As we reported yesterday, three development teams planning large-scale projects in the Two Bridges neighborhood have rejected a request from residents for a delay in the environmental review process. The request was made by residents in a contentious meeting held Jan. 18. This morning, tenant leaders from buildings adjacent to the development sites are out with a new statement, which is critical of the developers’ decision. But they also pledged to stay engaged with an ongoing community planning initiative.
The statement was sent to us by representatives of each building located in the Two Bridges Large-Scale Residential Development Area. These buildings include: Lands End I, Lands End II, Two Bridges Tower and 286 South St.
We are very disappointed by the developers decision to not extend the period of time that the community will have to discuss the impacts of these massive developments which will more than double the population of residents in the two block area affected prior to the official scoping hearing. This additional time would have been for the community to have its own discussions to ensure we’re all sufficiently made aware of what’s being proposed. Citing the limits of the law is no consolation and does not give residents of Two Bridges any confidence that these developments will provide any additional housing that is truly affordable. There is nothing stopping developers from being specific about what affordable means, yet in two community engagement meetings they’ve failed to be specific. There has been no real effort to address the issues raised by residents in the Two Bridges community who are adamantly opposed to these developments citing, gentrification, overcrowded subway stations, already scarce parking, excessive building heights, neighborhood character, displacement of senior citizens, etc. We frankly disagree that it would be counterproductive to delay as this position presumes that the only discussions regarding these developments and their potential impacts would only need to involve direct engagement with the developers and their agents; we frankly need this additional time to discuss impacts within the community and with our representatives. We remain engaged and will continue to advocate for more comprehensive and inclusive engagement which allows for the fullest expression of the Two Bridge community.
JDS Development Group, L+M Development Partners and the CIM Group and the Starrett Group are all planning towers ranging in height from 62 to 79 stories. Along with local elected officials and tenant leaders, they have been participating in a joint environmental review. Two public meetings have already been held and a third is scheduled for early March.