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After Four Month Lull, SPURA Debate Heats Up Again Next Week

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Seward Park redevelopment area.

In the past few months, there hasn’t been much news to report about the Seward Park redevelopment project (SPURA), but the lull is about to come to an end.  Next Wednesday, March 8, city officials will return to Community Board 3’s land use committee to detail the next phase in the public planning process.

The 7-acre site adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge is slated to become a mixed-use complex featuring new apartments, retail, community facilities and a small park.  As you may know,  CB3 has approved general guidelines for the big project and an environmental review is underway.

During the upcoming meeting, city planners will present the outlines of a draft ULURP (land use public review) application. They will also show community board members and residents “illustrative site plan drawings” and spell out “land use actions” recommended as the project moves forward.  In the past, there’s been talk about shifting air rights among two or more development parcels.

Once the application is “certified into ULURP, there’s a 7-month review process, involving CB3, the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

So what does this all mean?  Basically, the time has now come for the city to specificy what parts of the community board guidelines it is willing to accept. Officials with the NYC Economic Development Corp. have indicated in the past that, while like a lot of what the community board has proposed, the overall plan is (in their view) overly ambitious.  Last fall, members of the public weighed in on a “draft scoping document” guiding the environmental review.  But the EDC has not released a revised document detailing what (if any) feedback has been incorporated into the sweeping environmental study.

There’s still a long road ahead. ULURP is a 7-month process.  When it’s concluded at the end of this year, the city will issue  a “request for proposals” from private developers.

Next Wednesday’s meeting will be held in the Community Room of the Seward Park Co-op, 264-268 East Broadway, at 6:30 p.m.

Need a SPURA refresher? Check out our previous coverage.

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  1. Thanks for the post. I was not able to make it to the Land Use Commitee meeting, and was hoping this morning to find information on several points:
    1. Where and when will the public have access to the planning documents?
    2. Where and when can public comment on the plans that are shaping up be submitted and recorded into the ULURP records?

    This is the last significant piece of land that is up for development in the entire LES, as far as I know… last chance for public awareness … would love to know more about how to exercise our public voice. thanks if you have time to answer or to keep following up on this post.

    –ilyse kazar, founder
    Unlikely Voters

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