Delancey Street Associates, the group building Essex Crossing, has decided to name a 15-story residential/commercial building at 145 Clinton St. for Sonny Rollins. The legendary Jazz musician lived at 400-402 Grand St., the tenements torn down to build the new project, for several years starting in 1959.
In a story published in the New York Times, the developers announced that the building will be called The Rollins. In response, Rollins said, “That was a fond place for me… It really has a place in my heart.”
An affordable housing lottery was already held for 104 low and middle-income apartments at 145 Clinton St. (Monthly rents will range from $519 to more than $3400). Next month, Douglas Elliman will begin renting 107 market rate units. According to the Times. prices will range from $3150/month for studios all the way up to an eye-popping $8450 for 3-bedrooms. One-bedroom apartments are expected to run $4450 and two-bedrooms will be set at $5800/month. A splash page, complete with Sonny Rollins music, has already been set up. The building will also include a Trader Joe’s and a Target store, plus 15,000 feet for other retail businesses.
The Times notes the following:
The rents will be among the highest in the neighborhood at a time when the rental market has slowed, particularly at the top. In the third quarter of 2017, the median asking rent for a one-bedroom in the Lower East Side was $2,589 a month, with only 34 of the available one-bedrooms (about 10 percent of the inventory) asking a higher rent than what the Rollins will be charging, according to data provided by StreetEasy.
In spite of the soft market, however, the development team says it already has a thousand inquiries from people interested in renting apartments at Essex Crossing. The broker told the Times, “This product is going to speak to a more established and more mature audience… It’s going to speak to people who want a more elevated living experience.”
Coincidentally, local resident Jeff Caltabiano has been campaigning to name the Williamsburg Bridge for Sonny Rollins. [He notes, by the way, that the “Sonny Rollins Bridge Project has no affiliation with this development or its landlord.”] More than 3,000 people have signed a petition in support of changing the name of the bridge, which served as Rollins’ makeshift (and very inspirational) outdoor practice studio.
Another Essex Crossing building will be named for someone with very strong Lower East Side ties. It was recently decided, with input from a local community task force, that a senior building at 175 Delancey St. will be named in honor of LES housing activist Francis Golden. She waged a decades-long battle to build affordable housing in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (which has now been rebranded Essex Crossing).
If you would like to read our tribute to the people who lived and worked at 400 Grand St., including Rollins, click here.