Elizabeth Street Garden Threatened; Considered for SPURA ‘Affordable Housing’

Posted on: October 23rd, 2013 at 5:51 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

That thirty-year-old sculpture garden on Elizabeth Street which so often attracts the gaze of passersby is threatened. Like countless other “green” neighborhood treasures, the city-owned parcel began life as a fallow 20,000 square-foot lot. Its subsequent beautification by the adjacent gallery and the hypergentrification of Little Italy now make the Elizabeth Street Garden a prime target for development. Though, with a twist. Enter SPURA and the fight for “affordable housing.”

Plans for affordable housing have been on the table for this through-lot since 1983, when the city apparently transferred the former school property to a private entity for its development. That obviously failed to transpire. Here we are thirty years later with no building and a one-of-a-kind community amenity.

This image has been archived or removed.

In discussions for the redevelopment of SPURA, the Garden was identified as a potential offsite development opportunity for affordable housing. As you might imagine, the natives are restless … and worried about a possible loss. Neighbors have already organized to battle, petitioning Chin to consider developing the housing elsewhere. In response to the outcry, a public hearing to “assess the best use” of the land has been scheduled by Community Board 2. That date is November 4, 6:30 pm.

There is also an online petition circulating that is in support of the garden. It currently boasts over 700 signatures.

More from CB2:

In 1983, part of a site where a public school had been was transferred by the city to a private entity for development of affordable housing at 21 Spring Street. The remainder of the school site has been under a month-to-month lease to a gallery since 1991 and is used for storage and display of large architectural artifacts in an attractive garden setting. The gallery owner has recently improved public access to the garden and a volunteer group of neighbors has formed to enhance the garden and sponsor public events. As part of the SPURA project discussions with Community Board 3, the lot was identified as a possible site for development of affordable housing

Recent Stories

Developer Begins Demolition of Rutgers Street Playground for Temporary Parking Lot

Demolition work began this week on a Lower East Side park that is a focal point in the tension between the community and developers on the waterfront. The backhoes are out and job now underway at Rutgers Park, the small public space beside the Lands End II residential development. Removal of the playground began yesterday, including […]

The 3 Lower East Side Walk-ups that Sold for $35M

Earlier this month, we reported that SMA Equities, the Long Island real estate firm with controversial history on the Lower East Side, sold a portfolio of its area properties. SMA unloaded three tenement walk-ups to Daniel Fishman of GAIA Real Estate – 102 Norfolk Street, 177 Ludlow Street, and 99 Allen Street – for an […]

H&M Debuts Pop-up Hotel on the Bowery this Weekend

Fashion retailer, H&M, is headed to the Lower East Side this week with a pop-up hotel concept. Starting tomorrow, prospective guests can access the so-called Hotel Hennes via the eponymous 3 Freeman Alley. The three-day publicity stunt will be open through Saturday, from 2 to 9pm. Guests will be able to check in for an […]

Sneakerhead Arrested for Knifing Customer at Hypebeast ‘HBX’ Opening on Division Street

A watershed moment for Hypebeast transformed into a melee on the Lower East Side last week. The Hong Kong-based fashion and lifestyle publication on Friday officially debuted in the seven-story commercial loft building at 41-43 Division Street. Its ground-level store – dubbed HBX – attracted a queue of sneaker heads waiting for a limited edition Nike […]

Arsonist Torches Eldridge Street Beauty Parlor

Two people were injured yesterday evening after an arsonist set ablaze a beauty parlor on Eldridge Street, according to several published reports. The incident transpired shortly before 5:00pm at the Sa Sa II Beauty Salon, located at 129 Eldridge Street. Cops said the suspect poured gasoline inside the store and set it on fire. (Initial […]