Developer Michael Stern appeared in front of the Lower East Side’s community board on Tuesday to present 247 Cherry Street, the 77-story tower Stern’s JDS Development Group plans on erecting in the neighborhood.
Stern took the time to clarify some crucial building details: the tower will be rentals, and there will be 639 of them; 160 of those apartments will be dedicated as permanently affordable; an Environmental Impact Statement assessment for the site and two neighboring developments not developed by JDS will kick off in November.
Judging from a first-hand account by Bowery Boogie, Stern delivered a plan of action that frames the 983-foot tower as a community asset that will bring much-needed amenities to the neighborhood like an affordable grocer—the block’s Pathmark was sold and razed to make way for 247’s neighbor, Extell behemoth One Manhattan Square—while also providing updates to the senior home it will cantilever over and creating a publicly accessible green space.
And while these bragging points will be meaningful for the neighborhood, some community members see the development as no more than a Trojan Horse, promising good but with the potential to wreak havoc. The community, still shaken from damage caused by work at Extell’s site, worries construction on the neighboring corner will cause further damage to the area. JDS says their different building method will prohibit that from happening again.
As a part of the development and updates to the senior home at 80 Rutgers Slip, nine seniors will be moved into new apartments in the tower to allow for new laundry facilities in the building. Community members concerned for those who would be displaced were told by Stern that the changes are for the "long term good" of the community.
But JDS wants the community’s input on the development, nonetheless. The firm has created a profile for 247 Cherry Street on coUrbanize, a website that "helps communities, municipalities, and real estate developers build better cities together." Community members can submit questions and ideas to the profile holder, and also learn current stats about the development.