Information about this lot
Why is this lot here?
We think this lot is vacant because:
This Monday, NYC Housing Preservation Development, as part of Housing NY, released a request for proposals (RFP) for developing housing on the Western portion of this lot. As for this Eastern portion, it says:
"The eastern portion of Block 1077, Lot 29 will remain under
City ownership. It will be developed as an open space and
maintained by DPR."
DPR = Department of Parks and Recreation!
Based on the scoping document that Renee shared for the Western Rail Yard Project (https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/planning/download/pdf/applicants/env-review/western_rail/wry_final_scope.pdf ), your DEP lot is only the eastern portion of Lot 29.
It says on page 74 of the document: "the Tenth Avenue Site is located on the western portion of Block 1077, Lot 29 (the portion of the lot over the Amtrak cut) as shown on Figure 6 of the EAS. The Scope has been modified to note that the site is only the western portion of Lot 29. The open space on the adjacent parcel to the east will be described in the EIS as a project for completion in the Future without the Proposed Actions." This means the open space will be developed with or without the housing!
We made a page for the Western portion of the lot here: http://livinglotsnyc.org/lot/59258/
The proposal for this site is to have it house "Hell’s Kitchen Park West" (which has not yet been designed) and a 143-unit apartment building. The apartments are called "affordable" but they will only be accessible to people who make quite a lot of money if this is how the project is organized.
The City uses AMI, which is the median for the five boroughs plus the three counties upstate to talk about "affordable" housing in NYC. The AMI for 2016 is $90,600 for a family of four. If you want to learn that history, read this great article: http://citylimits.org/2016/02/17/the-secret-history-of-ami/
Here is the breakdown:
38 apartments at 80% Area Median Income (AMI). This is the average income of New York City residents. A family of four will need to make at least $72,000 to be permitted to live in one of these apartments.
46 apartments at 125% AMI. A family of four will need to make at least $113,000 to be permitted to live in one of these apartments.
59 apartments at 165% AMI. A family of four will need to make at least $149,000 to be permitted to live in one of these apartments.
Is that really what the neighborhood needs?
Can we organize simultaneously around getting lower income people housing in Clinton and creating space for people to grow together?
MANHATTAN COMMUNITY BOARD FOUR WATERFRONT, PARKS & ENVIRONMENT has added a discussion of the water tunnel site to its meeting agenda for 6:30PM on Thursday, November 10th 2016 at Friends of the High Line, 820 Washington Street in the Conference Room.
This is not meant to be an organizing meeting - it is a chance for everyone to meet and get some background. IT'S REALLY KEY THAT FOLKS ATTEND, TAKE NOTES AND MAKE PLANS TO JOIN THE ORGANIZING EFFORTS.
Great to meet you all today and make a plan for connecting with organizers in the Neughborhood. The next step will be a meeting with the West 48th block association.
In the meantime, as promised, some parallel neighborhood history: http://gothamist.com/2016/09/20/hells_kitchen_clinton_utopia.php
Organizers will be meeting this Thursday evening at 6:15pm at 350 West 43rd Street to discuss the status of the lot, next steps and design of the future public space (what kind of park will it be??).
Folks have been organizing all over the city for many years to hold DEP accountable for the promised parks on these water tunnel access sites. It's been a huge struggle to get DEP to say yes at all. Now that they seem to be acquiescing, it's time to talk to neighbors, the community board and elected officials about what kind of open spaces they will become.
Reach out to your council member's staff person to invite him to your next meeting:
Director of Legislative & Budget Affairs
Office of Council Member Corey Johnson
This could be a park with a garden in it!
Here is what happening at other DEP sites in Manhattan: