8. Essex Crossing, Lower East Side
Rendering by Taconic Investment Partners
Essex Crossing is a large 1.65-million-square-foot development that will encompass the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on land demolished as part of urban renewal plans in the 1960s. The area then sat empty as parking lots for the next five decades. The controversy behind the clearing is a story (and lawsuit) in itself, but the new development consists of nine sites. Of the 1000 units of housing in Essex Crossing, 500 will be affordable.
To incentivize the construction, certain sites were offered by the Department of Housing Preservation and Development at $1. The first phase of the construction will be completed by 2018, another phase in 2021 and the final buildings in 2022 and 2024.