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Board Protests Affordable Housing at Elizabeth Street Garden

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The battle rages on at Nolita's Elizabeth Street Garden, which has been singled out by the city as the site for 60- to 75-units of affordable housing much to the chagrin of local neighbors. The head of Community Board 2 warned at a full meeting last week that if the Department of Housing Development and Preservation continues to pursue the plan, Community Board 2 will no longer play nice when it comes to future affordable housing developments within the board's turf, which includes Greenwich Village, Soho, and Gansevoort Market, DNAinfo reports. The Department of Housing Preservation and Development applied for a $6 million grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation in late August in order to partially finance the build at the site with the intention of moving forward later this fall.
"You can't expect to run people over in one location and expect them to lie down in the tracks for you at another location," CB2 chairperson Tobi Bergman said at Thursday's meeting, "That seems to be an expectation, because there are other big projects coming up." Those other big projects may include the redevelopment of St. John's Terminal and Pier 40, which has been in the works for the past few years. The project is expected to finance badly-needed repairs to Pier 40 through the sale of the pier's air rights. The redevelopment of the huge building may create a "very substantial amount" of affordable housing, Bergman says.

"Frankly, it is going to be a proposal for a big building," Bergman told DNAinfo, elaborating on the project, "There are going to be people who do not want a building that big. And the effort in this community to both benefit Hudson River Park and benefit the need for affordable housing is going to be very much harmed if we are still fighting or have taken a beating at Elizabeth Street Garden."

The community board is for the development of affordable housing, but wants the city to pursue development at alternative sites to the Elizabeth Street Garden within their jurisdiction. It begs to be noted, though, that the community board's role is advisory.
· City's Stance on Elizabeth Street Garden Will Jeopardize Pier 40, CB2 Says [DNAinfo]
· Elizabeth Street Garden May Soon Become Affordable Housing [Curbed]
· All Elizabeth Street Garden coverage [Curbed]
· All St. John's Terminal coverage [Curbed]