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Four Decades After Site Was Cleared, Plan for Lower East Side Renewal Takes Shape

With a legacy of controversy dating back to the urban renewal schemes of the 1950s and 60s, arriving at a plan to develop a six-acre parcel on Manhattan's Lower East Side was no easy task. But after a collaborative process a vision has emerged.
September 18, 2013, 5am PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Successive administrations dating to back to Mayor John V. Lindsay have failed to find an agreeable plan to replace the tenements demolished in 1967 on Manhattan's Lower East Side.

"But after a three-year effort to forge a compromise, the Bloomberg administration plans to announce on Wednesday that it has selected developers to erect a complex called Essex Crossing at the location, long known as the Seward Park urban renewal area," reports Charles V. Bagli. "The development would include retail markets, restaurants, office space, a movie theater, parks, an Andy Warhol Museum and 1,000 apartments. Half of the apartments would be for low-, moderate- and middle-income families."

The project, designed by SHoP Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle, results from "an unprecedented collaboration with the local community board and a task force" that saw each player compromise their long-held positions to reach consensus.

“This project is the pinnacle of urban development in 2013,” Deputy Mayor Robert K. Steel said on Tuesday. “It has all the hallmarks of a Bloomberg administration project: transforming an underutilized asset into a place that serves the diverse needs of the community.”

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Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2013 in The New York Times
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