PHOTOS: Forty-six years in the making, Lower East Side development unveiled

In an old building on Essex Street, where Mayor Fiorello La Guardia once allowed street vendors to barter, a rusted and broken neon sign advertises beef, pork, veal and poultry to an empty open-space market — but not for much longer.

The building is to become part of a major mixed-use development project called Essex Crossing, utilizing some six acres of city-owned land on the Lower East Side.

“For nearly half a century it has been largely left behind, even as the surrounding neighborhood has revived and thrived,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the vacant market Wednesday, unveiling the new project.

Bloomberg, city officials, developers and community leaders said the project would complement the neighborhood’s rich history and tradition.

“Many New Yorkers can trace their roots back to this neighborhood, where people — many of whom were just arriving in America — made their livings and built their businesses on these very streets,” said Charles Bendit, co-CEO of Taconic Investment Partners, one of three developers collectively investing $1.1 billion in the project.

Noting his own grandparents settled on the Lower East Side when they immigrated to the U.S., Bendit said the project will foster that same sense of entrepreneurialism.

In addition to 1,000 units of housing, half of which will be permanently affordable for low- to middle-income households and seniors, the project will include open space, a new Essex Street Market, the Andy Warhol Museum, offices, shops, an urban farm, a community center and, eventually, a public school.

The project is expected to create 1,600 permanent jobs and 4,400 construction jobs.

“We are going to be able to see our neighborhood grow, and grow in a way that is balanced,” Gigi Li, chairwoman of Manhattan’s Community Board 3, said of the project.

Though Bloomberg said Essex Crossing has the support of “everybody we could find,” one protester could be heard shouting from outside the market while the mayor spoke.

“It’s a compromise when people want different things,” he said of potential opponents of the project.

Groundbreaking for the first phase of Essex Crossing is expected in spring 2015, and the entire project is expected to be completed by 2024, a moment “a long time coming,” Bloomberg said.

Buildings on several of the project’s sites were demolished in 1967 and several mayors have tried — and failed — to redevelop them since.

“Now the promise of revitalization that was made back in 1967 is at long last being filled. Who said that government doesn’t deliver?” Bloomberg joked.

Follow Anna Sanders on Twitter: @AnnaESanders



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MTA announces service changes for Sunday

The MTA has announced service changes ahead of Sunday's People's Climate March, which will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Riders using…

Local

NYPD launches Twitter account for L train

The NYPD recently launched a Twitter handle dedicated to the L train and its riders. According to @NYPDLtrain, officers went underground Thursday morning to hand…

Local

Bushwick community space offers activists a place to…

A new Bushwick community space offers community activists to meet, create, learn and throw back a few cold ones. MayDay, located 214 Starr Street in Bushwick,…

Local

Activists gearing up for Sunday's "historic" People's Climate…

If all goes according to plan, more than 100,000 people will gather near Central Park West on Sunday morning and march through midtown to raise…

Arts

EXCLUSIVE: Backstage with Adam Jacobs at 'Aladdin' on…

Metro shadowed Adam Jacobs backstage at "Aladdin" on Broadway.

Movies

Review: Terry Gilliam's 'The Zero Theorem' is better…

Terry Gilliam's latest, "The Zero Theorem," concerns a reclusive malcontent (Christoph Waltz) struggling with the search for the meaning of life.

Music

Esperanza Spalding and a being called Emily get…

Esperanza Spalding is about to spiral off in a brand new direction that may or may include an alter ego named Emily.

Movies

Review: Bickering family dramedy 'This is Where I…

A talented cast sits Shiva in the bickering family dramedy "This is Where I Leave You," although it's more sap than yuks.

NFL

J.J. Watt poses unique challenges to struggling Giants…

Watt, arguably the best defensive player in the league, is the leader of a surprising Texans (2-0) team that has already matched last season’s win total.

NFL

Eric Decker 'unlikely to play' against Bears: Source

Jets wide receiver Eric Decker's status for Monday night’s game against the Bears is in doubt after he missed practice again Wednesday.

NFL

Preston Parker, not Odell Beckham, will replace Jerrel…

Tom Coughlin noted the next man up will be unheralded veteran Preston Parker.

NFL

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

NFL Week 3 full schedule (kickoff time, TV)

Parenting

A sneaky way to serve kids fruits and…

"My First Juices and Smoothies" gives smoothie recipes for kids.

Style

3 things we love from Day 1 of…

The highlights from Day 1 of Milan Fashion Week.

Sex

Why don't more couples use condoms?

  Call it the “condom moment.” That’s the name the authors of a new study have given to the pivotal conversation every couple should be…

Sex

Need an idea for a first date? Here's…

Picture your idea of a nice first date. Is it dinner and a movie? A visit to an interesting museum exhibit? Instead, an expert on…