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Lower East Side waterfront developers won’t delay skyscrapers

Responding to community members requests, the developers of three waterfront skyscrapers say they won’t push off a scoping meeting

Two Bridges waterfront skyscrapers Handel Architects

The developers behind three new projects set to rise no less than 700 feet along the Lower East Side waterfront have issued a statement saying they won’t push back a scoping meeting that's part of the buildings’ joint environmental review, as neighborhood residents had requested. The decision to stick to their original schedule comes after a January 18 meeting, during which attendees expressed concern over the projects and asked to delay the scoping meeting until September—now poised poised to take place in April—in order to allow the community more time to vet the impacts of the development.

In a statement released by developers JDS, CIM Group, L+M Development Partners, and Starrett, and cited by The Lo-Down, the developers note they’re denying the request because "moving the Scoping Meeting to September will only delay the ability of community residents to access and review the kind of detailed information that they have asked for in order to evaluate the projects."

This information includes particulars pertaining to how the developers will combat overcrowding in schools and on the East Broadway F train platform caused by their developments, how future open space in the area will be utilized, and other concerns raised by the community at the first two open meetings. The meetings, of which there’ll be four, are intended to solicit feedback from and inform the community about what is, very likely, to come.

"To our knowledge, the current process is an unprecedented effort to provide community members with information regarding environmental review and providing an opportunities for input from local residents," the statement reads. It’s unusual for community members to be looped into the process leading up to the Department of City Planning’s issuance of a Draft Scope of Work.

The developers say that the community will have additional opportunities to become involved in the process—while also insinuating that it will be some time before anything actually happens at the sites:

[T]here will be many opportunities for community involvement once the EIS process begins. The preparation of a Draft EIS following Scoping will take four to six months. It will likely take several more months for the results of the Draft EIS to be reviewed, including through public hearings held by the Community Board and the City Planning Commission, and for a Final EIS to be issued.

A third community meeting will take place on Saturday, March 4, during which select Environmental Impact Statement topics will be reviewed.