City Issues RFP to Bulldoze Elizabeth Street Garden for Affordable Housing Development

Posted on: September 16th, 2016 at 5:03 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

The Elizabeth Street Garden is caught between affordable housing and a green place. And now, it appears that bulldozing might come sooner than previously believed.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development issued an official Request for Proposals this week to redevelop the city-owned land for affordable senior housing. “The Project must include affordable housing for seniors that both meets the economic needs of the community and furthers fair housing by promoting economically diverse neighborhoods,” the announcement reads. “The Development must also include quality commercial and/or community facility uses, as well publicly-accessible open space.”

Per the press release:

[On Wednesday] NYC Housing Preservation and Development invited developers to submit proposals to destroy Elizabeth Street Garden, our beloved neighborhood green space in the heart of historic Little Italy. Garden supporters, who have worked tirelessly for the past three years to transform the beautiful garden into a virtual outdoor community center, vow to fight to save what many refer to as the “soul of the neighborhood.”

“The City has repeatedly threatened to move forward with plans to build on the Garden, and we knew this day would come,” said Jeannine Kiely, president of Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden. “We will not back down and allow real estate developers and elected officials to ignore us any longer. Council Member Chin has turned a deaf ear to her constituents, who overwhelmingly support saving Elizabeth Street Garden. Unfortunately, the administration is once again allowing politics to determine policy, despite receiving 4,500 community letters in support of saving the Garden and despite Manhattan Community Board 2’s recommendation for an alternative site with the potential for five times more affordable housing.”

Scoopy over at The Villager also suspects that the RFP was delayed until now so that it wouldn’t hurt Gigi Li in her bid for the 65th Assembly seat. She was the sole supporter of the project in the field of six Democratic candidates. Given her epic loss this week to Yuh-Line Niou, the project is back on the table, with her puppetmaster Councilmember Chin still pushing to make it happen. However, the community (and CB2) will reportedly “go to the mat” in opposition to the plans.

This image has been archived or removed.

Recent Stories

Avril Lavigne Marks 20th Album Anniversary on Canal Street

Avril Lavigne returned to SoHo this week to mark the twentieth anniversary of her pop-punk debut, Let Go. The “Sk8er Boi” artist took to TikTok in celebratory gush, posting a quick hit of her standing in the intersection of Broadway and Canal Street. An ode to the album cover, twenty years older and not blurry, […]

Long-Stalled Grand Street Lot Reactivates

Despite ongoing troubles with his East Broadway project, local owner-developer Daniel Wise is now proceeding with a new development planned for Grand Street. No longer an overgrown jungle of weeds, the zombie parcel spanning 330-332 Grand is, as of a couple weeks ago, fully reanimated. The Department of Buildings issued permits for foundation work last […]

From the Rooftops: The Hell Square Aural Assault

Articles about ear-shattering noise levels, from parties to cruising cars, as well as the general lack of regard for the residents of Hell Square, are rote at this point. Almost a cliche. But to residents living in the bullseye, the aural assault remains a weekly nightmare. And this past Saturday night, by several accounts, upped […]

Pitt Pool Opens for Summer Season

New York City public pools officially opened yesterday. For the Lower East Side, that means the Pitt Pool (aka Hamilton Fish) is ready to go. The launch happened with great fanfare. Parks Commissioner Sue Donoghue joined Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, Assembly Member Harvey Epstein, Senator Brian Kavanagh, Council Member Carlina Rivera, and local kids […]

At Belse, the New Vegan Brewery on the Bowery

Belse, the Texas-based vegan brewery and restaurant, is now in business on the Bowery. The Lone Star State transplant – officially, Belse Plant Cuisine – takes 11,000 square-feet at 265-267 Bowery, in what was previously the fleeting home of the Paulaner Brauhaus brewery. The renovated space features three sections – a restaurant, bar, and Garden […]