Nolita's beloved Elizabeth Street Garden is safe for a bit longer. On Friday, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation announced the recipients of funds from a $50 million settlement, for which the Housing Preservation Corporation applied for $5 million to construct affordable housing on the site of the community garden. And lo, the HPD was not among the 14 recipients of the settlement money, according to the garden's blog. The $40 million granted to LMDC comes from a settlement with Lend Lease over the Deutsche Bank Building, TRD says.
In a statement issued by the Community Board 2 chair, Tobi Bergman confirms that the city has withdrawn its request for funding,
This decision reflects the the strength of community support for the garden. This same support will eventually lead to failure of any ongoing effort to develop housing there. If HPD decides to pursue a Request for Proposals for the Elizabeth Street site, it will waste its own resources and those of developers who may respond to the RFP without understanding the costs of the fight they will be investing in.
Of course this doesn't mean that the site is off the hook. As Bergman suggests, the city may move forward with a Request For Proposals. At a community meeting in late January, HPD suggested that they'd issue an RFP in the spring.
HPD is looking to develop a seven-story building with at least 60 units of affordable housing at the site at 21 Spring Street. The plan has faced near unilateral disapproval from the community and local elected officials, save most notably City Councilperson Margaret Chin.