The land use approval process for the Seward Park redevelopment site is rapidly nearing completion. Today two City Council committees will vote on the proposal for 900 apartments, commercial spaces and community facilities on nine parcels near the Williamsburg Bridge. The final step will likely take place October 11, when the full Council is expected to vote on the ULURP application.
At 11:30 this morning, the subcommittee on planning, dispositions and concessions will convene to take up “SPURA,” as the former urban renewal area has been known for the past four decades. Then at noon, the land use committee will take its turn. There will be no public testimony. A public hearing was held September 19.
City Council member Margaret Chin, who represents the Lower East Side, has been negotiating with city agencies and the mayor’s office to win concessions in the plan. These discussions are an outgrowth of Community Board 3’s resolution approved earlier this year calling for a ban on big box stores, a commitment to build a new public school on the development site and assurances regarding local hiring. Chin is also hoping city officials will agree to build low-income housing “off-site,” in some other location. The Seward Park proposal would create about 450 units of low, middle and moderate income housing — but many people in the community would like to see a bigger commitment from the Bloomberg administration.
Following full Council approval (which is all but assured), the city will issue a single RFP (a request for proposals). A task force made up of community members and representatives of local elected officials will advise city agencies in the development of the RFP.