Fate of Essex Street Market Discussed at CB3 Meeting

Posted on: May 26th, 2011 at 6:39 am by

With the SPURA development process kicking into high gear, CB3 held a meeting last night at the University Settlement Community Center on Allen Street to discuss what has been a hot topic of debate – the fate of the historic Essex Street Market. Officials from the NYC Economic Development Corporation and Assemblyman Sheldon Silver’s office were all present.

This image has been archived or removed.

Built in 1940, the Essex Street Market is an iconic and thriving market that occupies 15,000 square feet, and nurtures 22 local vendors. It is one of four surviving public markets built during the Depression as part of Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia’s initiative to create public markets for pushcart vendors, and to this day remains a lifeblood for the community.

This image has been archived or removed.

During the meeting merchants made emotional appeals to CB3 and the NYC Economic Development Corp. explaining the importance and history of the Essex Street Market. Local activist and staunch supporter Cynthia Lamb has already collected nearly 2,000 signatures for a petition she created four months ago. She is simultaneously urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to consider granting landmark status, which would effectively prevent its demolition and preserve its antique charm.  “I love that the market stalls look as old as New York,” said Ms. Lamb.

This image has been archived or removed.

The NYCEDC maintains that if the Essex Street Market is relocated, it would continue to operate until the new space habitable. Current vendors would get first priority. Two other options discussed were temporary relocation of merchants or vertical additions to the current one-story structure; the latter project would be quite costly and conducted in phases. Finally, it was conveyed that if the market stays at the current location, the SPURA redevelopment plan would probably lose 80-100 new apartments.

What we wanna know is what this new Essex Street Market would be called if moved off its namesake street?

Written by Andrew Cohen

Recent Stories

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” […]

Truck Hits ‘OhK Dog’ Dining Shed on Ludlow Street

Ludlow Street neighbors began Saturday with the sound of a large crash. It was the sound of the OhK Dog dining shed collapsing to the ground. From what we gather, a truck driver headed southbound on Ludlow struck the popular restaurant’s outdoor annex. No one was hurt in the incident. This was apparently the second […]

New 21-Story Tower Begins Ascent on Market Street

A former Lower East Side parking lot is meeting its skyscraping destiny. Another tower. The through-block parcel on Henry Street, just west of Market, is already on its upward ascent. The new mixed-use development at 59 Henry will ultimately rise 21 stories (227 feet), with 57,395 square-feet of residential floor area and 40,305 square-feet for […]