Seward Park Plan Places Some Limits on Big Box Stores

Rendering: NYC Economic Development Corp.

Last week, the city officially began the public approval process for the Seward Park Development Project.  A master plan for the nine parcels adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge will be voted on by Community Board 3 next month.  The massive document (known as the ULURP application) is 146 pages.  There are also hundreds of pages of technical diagrams and other supporting materials. In the next few days we’re going to take a look at some of the important issues embedded in the application.  Today, we tackle big box stores.

The mixed-use project includes 900 apartments, community facilities, a park and up to 600,000 square feet of commercial space.  CB3 wanted to limit retail stores at Seward Park to 30,000 square feet.  But last month, in outlining their proposal, city planners said they were placing no square footage limit on stores.  In their view, a key to success in the project will be retail diversity — the existence of small stores as well as larger “big box” outlets.

Why Not Build a Bridge Over Delancey Street?

Delancey Street, at Clinton.

As we reported last week, Community Board 3 has approved the city’s plan to improve safety on Delancey Street.  By early summer, the DOT will have narrowed the width of the busy street in several locations, reopened Clinton Street as an access point to the Williamsburg Bridge, changed signal timings and altered certain traffic regulations.  The plan has received generally good reviews in the community.

But there’s one question in particular we keep hearing.  In our comments section and elsewhere, residents ask, “why can’t the city build a pedestrian bridge over Delancey Street?”  Last year, CB3 approved design guidelines for the Seward Park Development Project that stated, “a pedestrian overpass should be built over Delancey Street.”