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Developer Submits Plans for 6-Story Building Next to Children’s Magical Garden

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Supporters of the Children’s Magical Garden may be receiving an unwelcome Thanksgiving surprise.

157 Norfolk St.
157 Norfolk St.

This past summer, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development transferred a parcel at Norfolk and Stanton streets to the Green Thumb Program.  This meant the lot, or at least a portion of it, gained permanent community garden status.   Activists hoped developer Serge Hoyda, who owns the other parcel, would take down a fence he erected, dividing the space.   But negotiations were not fruitful and now, it appears, Hoyda is moving forward with plans to build on the contested lot.

On Friday, documents surfaced in the Department of Buildings database detailing a proposal for a six-story, 7,242 square foot structure.  The job is listed as “pending” in the DOB system, meaning it has not yet been approved.

We have a call into City Council member Margaret Chin’s office, who at one point over the summer hoped Hoyda would agree to swap his land for some other parcel, perhaps one located in the East Village.  More to come…

magical garden 2

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  1. SoHo/Broadway BID
    Tower at S. St. Seaport
    New development on Elizabeth St. garden
    And now this.
    The new term has not even begun, but Councilmember Margaret Chin is wasting no time paying back her real estate donors.
    Makes me wonder if these CMG folks even vote.

  2. A garden is dirty! The nerve of people who let their children play in dirt! What a disgusting thing. Those rats must just love that nice dirt and all those children running around in there. It can’t have anything to do with an empty untended fenced off area that the developers have left vacant for the rats to play in. It must be the DIRT! Come to think of it, the whole lower east side and Tompkins Square Park have rats and dirt in them – lets just build a huge clean new building over the whole area financed by some investors who don’t live in this neighborhood or care about it at all – that should take care of everything. Thank you Veronica for your smart comments and for saving the Lower East Side.

  3. Yes – some community gardens are “organized” with signs all over the place about what you can and cannot do. This community garden is a great place for children that includes many amazing plants and trees and a slice of freedom from the fenced off concrete jungle gyms, school walls, and apartment facades. All of this despite the rat problem which has become unmanageable since the developer put up the fence creating multiple places for rats to hang and hide while also banning gardeners from being able to maintain the systems put in place that had rid the garden of rats last year.

    Now that the community has fought for green thumb status and got it, we have more resources to help us fight this problem again through the parks department and we are actively working on putting those in place for spring. Previously volunteers poured their own money into this or asked local businesses to contribute to helping fight the problem whose source is empty lots and local food trash. People who care about the neighborhood and preserving green spaces are welcome to join the garden, volunteer in the garden, donate to the garden, and bring their children to the garden free of charge.

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