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Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Nolita’s Elizabeth Street Garden — a community green space that occupies roughly one acre between Prince and Spring Streets — may soon be replaced by a seven-story high rise for affordable senior housing. Plans to demolish the beloved garden are moving forward after the Department of Housing Preservation and Development was awarded the contract to develop the housing project last Friday.

The proposed building, to be called Haven Green, will be designed by Curtis + Ginsberg Architects, and developed by Penrose Development, LLC, working with Habitat for Humanity New York City (Habitat NYC) and RiseBoro Community Partnerships, Inc. When completed, it will offer 121 affordable apartments for seniors (including 37 units set aside for the formerly homeless), as well as a publicly accessible, 7,600-square-feet garden with lawns, open seating and gardening areas. According to CurbedNY, the city is allowing nearby residents to decide how this new garden will be designed.

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

In addition to the housing units, the building will serve as the offices for Habitat for Humanity New York City, and SAGE, a LBGTQ senior services organization. It will also provide access to facilities like a library, computer lab and roof terrace.

Although plans for the development have been discussed since 2015, there has been strong opposition from the local community board (CB2), local politicians and Nolita residents, who have offered several undeveloped properties as an alternative site. This includes a 300,000 square feet, city-owned lot on 388 Hudson Street, which supporters of the garden argue will provide even more space for units.

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

“The bottom line is that the destruction of Elizabeth Street Garden will be absolutely devastating to this neighborhood and our community,” said Joseph Reiver, the executive director of the Elizabeth Street Garden, in a statement. “No matter how the City sugar coats their plans, they are yet again, taking away a public community treasure.”

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

Image via Curtis + Ginsberg Architects

On Monday afternoon, a rally to protest the development took place on the steps of City Hall, which brought together nearly 100 community members and supporters of the Elizabeth Street Garden. Today, local council member, Margaret Chin, and those in favor of the affordable housing project will also hold their own rally at City Hall.

For the project to be realized, it will first have to be approved by the City Council through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The Lo-Down NY notes that approval is likely to happen with support from Chin. In any case, we’ll keep you updated on the progress of Haven Green.

Next, check out The Top 10 Hidden Gardens in NYC and read more about the Elizabeth Street Garden.

 Elizabeth Street Garden, Nolita, Prince Street, Spring Street

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