A real estate development can have an incredible impact on the feel of a neighborhood. With the right development in place, a neighborhood can become more vibrant and attractive. A well-planned development can attract new residents, businesses and entertainment venues. On the other hand, a real estate dispute has the potential to rip a neighborhood apart. When a development deal goes south, the entire feel of a neighborhood can go with it.
This is what happened to one New York City neighborhood on the Lower East Side between the corner of Delancey and Essex Streets. In 1967, the city bulldozed the area. This displaced almost 2,000 people, with the hope of renewing the urban growth in the area. However, in reality, the move set off a bitter real estate dispute that left the neighborhood without much promise.
Since this time, the dispute has prevented a significant redevelopment project from being completed. According to reports, the area had been used for parking lots and was otherwise vacant. Recently, however, all construction issues have been put aside and a development deal has finally been reached.
A new project — called Essex Crossing — will be built. The development will consist of 1.65 million square feet. Of this space, at least 500 housing units will be permanently affordable. The other space will be mixed use. There will also be retail space, a movie theater, a museum and a roof-top farm. Space will also be available for a public school and other amenities. City officials say this development should change the face of the neighborhood.
With the end of this long-standing real estate dispute, a neighborhood can finally see change. While most disputes won’t last for decades, they should still be dealt with. Property owners, city residents and developers should ensure that they understand their legal rights in these cases.
Source: The New York Times, “New Mixed-Income Housing on the Lower East Side,” Ronda Kaysen, July 24, 2015