After decades of contention between residents and politicians, the Bloomberg administration will announce on Wednesday plans of constructing a six-acre complex by SHoP and Beyer Blinder Belle Architects over a ten year period. Nine vacant lots in New York City's Lower East Side will be erected into a mega-development of retail, office, entertainment, cultural and housing units. The complex will be located in rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, once home to working-class Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans and Ukrainians, and has struggled to preserve affordable housing against an encroaching luxury market. In response, developers have collaborated with local community groups agreeing that half of the projected 1,000 apartments will be for low-, moderate-, and middle-income families.
However, is this enough to sustain a balance of varying incomes?
Some question whether the project will be realized at all. Coming in at the final months of Mayor Bloomberg’s term, critics predict the plan could be overturned by his successor. Nonetheless, it seems everyone has come to a consensus; Something must be done about the empty lots and tension between the diverse communities in the area. Edward Delgado, a New York resident whose family was evicted from the area over forty years ago, has hope.
“I know it’ll never go back to the way it was,” he said. “But I want the right for poor people to live here, too.”
Read the full New York Times article to find out how developers plan to address the upcoming development. Make sure to let us know what you think in the comment section below.
References: New York Times, SHoP, Beyer Blinder Belle