The Elizabeth Street Garden site has nearly 200 years of history as a public, recreational space!
Our Need for Public Green Space
- In the crammed neighborhoods of Little Italy & SoHo, Elizabeth Street Garden is the only public green space that provides an open, tranquil environment for locals of all ages.
- Washington Square Park (0.7 miles away from the Garden) & Hudson River Park (1.3 miles away) make up the majority of CB 2's open space.
- Little Italy & SoHo make up 23% of CB 2's population, yet have only 3% of the district's open space. Aside from the Garden, all of these spaces are paved.
- Little Italy & SoHo has an open space ratio of 0.07 acre per 1,000 residents (3 sq.ft. per resident), leaving the district with one of the lowest ratios of public open space in the city.
- CB 2 has stated that the City's open space planning goal of at least 2.5 acres per 1,000 residents (109 sq.ft. per resident) is unobtainable.
- Green space, once developed, will never be reclaimed. The City isn't tearing down buildings to create parks.
The City's Plan
- Develop 13,000 of the 20,000 sq.ft. Garden site into senior affordable housing with luxury ground floor retail.
- The affordability is not permanent.
- There is a required minimum of 60 years as affordable housing, before it could turn into market rate housing.
- The Developer would buy the land from the City
- All residents or Manhattan CB 2 (Bowery & Canal - 14th street & Hudson River) will receive preference for 50% of the units.
- Seniors that live outside of CB 2 have 1,000 to 1 odds of winning a lottery. The housing will not really be for seniors "aging in place".
Alternative Sites for Affordable Housing
The City does not need to pit affordable housing and public green space against one another. We can achieve both!
Community Board 2 (CB 2) has offered alternative sites to build affordable housing. These alternative sites provide more than 10X the amount of affordable units for Seniors!
- 388 Hudson (pictured to the right): The City owned gravel lot can offer 5x the amount of units. 300,000 sq.ft. for housing
- 21 Spring: Located next to the Garden, this building is expiring Sec. 8 (affordable housing) with empty units. 185,000 sq.ft. for housing
- 137 Centre: The City owns this building and is allowing it to be developed into luxury condos, instead of affordable housing. 41,000 sq.ft. for housing.
- 2 Howard: A Government owned parking lot. 65,772 sq.ft.
- Site 3 of SPURA: Located at Delancey & Norflok streets. This building was originally planned to be evenly split between market rate and affordable apartments. Now the project will be 100% market rate condos.