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Third developer reveals huge tower on Lower East Side waterfront

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Starrett Corporation is moving forward with a 700-foot tower

Perkins Eastman

Within a few years, the Two Bridges area of the Lower East Side waterfront will soon look nothing like its current low-slung form. Several enormous towers—planned by JDS Development, and L+M Development Partners and CIM Group—are due to rise in the area, and now, thanks to the Lo-Down, new details and renderings have emerged on another huge skyscraper-in-the-works.

This particular building, developed by Starrett Corporation, will be a 62-story, 724-foot-tall structure located at 259 Clinton Street, adjacent to L&M and CIM’s forthcoming two-tower development. (It’s also only a few blocks from Extell’s One Manhattan Square and JDS’s proposed building on Cherry Street.) The parcel of land is adjacent to Lands End I, an affordable housing complex located at 257 Clinton Street, which was purchased by L&M in 2015 and later rebranded as 275 South Street.

Preliminary plans call for Starrett’s building to have 732 apartments, with about 183 of those deemed affordable (under the Mayor’s mandatory inclusionary housing program). Perkins Eastman, which also created the renders, is responsible for the design of the building, which will also have ground-floor retail, a terrace and garden for residents, and “landscaping” on the South Street side of the building.

Perkins Eastman

Given the building’s proximity to the East River waterfront, there will also be resiliency measures in place, including building above the flood plain, flood gates to protect the storefronts, and “holding tanks to store excess storm water,” among other features.

According Starrett president Josh Siegel, who spoke with the Lo-Down (and at a community meeting on Monday night), the firm doesn’t want to be viewed as mere interlopers. “We want to build with the community,” he explained. “We want to work with the local community … [w]e want to be seen as a good citizen. That’s very important to us.” To that end, Starrett is hoping that vendors in the building’s commercial spaces will fill the needs of the community, and has pledged to work with neighborhood residents to “limit disruptions during construction, [and] keep the lines of communication with the local community open,” according to TLD.

Siegel also told TLD that the affordable component of the building was important to the firm (though the terms of the apartments’ affordability likely won’t be known for some time). “We are trying to answer that call to increase affordable housing, which as we all know, is always desperately needed in New York City,” he told TLD.

So that’s what we know about the building so far. As TLD notes, community reaction to the influx of tall towers has been, at best, skeptical; concerns over density, safety, and displacement of longtime neighborhood residents have all been raised. Additionally, a push to have these developments go through the city’s land-use review process (ULURP) was rejected earlier this year, to the dismay of community activists.

Siegel, for his part, says that Starrett takes these concerns seriously. “We think that bringing more people to this neighborhood … is probably a good thing,” he told TLD. “We view this as a positive. We’re trying to add something to the community.”

Community members will have their chance to sound off on Thursday, when Starrett, L&M/CIM, and JDS all gather for a public presentation in the neighborhood. The three developers have agreed to a joint environmental review of the area, and will meet with neighborhood residents “to discuss the individual and collective improvements and impacts,” according to a press release.

Assuming all goes according to plan, Starrett plans to start construction in 2018, with that process expected to take a few years.