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Giant Swath of Lower East Side Land Might Not Lie Fallow Forever

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There is, believe it or not, hope in the saga of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, or SPURA. No, city officials haven't approved a housing plan for the parking lots on the south side of Delancey Street, which were supposed to be developed 40+ years ago. They don't even have a plan to consider approving. But the Times reports that Community Board 3 hopes to have a proposal set for SPURA next year, and then two more years of review can begin! That's right, things are getting done on the LES, prompted by the neighborhood's recent rezoning efforts, which we're told finally got nearby co-op residents and poor people to stop hating each other. So what might (fingers crossed) SPURA (taking out rabbit's foot) one day (gently stroking four-leaf clover) look like? Old.

Here's the latest version of the plan:

Under the proposed guidelines, the five remaining Seward Park redevelopment parcels would intersperse commercial and residential sites with open spaces and parks. The guidelines call for roughly 1,000 rental units; 40 percent to 60 percent would be market rate, 10 percent to 30 percent would go to middle- and moderate-income earners and roughly 30 percent would be low income. Residents ousted from the buildings razed in the late 1960s — at least those still around — may be given priority. The largest retailers would be “midbox,” no more than 40,000 square feet each. The city has also offered to include in the plan four nearby sites, including the Essex Street Market.

Who says you can't go home again? Look for the cryogenically frozen SPURA survivors to move into their new homes circa 2095.
· Agreement Seems Near on Long-Stalled Lower East Side Project [NYT]
· SPURA coverage [Curbed]