The massive new luxury tower from Extell Development at the former Cherry Street Pathmark site has been stealing a lot of local headlines lately. But it’s not the only new project brewing in the immediate vicinity.
This afternoon, we’re taking a look at a neighboring parcel that once housed the Pathmark pharmacy. At a community meeting this week, Extell’s Gary Barnett said his firm is in talks with the owner and hopes to develop a project there. But the owner of the lot tells us today there are no ongoing conversations because a deal is in the works with another partner.
First, here’s specifically what Barnett said the other night when asked about his plans for the site:
We don’t control the space. We have a lease on a portion of the space. So we don’t have any plans on that yet. We’re talking to the people who own the other space. We’d like to see if we can find a way to build a building… (But there would need to be) input from a number of parties, so I don’t know if it ever happens, but it could happen.
The parcel, known as 235-247 Cherry St., is co-owned by the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Settlement Housing Fund. This morning, Two Bridges President Victor Papa said, “Extell had expressed interest in acquiring the site. We had to beg off because we’re in contract with another entity, and we’re obliged not to talk with other parties.”
Roy Schoenberg of Cherry Street LLC confirmed today that his company is partnering with Two Bridges for a new building on the site. Papa and Schoenberg said they could not discuss details — including the number of units and the size of the project — since they’re in the midst of working out the fine points.
Two Bridges and Settlement Housing Fund co-sponsored the development of the Two Bridges Urban Renewal Area. The last piece of that initiative is meant to be the creation of at least 70 units of affordable housing at 235-237 Cherry. The project will almost certainly include some market rate housing, in addition to the affordable units. The lot is 11,800 square feet.
This week, Barnett said his luxury tower would rise to about 60 stories and include around 800 apartments. A separate 13-story building containing 204 affordable units is also part of the plan. In 2012, Barnett purchased the Pathmark site for $150 million from Cherry Street LLC, Mr. Schoenberg’s company. He also bought Pathmark’s long-term lease at 235 Cherry.
One other related note. During this past Wednesday night’s event, Barnett said Extell intended to eventually transfer management and ownership of the affordable building over to a community-based non-profit organization. When asked whether Two Bridges Neighborhood Council is interested, Papa said, “we would take Mr. Barnett up on that offer” because it’s “within our expertise and interest.” Papa added that Extell has been very responsive in dealing with issues that have come up during the demolition of the Pathmark building. Residents in Two Bridges Tower, adjacent to the Extell site, have complained about noise and other problems from the use of heavy equipment. “They have been a very good neighbor in the community,” he said.