Two Bridges Environmental Review Meetings Coming Up; Separate Task Force Sessions Closed to Public

The environmental review will cover an area between Rutgers Street and Clinton Street along the East Ricer. Google maps.
The environmental review will cover an area between Rutgers Street and Clinton Street along the East Ricer. Google maps.
The environmental review will cover an area between Rutgers Street and Clinton Street along the East River. Google maps.

We have more today on the upcoming public meetings regarding three massive development projects along the East River. They’re part of an environmental review being undertaken by the city, in coordination with the developers and local elected officials.

The first meeting takes place Dec. 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Gouverneur Health, 227 Madison St. Three additional public meetings will be held in the early part of next year.

Just last week, we reported that L+M Development Partners and the CIM Group plan twin towers at 260 South St. The taller of the two towers will be 69 stories. 1350 apartments and expanded retail will be part of the project. During the spring, JDS Development Group unveiled plans for a 77-story building at 247 Cherry St. with 639 apartments. The Starrett Corp. is planning another big project at 271-283 South St.

Graphic prepared by JDS Development.
Graphic prepared by JDS Development.

The upcoming meetings are meant to provide public input for an Environmental Impact Statement. It involves studying 18 categories to determine whether the neighborhood can handle the influx of 4,000 new apartments [counting Extell’s One Manhattan Square project on the former Pathmark site, this is approximately what’s projected.] Categories include: community facilities (such as schools), mass transit, sewage infrastructure, air quality, etc.

Joel Kolkmann, a staffer with the Department of City Planning, noted during a September community board meeting that the environmental review must outline proposed mitigations for any local impacts identified. “Those mitigations.” he said, “are mandated through legal documents.”

As you may recall, the city rejected a request from City Council member Margaret Chin for a full ULURP (Universal Land Use Review Procedure) in the neighborhood. As an alternative, the city and developers agreed to consider their applications in the Two Bridges “Large Scale Residential Development” area as part of a single process. Unlike a ULURP, however, the City Council will not vote on the land use applications, meaning the Department of City Planning is in complete control.

In addition to the public meetings, City Council member Margaret Chin has assembled a task force to deal with the Two Bridges environmental review. You can see the members of the task force below. The group’s meetings are closed to the general public. Meeting minutes are not being published online, but we’re told, anyone asking the Council member’s office for the minutes will be provided with them.

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