Delancey Street Associates (DSA) today formally opened Essex Crossing, one of the largest urban renewal projects in the city’s history, with a ribbon-cutting at 175 Delancey Street, a 100 percent affordable senior building on the Lower East Side.
The ceremony marked an emotional homecoming for former Seward Park Urban Renewal Area tenants, who were relocated from the site 50 years ago and given a preference to return.
Six former site tenants have already moved into 175 Delancey and eight more are expected to move into the Rollins, an adjacent Essex Crossing building at 145 Clinton Street.
DSA dedicated 175 Delancey Street to longtime Lower East Side housing activist Frances Goldin, who was joined at the ribbon-cutting by several former site tenants.
The event celebrated the opening of Grand Street Settlement’s (GSS) new senior center and forthcoming opening of its social enterprise coffee shop, GrandLo Café.
The opening of the Frances Goldin Senior Apartments comes after the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area sat mostly vacant since 1967 in the heart of the Lower East Side. Today, six of the 1.9 million square foot project’s nine sites are under construction. DSA, which was selected by the City of New York to develop Essex Crossing in 2013, includes BFC Partners, L+M Development Partners, Taconic Investment Partners and the Goldman Sachs Urban investment Group. The 2013 Request for Proposals process was led by the New York City Economic Development Corporation in coordination with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development.
Dedicating the project’s first building to Goldin was a natural choice for DSA, which has now begun construction on all but 35 of Essex Crossing’s 561 affordable apartments and condominiums. “For at least 50 years, she has been fighting for affordable housing on the Lower East Side,” wrote longtime LES advocate Lisa Kaplan in an essay about Goldin prepared in advance of the dedication. “Fran has been the neighborhood’s conscience – struggling for the right of every wave of immigrant to get a foothold in this county and benefit from its potential.”
“I am delighted that long-displaced tenants who want to come home are finally coming home and that we are making good on a decades-old promise to revitalize this important corner of the Lower East Side – which epitomizes New York City’s immigrant roots,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “Welcome home, it’s about time!”
“The opening of Frances Goldin Apartments and the role it will play in providing affordable, safe housing for our seniors is a momentous first step in realizing the dream of Essex Crossing and the revival it is bringing to its Lower East Side neighborhood,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner RuthAnne Visnauskas. “This project is exemplary of how Governor Cuomo is partnering with local governments and the private sector to combine housing with health services and commercial spaces to create a foundation for economic success, and make our communities a better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
The event was held on the 4th floor of the Frances Goldin Apartments, the new home of Grand Street Settlement’s senior center, the GrandLo Café and the soon-to-open NYU Langone Joan H. and Preston Robert Tisch Center at Essex Crossing on the ground floor. The building will provide additional community facility space for nonprofits on the building’s third floor with a focus on job training. The building was designed by Dattner Architects.
New York State Housing and Community Renewal (HCR), New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Wells Fargo, Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) invested $79.3 million in financing for 175 Delancey Street. The building received an allocation of $34.5 million in New Markets Tax Credits, a federal tax credit program designed to increase private investment in businesses and low-income communities, with $15 million from LIIF, $12 million from Enterprise, and $7.5 million from Wells Fargo, who was also the NMTC investor. Additionally, Wells Fargo and LIIF provided approximately $20 million and $6 million of debt to the project, respectively. DSA contributed $9.85 million of equity.
The building’s residential portion will consist of 99 units of rental apartments affordable to senior households earning between $0 and $57,150 for an individual. Total development costs for the residential component were $31.3 million, with $25.7 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity investment by Wells Fargo, allocated by the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and New York State Housing and Community Renewal. Additionally, Wells Fargo provided a $16.9 million construction loan.
The overall Essex Crossing will include 1,079 units of housing (51 percent of which will be affordable), a public park, Regal Cinemas, Trader Joe’s and Target – all of which will open in 2018 – and the new home of the International Center of Photography, which will open in 2019.
Essex Crossing will also include The Market Line, an expansive, bazaar-like marketplace spanning 700 feet beneath 115 Delancey Street, 202 Broome Street and 180 Broome Street. At 150,000 square feet, it will house an eclectic mix of food, fashion and culture – from markets and prepared food, to a beer hall, to gallery and performance space. The Market Line will also adjoin the new home of the 77-year-old Essex Street Market. In the interim, the current Essex Street Market remains open for business. The first phase of the Market Line will open in 2018 as will the new Essex Street Market.
Also currently under construction at Essex Crossing are the Rollins/145 Clinton Street, which will include 211 rental apartments and start marketing next month, 242 Broome Street, which will include 55 condominiums, 115 Delancey Street, which include 195 rental apartments, 140 Essex Street, which will include 92 affordable senior apartments and 180 Broome Street, which will include 263 rental apartments and 175,000 square feet of Class A office space. Soon to start construction will be 202 Broome Street, which will include 83 condominiums and 175,000 square feet of Class A office space. The overall Essex Crossing development is expected to be completed in 2024.