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Seward Park Proposals Due; Names of Developers Emerge

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Today’s the day developers must submit their proposals to the city for the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project.  This morning the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) has some new information about the firms competing for the right to build on the parcel, which encompasses nine under-used lots near the Williamsburg Bridge. According to the Journal, the following partnerships have been formed to create development plans:

  • The Avalon Bay Communities, Jonathan Rose and Equity One.  Avalon, of course, developed a portion of the former Cooper Square Urban Renewal Area at East Houston Street. Jonathan Rose is a large affordable housing developer.  Equity One is a retail developer.
  • L&M Development Partners, BFC Partners, Grand Street Settlement and Taconic Investment Partners.  BFC developed Schaefer’s Landing in Williamsburg. Taconic, which sold its 8th Avenue Building to Google in 2010 for nearly $2 billion, could help establish the Seward Park site as a center for New York’s technology industry.
  • Forest City Ratner and the Met Council for Jewish Poverty.  Ratner is the developer of Atlantic Yards and has a longstanding relationship with the Met Council, which has very close ties to Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver.
  • The Gotham Organization.  Several months ago, The Lo-Down reported that the company was preparing a bid.  Company officials declined to comment for the Journal’s story.
  • The Related Companies, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), Urban Green Builders, Paul Stallings.  Related is developing Hudson Yards among many other projects.  AAFE is a 39-year old not-for-profit developer on the LES and in Chinatown.  Urban Green Builders partner Eric Anderson is probably better known in the neighborhood for his involvement in two restaurants, Prune and Calliope. Stallings is the owner of the Hotel on Rivington.
  • Finally, here are a couple of teams not mentioned by the Journal.  Douglaston Development and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council.  Douglaston developed Northside Piers in Williamsburg. Two Bridges is a non-profit developer that built much of the affordable housing in the Two Bridges area.  Also, the Lower East Side BID is working on a proposal with partners. The BID’s part of the plan would create a small business incubator and would involve the current merchants of the Essex Street Market.

As we indicated last week,  the city will not disclose any information about the proposals until the fall when the winning bid or bids are announced.  A community task force will get to see summaries of the most competitive proposals.  The 1.65 million square foot development will include 1000 apartments (50% of them affordable), commercial spaces and a new Essex Street Market.


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  1. I’ve heard that at least one developer is interested in saving the endangered synagogue.

  2. Interesting bedfellows to say the least. Surprising to see Two Bridges involved considering they have yet to speak on the NYCHA infill plan and give a position on the overall development of this neighborhood. They didn’t even speak on this plan during any of those various reach-out meetings. Now they want to be a part of this neighborhood? I never saw any of these folks at the recent CB3 meetings or involved with any of the lower east side residents. They need to get involved with the people in their own backyard before they seek support from this neighborhood. It’s a different landscape than it was 30 or 40 years ago. They have become a neighborhood group without a neighborhood to lead. Their current listing of events is truly sad considering who they are supposed to represent. Draw your own conclusion.

    Marco Polo Festival
    Gateways: San Gennaro Gateway
    Via Del Popolo
    Vintage Bowery

    Hey Two Bridges, why don’t you first give us a hand in our battle with the HealthCare Chaplaincy’s plan to put a building in our “infill” instead of negotiating for things to benefit yourself at the expense of local residents? I sincerely hope that the community task force rejects outright any plan that involves this group for they are a “neighborhood” group who represents no one but themselves.

  3. What do they plan to do with the Middle Income families that are being priced out? I was born and raised on the LES and I can’t afford the rent with a middle income salary. Where is the help for the Middle Income Family

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