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City Reveals Official Plans for SPURA Redevelopment

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The swath of Lower East Side parking lots earmarked for the SPURA redevelopment project have sat undeveloped for 40 years, but the project started to gain some real momentum last summer, when the city outlined the maximum possible redevelopment for the site. Now the city has firmed up its plans, and Economic Development Corporation officials went before the Community Board 3 land use committee last night to explain the SPURA proposal that will be heading into the ULURP process soon. The Lo-Down has the, uh, low down on what the city finally has in mind for SPURA. And that is?

The first major component is the Seward Park Project, a 1.65 million-square-foot mixed-use project with 900 apartments. Half of those apartments will be market-rate and half affordable, to stay in the city's affordable housing program for 60 years. The Seward Park Project will have commercial space, too, and that could be anything from a hotel to big box retail to a movie theater, to be determined later. The city also wants to move the Essex Street Market to the south side of Delancey Street, putting some kind of mixed-use complex on the current market spot. And finally, the SPURA ULURP proposal calls for a 10,000-square-foot park on Broome Street.
Considering how long SPURA has been up for debate, it's not surprising that the land use committee wasn't immediately on board with the city's proposal. CB 3 would prefer that the affordable Seward Park Project apartments be permanently affordable, and they would prefer that the retail space not go to a big box store. They also want a public school within SPURA, but the Department of Education has said another school in the area would be unnecessary. Members of the public will have a chance to share their SPURA-related two cents at a town hall meeting in April, after the application has been certified into ULURP.
· The City's SPURA Plan Calls for "Big Box" Stores; Apartments Would Not Be "Permanently Affordable" [The Lo-Down]
· SPURA coverage [Curbed]