going to end up at Essex Crossing? This morning, the speculation has ended. Trader Joe’s is taking a corner space at 145 Clinton St., site 5 of the large residential and commercial project.
The announcement came a short time ago in separate news releases from the grocery’s communications department and the city’s Economic Development Corp. While the square footage was not announced (Trader Joe’s is notoriously secretive), developers had set aside 30,000 square feet for the grocery store. It will be located in the basement of the 15-story residential/commercial building.
If the quirky California-based chain takes all of that space, it will be one of the company’s larger New York stores. Trader Joe’s currently has Manhattan locations near Union Square, in Chelsea, on the Upper West Side and on East 32nd Street. A second Upper West Side location is in-the-works. This past spring, there was talk of a Trader Joe’s coming to Extell Development’s new 14th Street project, near Avenue B.
Trader Joe’s, Union Square. Photo: Spoon University.
The building at the intersection of Grand and Clinton streets is also set to include a 22,000 square foot Planet Fitness on the second floor. Construction is expected to be finished in mid-2018. The first phase of Essex Crossing also includes a 14-screen Regal movie theater, a Splitsville Luxury Lanes bowling alley, a new home for the Essex Street Market, the Market Line shops and a medical center from NYU Langone.
During a community planning process several years ago, local residents said a full-service grocery store was a high priority on the former Seward Park urban renewal site.
Essex Crossing is being built by Delancey Street Associates, a joint venture of L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, and Taconic Investment Partners. In a statement, Andrew Katz of the Prusik Group, part of the development team, noted that a commitment was made to fulfill the community’s desire for an affordable grocery. Katz said, “We’re thrilled to deliver on that promise today.”
Figuring out the right mix in Essex Crossing’s commercial spaces is critical. There is some concern in the community that a conventional grocery store might hurt the vendors at the Essex Street Market. Trader Joe’s is less likely to compete with the specialty food purveyors in the historic market, which is moving to a new 30,000 square foot space on the southeastern corner of Essex and Delancey streets.
Trader Joe’s is known for its good prices on high quality gourmet items packaged under the store’s own label. As the company’s press materials boasted, “every item in the store has its own virtues, like high quality ingredients, great flavor, or simply an extraordinary price.” About a dozen new items are introduced each month.
EDC President Maria Torres-Springer said, “Bringing Trader Joe’s to Essex Crossing will help provide families across the Lower East Side with quality, fresh food options in their neighborhood… Increasing food access is yet another way the Essex Crossing project meets the needs of current and future residents, ensuring that this long-anticipated project strengthens the Lower East Side community as a whole.”
The news release also included statements of support from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council member Margaret Chin and Community Board 3 Chair Jamie Rogers. “Trader Joe’s will be a welcome amenity to Lower East Side residents,” said Rogers. “It is an affordable, high quality neighborhood grocery store that meets the CB3’s Guiding Principles for Essex Crossing of providing a diversity of goods at diverse price points. Previous reports of attempts to have Trader Joes expand within Community Board 3 were met with enthusiasm by the community. They will be very happy to hear that we have a firm commitment of Trader Joe’s at Essex Crossing.”
The neighborhood lost a Pathmark store on Cherry Street in 2012 when Extell Development bought the site for it’s 80-story mega tower. A grocery store is expected to be part of that project when it is finished in 2019. There’s a Fine Fare supermarket directly across the street from Essex Crossing site 5.
Trader Joe’s has more than 450 stores across the country.
242 Broome St. renderings by Moso Studio.
The luxury condominiums now under construction in the first phase of Essex Crossing are making their official sales debut today. The apartments at 242 Broome St. will range in price from $1,275,000 to over $7,000,000.
A sales office opened at 92 Orchard St. earlier this month. This morning, the developers of the large project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area unveiled new details, renderings and a website for the condo units. There will be 55 units in the building at the intersection of Broome and Ludlow streets. Eleven of those apartments are designated as affordable housing for middle-income families. The affordable units will be available to households earning 110% of Area Median Income. A housing lottery will take place next spring (click here to sign up for updates).
The 14-story building, designed by SHoP Architects, will also include a bowling alley from Splitsville Luxury Lanes. According to a press release, “a soon-to-be-announced cultural facility (will be located) on the first three floors.” The interiors are being designed by DXA Studio and Douglas Elliman is handling sales.
Amenities in the building include a fitness center, an entertainment lounge and a rooftop terrace. Essex Crossing is a nearly 2-million square foot project on nine sites. When completed, there will be one-thousand apartments and 600,000 square feet of commercial space. Most of the apartments, half of which are designated affordable, will be rentals.
242 Broome St. is expected to be completed in early 2018.
Site 5 of Essex Crossing, from Grand Street.
The Essex Crossing development project is moving ahead at breakneck speed. Over the weekend, the flag was planted on top of 145 Clinton St., also known as site 5 of the nearly 2-million square foot residential and commercial complex.
The building topped out at 15 stories, or 160 feet. It will eventually include 211 apartments (half of them affordable), a 22,000 square foot Planet Fitness and a grocery store yet-to-be-named.
The neighboring building on site 6 topped out in August. The first phase of Essex Crossing is covering four sites. The project in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area will eventually create 1,000 apartments and 600,000 square feet of commercial space.
Sites 2, 3 and 4 of Essex Crossing (l-r) as seen from Broome Street. Conceptual rendering only; building designs have not been publicly released.
Some preliminary information is now available about one of the buildings being planned for the second phase of the big Essex Crossing development project.
The Real Deal noticed Buildings Department filings for a 25-story residential and commercial tower at 180 Broome St. This is site 4 of the almost two-million square foot project being built in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. It’s one of three buildings along Broome and Delancey streets that will form a 150,000 square foot retail center. The first part of the subterranean Market Line is now under construction. It’s expected to open in 2018. The remainder of the facility will debut a couple years later.
The site 4 building (bordering Clinton Street) will include 263 rental apartments and about 148,000 square feet of commercial space. In addition to the Market Line, there will be office space on the first few floors. One-thousand apartments will be built in total as part of Essex Crossing (50% market rate/50% affordable). Each building is evenly divided, offering about the same amount of market rate and subsidized housing.
The designs for phase 2 (which includes sites 3, 4 and 8) have not been made public. Architects will likely go before Community Board 3 to unveil renderings in the next few months. Currently, construction is underway on sites 1,2, 5 and 6.
242 Broome St.; Essex Crossing site 1. Photos by Mark Miller.
Earlier today, there was a big response from the fire department after a construction worker fell into a shallow trench at one of the Essex Crossing development sites.
It happened at 242 Broome St., site 1 of the large project now taking shape on the former Seward Park urban renewal sites. According to a spokesperson for the development consortium, Delancey Street Associates, the worker suffered minor injuries. The fire department was immediately alerted, said the spokesperson.
Work has resumed on the project. The 15-story building under construction on site 1 will include condominium apartments, a bowling alley and other commercial businesses.
2013 Rendering shows the Market Line on Sites 2, 3 and 4 of Essex Crossing.
As the Essex Crossing project begins to take shape on the former Seward Park urban renewal site, the developers are stepping up their small business recruitment efforts. The other day they visited the Chinese Chamber of Commerce offices on the Bowery to talk up the Market Line, a centerpiece of the large residential and commercial development project.
The Market Line is a subterranean shopping pavilion that will stretch from Essex Street to Clinton Street, with a 40-foot wall of glass channeling sunlight underground. Combined with an expanded Essex Street Market, it will span 150,000 square feet. It’s being billed as one of the five largest markets of its type in the Western Hemisphere.
On Wednesday of last week, Rohan Mehra and Andrew Katz of Delancey Street Associates (the development consortium) took their show on the road to Chinatown. They handed out flyers in English and Chinese, touting the new facility as “The City’s marketplace in the heart of the Lower East Side.” The presentation was facilitated by Gigi Li, former chairperson of Community Board 3. Li continues to chair the Essex Crossing community taskforce and is a candidate for state assembly.
Mehra and Katz told representatives of the Chinatown business community that a “key to the success of the Market Line will be that the local community shops here.” There will be about 150 small-scale businesses in the pavilion. The spaces range from 100 to about 1500 square feet. While the rents on a square footage basis will be steep, the developers think the smaller stalls will be financial feasible for a lot of home grown entrepreneurs. The idea is to attract unique retailers — both longtime operators and new businesses — that reflect the diversity of the Lower East Side.
The first shops are expected to open alongside the new Essex Street Market in the summer of 2018. The first phase of the Market Line, located on site 2 of Essex Crossing, will consist of 70-80 food focused businesses. Two more segments of the Market Line will debut in 2019. The site 3 shops will be devoted to fashion retailers, textiles and art. Site 4 will be set aside for prepared foods and small restaurant concepts.
Mehra and Katz plan many similar presentations in different parts of the Lower East Side in the coming months. If you’re interested in talking with them, contact: Andrew Katz at email@example.com or Rohan Mehra at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Essex Crossing will eventually include 1,000 apartments, 500,000 square feet of commercial space and 400,000 square feet of office space. Large tenants already signed on include: Regal Cinemas, Splitsville Lanes (a bowling alley), Planet Fitness and NYU Langone Medical Center.
Read our previous coverage of the Market Line here.
175 Delancey St.; Site 6 of Essex Crossing. Photo by Delancey Street Associates.
One day last week, a flag went up on the roof of 175 Delancey St., signaling the “topping out” of the first of nine buildings in the big Essex Crossing project. The event passed with little fanfare, but it was an important occasion just the same. After four decades of community dissension over the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, it’s a milestone worthy of acknowledgement.
Delancey Street Associates, the consortium building the project, put out a press release this morning officially announcing the “topping out.” Project Manager Isaac Henderson said, “175 Delancey is designed specifically to meet urgent neighborhood needs – low-income seniors in particular – and that’s why we moved forward with it first… With affordable senior housing, a senior center, a job training facility and state-of- the-art medical center, 175 Delancey will be an essential community component of Essex Crossing.”
Four buildings are now under construction — on sites 1, 2, 5 and 6.
The site 6 complex, located on the southeast corner of Clinton and Delancey streets, will include 100 apartments for senior residents with annual household incomes between $24,200 and $54,400. The building will also be home to a 55,000 square foot medical center from NYU Langone. Grand Street Settlement will operate a 10,500 square foot senior center on the fourth floor and a social enterprise cafe in partnership with Think Coffee on the ground floor. The building, designed by Dattner Architects, is expected to be completed in December of next year. The other buildings are slated for completion in the summer of 2018.
Essex Crossing is a 1.9 million square foot project on nine parcels. There will eventually be 1,000 apartments, a 120,000 square foot public market called the Market Line, a 14-screen Regal movie theater and a cultural facility yet-to-be-named. Delancey Street Associates is a collaboration among three developers: Taconic Investment Partners, L+M Partners and BFC Partners.
Rendering of Essex Crossing Site 6; Dattner Architects.
Photo by Brian Redman.
Photo by Brian Redman.
There’s a new addition to the Lower East Side skyline this morning. Over the weekend, construction crews put a huge tower crane in place on site 2 of the Essex Crossing project. That’s the parcel at Essex and Delancey streets that will eventually become home to a new Essex Street Market and a 14-screen Regal theater. Broome Street was blocked off Sunday for the all-day operation. Brian Redman took these day and night photos.
In the past few months, crews have been working below ground, where a shopping pavilion called the Market Line will be built. Now the 24-story building will start ascending. Last week, the Essex Crossing team topped off the 14-story building on site 6. We’ll have more in the next day or two about that.
Here are a few Sunday photos from around the construction sites. The project in the former Seward Park urban renewal area will add 1,000 apartments and 600,000 square feet of commercial space to nine lots over the next several years.
Monday, July 25, 2016 | Joel Raskin took this photo on Grand Street. On the left, that’s the rapidly rising mixed-use building on Essex Crossing site 5. | Weather: Cloudy skies this morning, tunderstorms this afternoon and a high of 94. | If you would like to share a neighborhood picture with us, send it to: email@example.com or tag us on Instagram at #LoDownNY.
215 Christie Street, where at least five new condo sales are in contract. Photo: Alex Gerald
While the average sale price of a condo unit on the Lower East Side plummeted between the first and second quarters of 2016, it rose citywide during the same period, according to a Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY) report released this week.
REBNY has been tracking sales data for one-to-three family dwellings, condominiums and coop units in the five boroughs since 2006.
According to the report, the average sale price of a home (including all three home types) in New York City reached an all-time high of $1,018,000 in the second quarter of 2016. Sales at “some of Manhattan’s most expensive, new condominium buildings” drove the average price to the new record.
Indeed, average condominium sales price rose more than any other home type – a 19% increase from 2016’s first quarter to the second (compared with a meager 4% rise for one-t0-three family dwellings and a 2% decrease in coop sale prices during the same period).
Meanwhile on the Lower East Side, the average sale price of a condo unit dropped 67% between the first and second quarters of 2016 – from $3.7 million to $1.2 million. It’s the sharpest decrease of any neighborhood in any borough.
While the numbers look dramatic, they should be kept in perspective. The Lower East Side condo market is still small compared with other neighborhoods in the city, so a handful of sales can change the numbers significantly. There have been less than 50 total condo sales here in the last 12 months, according to Streeteasy.
There will, however, be a lot more condo sales on the LES in the next few years.
Condominium units at Essex Crossing are set to go on the market this fall, Extell’s 80-story luxury condo tower on Cherry Street is under construction and Cogswell Realty is planning to build condos at 150 Rivington, the former Streit’s Matzo Factory building. Sales have already begun for that project.
Curbed noticed a new “teaser site” for 242 Broome St., the condos that are being built on site 1 of the Essex Crossing project. Sales will launch in the early fall for 55 units in the 14-story building bounded by Broome, Ludlow and Essex streets.
It’s a “legacy of new beginnings,” according to the promotional site. Here’s how the apartments (1-3 bedroom units) are being positioned:
Masterfully conceived and meticulously finished, the residences of 242 Broome balance serenity with modernism. Designed with a twist, the upper floors torque westward to catch the path of the sun for maximum light and dramatic views. Utilizing a sophisticated mix of materials — slab marble, blackened steel, warm woods — the artistic interiors exude calm and comfort. A host of lifestyle-enhancing amenities offer everyday opportunities for wellness and community. The building’s signature champagne-aluminum façade softly reflects the neighborhood while proudly standing as its newest addition.
The building will be marketed by Ariel Tirosh, the Douglas Elliman broker who’s handled other high-profile Lower East Side properties like 100 Norfolk St. These apartments are the only condo units to be built as part of phase 1 of Essex Crossing. The rest are rentals. A sales office has been set up around the corner from the construction site, in the former home of the Mark Miller Gallery at 92 Orchard St.
At 242 Broome St., 11 of the 55 units have been designated as affordable housing. These 11 apartments will be available to buyers earning 110% of Area Median Income (AMI). Based on 2015 eligibility guidelines, a single person’s annual household income would be set at $66,550; household income for a family of four would be set at $94,930. Prices for the condo units have not yet been announced.
Essex Crossing is a joint venture of Taconic Investment Partners, L+M Development Partners and BFC Partners. Goldman Sachs is providing almost $500 million in financing for the project. The first phase of construction is expected to be complete in 2018. When finished, Essex Crossing will include 1,000 apartments, half of them designated as affordable housing.
In addition to the apartments, site 1 will include Splitsville Lanes, a 17,000 square foot bowling/entertainment complex. There will also be ground floor retail and a stand-alone cultural center (the arts institution has not yet been named).
Rendering: MOSO Studio.
Clinton Street, near Broome Street, yesterday afternoon.
Firefighters responded to the Essex Crossing construction site on Clinton Street yesterday afternoon after pieces of concrete came showering down on a parked car. While a man was inside the black minivan, he was not injured.
A spokesperson for Delancey Street Associates, the development consortium, tells us the incident was related to a concrete pump malfunction. At the time, crews were working to pour the fourth floor slab at 175 Delancey St., known as site 6 of the large residential and commercial project.
According to the spokesperson, “There were no injuries and our site safety manager promptly reported the issue to the Department of Buildings. We conduct ongoing training as part of our work at the site and will continue to reinforce our safety protocol with each of our workers.”
A photo published by DNA Info showed damage to the sunroof of the car. The incident was logged on the Department of Buildings website.
On Wednesday afternoon, you can find out about upcoming job prospects at the big Essex Crossing construction site.
The development consortium, Delancey Street Associates, is hosting an information session, along with lots of different local partners. The meeting will take place at Grand Street Settlement, 80 Pitt St., between 4-6 p.m.
Essex Crossing is the 1.9 million square foot residential and commercial project on the former Seward Park urban renewal site. Various phases of construction will be taking place over the next seven years.