Last Night’s CB3 Meeting on SPURA Project Planning

Posted on: March 31st, 2011 at 8:34 am by

It was a jam-packed meeting at the Abrons Arts Center on Grand Street last night, as CB3 held another meeting to discuss the decades-vacant SPURA site.  Officials from the NYC Economic Development Corporation, the Department of City Planning, and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s office all attended the contentious gathering.

Architect Neil Kittredge of Beyer, Blinder, Belle presented a development plan that centered on three main themes: street and pedestrian network, open space, and building mass and height.  To aid him in this feat, Kittredge displayed a scaled Styrofoam model of the SPURA site, complete with a layout of the size and density of possible buildings that could compose the area.

This image has been archived or removed.

Kitteredge also addressed the significant issue of street and pedestrian network within this new micro neighborhood.  For instance, how to balance vehicular traffic with pedestrian activity, maintaining the street grid, and addressing the challenging of cars short-cutting through the area.

Another theme discussed was open space.  Kittredge displayed a map of parks within a fifteen minute walk of Delancey and Essex Streets.  “We wanted to take a look at what exists in the neighborhood and what these parks are used for,” said Mr. Kittredge.  “A large park is not the most essential thing on the SPURA site.”  He recommended putting a park on site 5, which is the largest site.  He used similar examples like Cobble Hill Park in Brooklyn and ABC Playground on Houston Street.

This image has been archived or removed.

The final theme discussed was building mass and height.  Kittredge spoke about how, thanks to recently-passed zoning, the wider thoroughfares of Delancey Street and Grand Street allow for buildings with more height and density.  The possiblity of a school, hotel, or even office space was floated for the approximately 1.5 million square feet of open development.  An architect’s wet dream.  “I want to come up with a design that we all like,” said Kittredge.

This image has been archived or removed.

Another topic of significance that was actually discussed at the outset was the fate of the Essex Street Market.  Cynthia Lamb has collected almost 500 signatures on her petition to save the Essex Street Market.  Her target is 2,000.   You can head here to sign the petition and read other people’s comments; or post your own.  The fate of our beloved neighborhood market is currently an agenda item at next month’s meeting, to be held Monday May 2nd.

Written by Andrew Cohen

Recent Stories

DOT Reinstalls Chinatown Bilingual Street Signs

The Department of Transportation yesterday began replacing bilingual street signs around Chinatown that had been removed for reasons such as damage or construction projects. Crews showed up early on Mott Street to install a missing sign at the corner of Mosco, then proceeded to other spots in the neighborhood. The bilingual street signs first appeared […]

After 120 Years, Future of Parisi Bakery Looks Uncertain on Mott Street

Parisi Bakery, an institution in Little Italy dating back to the turn of the last century, appears to be on shaky ground. The landlord (May Leun Realty) last week taped an official Notice of Termination to the shuttered roll-down gate at 198 Mott Street. Seemingly signaling the end an era. The letter noted a cancelation […]

The Push to Save New York Eye and Ear Infirmary Building, as LPC Stalls

With plans to close the 165-year-old New York Eye and Ear Infirmary building on Second Avenue, demolition is likely the next step. Preservation-minded groups have been lobbying the city to save the building from possible destruction. Led by Village Preservation, the organization sent a Request for Evaluation letter to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on April […]

Excavation Underway on Affordable Grand Street Guild Towers

Work is officially underway on two new towers adjacent to the Williamsburg Bridge. On-site excavation has been ongoing for several weeks at Broome and Clinton Streets, yielding plenty of dust and noise for neighbors. Earlier this year, demolition crews razed the two-story parking garage and Little Star early childhood center in the shadow of the […]

Mr. Fong’s Owner Plans All Day Cafe on Hester Street

Another day, another principal of Mr. Fong’s starting a new Lower East Side venture. Aisa Shelley – who co-founded the Chinatown hotspot with Lucas Moran, Noah Shelley, Daniel Eric Gold and Adam Moonves – is headed to 61 Hester Street. The long-inactive storefront previously occupied by L’estudio. There, Shelley will impart an “all day cafe” […]