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Essex Crossing Update: Architectural Plans, Community Liaison, Tenement Museum Video

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Rendering: Essex Crossing. SHoP Architects.
Rendering: Essex Crossing. SHoP Architects.

A few new tidbits to pass along this afternoon regarding Essex Crossing, the 1.9 million square foot project coming to the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

Architectural firms are still working on finalizing plans for the first phase of construction, scheduled to begin next spring.  A community task force recently got a glimpse of renderings for one site, but it will be a few months before Delancey Street Associates, the development consortium, makes a full set of drawings public.  According to Community Board 3 Chairperson Gigi Li, there’s a tentative plan to unveil the final plans at the September meeting of the land use committee. Also in the works: an open house in the community where residents will be able to examine the drawings.

L+M Development, one of the development partners, recently posted an online ad for a community relations director.  Here’s the job description:

Delancey Street Associates seeks an experienced professional to serve as the Director of Community Relations for Essex Crossing.  This position is critical to the success of the development project. The Director of Community Relations will engage Lower East Side residents in shaping the future of their neighborhood and will be instrumental in advancing DSA’s goals to bring more affordable housing, jobs, training and educational resources to the Lower East Side.  S/he will lead all aspects of meeting the community benefit goals associated with the Essex Crossing development and will report directly to the DSA development team.

The community relations director will also oversee job placement programs, specifically:

…Collaborating with local non-profit partners designated by NYCEDC, including but not limited to the Lower East Side Employment Network (LESEN), Grand Street Settlement, and Educational Alliance to meet hiring goals… Coordinating with designated contractors of each site to ensure they are informed of all hiring goals and monitor progress in meeting hiring goals… Coordinating with retail leasing team to ensure retail tenants are informed of hiring goals… In conjunction with the City, developing and administering reporting procedures to provide regular updates on the workforce development programs.

There’s also new information on the Essex Crossing website regarding the “right of return” for people who were displaced from the urban renewal area four decades ago:

Who is a former site tenant?

A former site tenant is someone who:

  • Lived in a building in the Seward Park Urban Extension Urban Renewal Area (SPEURA), which is bounded by Delancey Street to the north, Essex Street to the west, Grand Street to the south, and Willet Street to the east, between 1967 and 1973 when the buildings were cleared.

What type of preference does a former site tenant receive in Essex Crossing?

  • Former site tenant applicants will be given preference for affordable housing units for which they qualify within the Community Board marketing preference category (50% of affordable housing units). All former site tenant applicants will be subject to the HPD-HDC approved marketing plan, and must meet income guidelines and other eligibility criteria.

What documentation does a former site tenant need to establish SPEURA residency?

  • Former site tenants will be required to provide government-issued documentation that includes names, former addresses within SPEURA, and dates they were a resident there, in order to be considered eligible.  Acceptable forms of documentation may include, but are not limited to, Department of Education records, Department of Health records, passports, driver’s licenses, and voter registration cards.

Determination of “Former Site Tenant” status shall be made by the New York City Department of Housing, Preservation and Development.

(Note: If you are a former site tenant, you can register for the Essex Crossing project by visiting the Community Board 3 office).

Finally, there’s a new video available on the YouTube page maintained by Taconic Investment Partners. Prepared for the Tenement Museum, it salutes the Essex Crossing developers, who are helping to fund the museum’s $8 million expansion.  The non-profit organization honored executives of Taconic, L+M and another partner, BFC, at its gala last month. The event was held in the usually vacant Essex Street Market building on the south side of Delancey Street — an historic structure that will soon be demolished to make room for Essex Crossing. Have a look:

Essex Crossing will include 1,000 apartments (half of them affordable), a new Essex Street Market, community facilities and a large amount of retail space.



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  1. Please put a Bus Depot in this complex! Get the buses off our streets and out from under our windows. The bus companies can afford it, and it would be a big help to the community (no liason required).

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