Rooftop Farm Opens at Essex Crossing, While Eleven Madison Park Team Drops Lower East Side Project

Photo Credit: Delancey Street Associates.

The developers behind Essex Crossing and a nonprofit group called Project EATS yesterday debuted a 9,000 square rooftop farm.  It’s located on the 6th floor of “The Essex,” a mixed-use building at 125 Delancey St. (the same building where the new Essex Market is located).

On Wednesdays and Saturdays, produce from the organic farm is being sold in the plaza located on Broome Street between Clinton Street and Suffolk Street. When the first phase of the Market Line, an underground shopping pavilion, finally opens, the farmstead will move indoors. Among the crops now being grown: carrots, turnips, radishes and beets. There will also be some baby kale, mustard greens and arugula.

Project EATS has a network of 10 farms across the city. Part of the organization’s mission is to engage local communities, promoting public health, education and workforce development. Through a partnership with Gouverneur Health, doctors will be able to write prescriptions for patients to receive fresh vegetables, which are subsidized. This year, 100 patients are expected to receive 18 weeks of “food prescriptions.” Project EATS is also running education initiatives and workforce training through the high schools on the Seward Park Campus and providing free Saturday breakfast for local seniors. According to a press release, “The program will expand to include families with children in 2020. The farm will also host a regular program of healthy lifestyle workshops, community dinners, and dialogues.”

Essex Crossing is the 1.9 million square foot project under construction in the former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area. It includes more than 1,000 apartments, half of them designated by the city as affordable. There are also numerous public amenities, including the new Essex Market, a 14-screen Regal movie theater, Trader Joe’s and a health center operated by NYU Langone. The mega project is being developed by Delancey Street Associates, a joint venture among L+M Development Partners, BFC Partners, Taconic Investment Partners, the Prusik Group and the Goldman Sachs Urban Investment Group.

There was more news concerning Essex Crossing this week. Daniel Humm and Will Guidara (best known for Eleven Madison Park) are backing out of plans for an events space in the International Center of Photography’s new headquarters at 242 Broome St. The team is breaking up. Developers told Eater that they pulled out due to delays in the project. The Prusik Group, which handles commercial leasing for Essex Crossing, is now looking for a new operator for the space, which spans two floors of ICP’s building.