Essex Crossing Update: Construction Progress, Commercial Tenant Search, Groundbreaking Canceled

Crews are beginning to demolish 400 Grand St., a tenement on site 5 of the Essex Crossing project.

Crews are beginning to demolish 400 Grand St., a tenement on site 5 of the Essex Crossing project.
Crews are beginning to demolish 400 Grand St., a tenement on site 5 of the Essex Crossing project.

Essex Crossing developers were back in front of Community Board 3’s land use committee last night to update progress in the nearly two-million square foot project at the foot of the Williamsburg Bridge. Phase 1 of the large residential and commercial development is now under construction on the former Seward Park urban renewal site. Here are highlights from the briefing by Essex Crossing Project Manager Isaac Henderson.

Crews have made good progress on the foundation of site 2 (80 Essex St./115 Delancey St). This is the future location of a 24-story tower including rental apartments, a 14-screen movie theater and a new Essex Street Market. They’ve gone about 40 feet below ground, to the cellar level. Henderson said the foundation phase of the job will take about 10 months.

On site 5 (145 Clinton St.), crews are working on taking down 400 Grand St., a tenement building. They already demolished a neighboring tenement and the old Broome Street fire house.

On site 1 (242 Broome St.), foundation work will resume in the next week. A financing package for this parcel is expected to be finalized at the end of the month, clearing the way for full-scale construction. Site 1 is the future home of 55 condominium apartments, a bowling alley concept known as Splitsville Lanes and a cultural facility to-be-named.

On site 6 (175 Delancey St.), Henderson said a financing deal should be in place by the late fall. The building planned on this lot will include 100 apartments for seniors and, most likely, a medical facility from NYU.

An arrangement has been made with he city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development to create a construction staging area on a portion of site 3. The lot is part of the Essex Crossing project but is still under city control (site 3 isn’t part of phase 1 construction).

In response to a question from a land use committee member, Henderson said developers are still searching for a tenant to replace the Warhol Museum, which backed out of a deal to establish an annex on site 1. He also reiterated what we’ve previously reported — the the Educational Alliance has decided to drop plans for a dual generation school at Essex Crossing. Henderson said both institutions had signed non-binding “memorandums of understanding” and the terms had not been changed. He noted that the Warhol Museum and Educational Alliance both changed top leadership after those agreements were struck.

As for NYU, Henderson said the institution prematurely announced that a 40,000 sq. ft. medical facility would be part of the Lower East Side project. As we reported Aug. 25, the center on site 6 is in-the-works but a lease has not yet been signed. NYU removed its press release about the new center after our story was published. Developers are optimistic an agreement will be reached soon.

Although plans were being made for a formal groundbreaking ceremony later this month, the decision has been made to cancel the event.

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