SPURA, the Lower East Side site of a failed urban renewal plan abandoned during the Robert Moses era, has "blighted" the neighborhood for over 45 years. But soon, the largest stretch of undeveloped city-owned land south of 96th Street will leave its negative past behind and become Essex Crossing, a 1.65 million-square-foot mixed-use mega-development. Split between nine parcels, Essex Crossing will bring 1,000 apartments, half of which will be priced below market rate, as well as an array of cultural, community, and retail facilities to the Lower East Side. With construction expected to start on phase one as early as late Spring, it won't be longabout three years, to be precisebefore the community will begin reaping the benefits of the project. Phase one will see the development of sites one, two, five, and six. Here's what they're all about.
↑ Site One: Designed by SHoP, Site One is Essex Crossing's most western lot, bounded by Essex, Ludlow, Delancey and Broome streets. The building will be the only condo development in phase one. Of the building's 55 apartments, 11 will be priced affordably at 110-percent of the area's median income. The nine-story condo tower will rise on the southern portion of a five-story base containing various retail and commercial tenants, a bowling alley, and a subset of Pittsburgh's Andy Warhol Museum that will have a rooftop sculpture garden. Construction is expected to start in August 2015.
↑ Site Two: Handel Architects is designing Site Two, a full-block development bounded by Delancey, Broome, Essex, and Norfolk streets. The building, called the "gateway" to Essex Crossing by project developers, will be the largest structure built across the nine sites and will contain 195 rentals, 98 of which will be affordably priced. The 24-story building will have a five-story base that will be shared by Essex Street Market as well as a 14-screen, 1,250-seat Regal movie theater. The roof of the building's podium will be home to an urban farmwhose growth will in part be sold at the marketthat's accessible to both building residents and the community. The building's resident facilities will also be on the sixth floorthe same level as the urban garden. Demolition of the existing buildings on the site is expected to begin imminently, with construction on the new building beginning in the summer.
↑ Site Five: Site Fivebounded by Delancey, Grand, Suffolk, and Clinton streetswill consist of a 15-story Beyer Blinder Belle-designed rental building with ground-floor retail including a supermarket, a park designed by West8, and a public school. Fifty percent of the building's 211 apartments will be affordably priced. Construction is expected to begin in the summer.
↑ Site Six: Dattner is designing the building on Six, the mega-project's easternmost site. The 14-story building's 100 rentals will all be priced below market rate and will be available only to seniors. The building will have ground floor retail including a medical clinic. It will also have a planted roof garden on top of the building's podium that will serve as space for community and resident functions.