Thursday, October 4, 2012

Empty East 11th Street lot will yield to 8 stories of affordable housing

The long empty lot here on East 11th Street between Avenue A and Avenue B...

[Google]

... will soon be home to eight stories — 46 units — of affordable housing for formerly homeless and mentally disabled East Villager residents, according to Curbed. Here is the design by Edelman Sultan Knox Wood Architects...


Per Curbed, the building "is subsidized by HPD's Housing Loan Program, and the community space on the first floor will go to local organization Community Access. The design includes a passageway between East 11th Street and Joseph Sauer Park on East 12th Street."

Read more about the project here.

49 comments:

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

The building is ugly, and I'd like to see more details, but I'd say, unlike yesterday's post, this vacant lot is being yielded to something better.

abrod said...

Affordable housing? Are the developers on bath salts or something?
Seriously though, it's great to hear someone's trying to do some good around here, instead of more glass luxo- towers. Whether this actually comes to fruition, however, is another matter - and I'm skeptical. $50 says they pull a Superdive and find some way to turn this into luxury condos.

Anonymous said...

Community Access doesn't forgive its ugliness. Shame on the architect.

Anonymous said...

I know i will get slammed by this

doesn't the neighborhood have enough housing like this?
why does this type of housing get shoved in the EV all the time?

do you think this is type of housing for homeless is going up in the UES or UWS?

I am not against housing for homeless - i just think that this type of housing should be dispersed all thru the city ,instead of being concentrated in one neighborhood


Shawn Chittle said...

Weclome to the block!

I live on the corner and am so happy to see this!

Yay some good news for a change and right in my backyard!

Love the Community Access space, and the passageway!

Yayyyy!

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

That's an interesting point, but I'd say just be glad it's somewhere, because the city needs way more of it.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 9:39 - You're right. 11th between A and B already has 507, 528, 533 and 542 as low-income HPD housing, how much is one short block supposed to absorb? I know people who live on the block and they are not happy about this project, they think they are doing more than their share already. Many of them had hoped to link this lot to Sauer Park and make a larger green area, but the group that holds the rights to the lot refused to give it up. But this has been standard since the 1980s - just shove stuff like this into the East Village so the rich folk in Upper Manhattan don't have to deal with it.

editrrix said...

I hope this happens. It would be good to see people who need housing get housing for a change.

Anonymous said...

@Shawn - Actually you live a block away. We have way too much of this crap on the block already. If it were across the street from you I bet you would be so happy.

Anonymous said...

"Additionally, a public toilet has been located at the rear of the first floor and can be accessed by both the building residents and community members visiting the adjacent park."

Yes, I'm sure parents would love sending their children into the building with former homeless & mentally disable people.

I know they have to live somewhere but can't we building all this housing in the Bronx or way out in the middle of Queens. Why ruin our 'hood.

Anonymous said...

This is a welcome addition to the neighborhood as it will provide much needed housing and services to people from the community who can't afford the skyrocketing rents. The organization behind this is extremely reputable and runs several buildings in the community already. Many of us live right next door to their properties and wouldn't even know they are affordable units. It is a clear sign of the channging demographics of our community when people begin opposing affordable housing or housing for people struggling with issues that may them vulnerable to becoming homeless. One of the things that has made the EV a great place to leave is our compassion for folks and our desire for diversity. I would love it if the folks who have purchased or are purchasing Mary Help of Christians kept the church and turned the school into affordable housing.

Anonymous said...

@Anon 12:03pm - the hood is already ruined if you actually live here. Perhaps it is you who should move to the Bronx or the middle of Queens.

Anonymous said...

This is NOT a welcome addition to the neighborhood if you live in one of the surrounding buildings.

Anonymous said...

Every residents dream... to live next door to mentally disturbed people.

Anonymous said...

BOOOOOOOOOO !!

glamma said...

This is amazing, best news I've read on the site in a LOOONG time. I would like to extend a warm welcome to the future residents and thanks to all who made it possible, it is a difficult climate to accomplish projects like this in Bloombrg's NY and it is so important to keep these kind of projects going.
Let's represent the TRUE and founding spirit of the EV on this website and and work together to celebrate all efforts to increase brotherhood, equality, compassion, and power to the people in our community, that is how you build it strong, beautiful and SELF SUPPORTING.

Anonymous said...

Was there any kind of public hearing for this?

editrrix said...

The East Village should be for EVERYONE and affordable housing helps keep it that way. Maybe this isn't the best, most practical place to raise young children? Have you ever thought of that? This neighborhood has a long history of tolerance and inclusion for all. And I live up the block and I would much rather share the neighborhood with a variety of people, not only families or "yunnies". KEEP YOUR INTOLERANCE TO YOURSELF, PLEASE.

Anonymous said...

It's ugly, it's too tall, out of proportion to the other buildings. What's more, how is a concentration of mentally ill men in one building supposed to help mainstream them? Who will be making sure that they take their meds, go to counseling and not act out in front of the building? This building is a nightmare. Our block went from being one of the worst in the neighborhood to one of the best. Now we're going to have to deal with 46 potentially dangerous men on the block.

bowery boy said...

Wow, I'm surprised at the haters on this thread. You clearly paid too much to live in the wrong neighborhood. Where's the compassion?

I live on Bowery diagonal from the Mission with SRO's on both sides of me and a 2 more directly across the street. I've watched kids grow up around me without incident. But you know when the cops have to be called?... when the party folks arrive. That's when things get broken and stolen. That's when the fights break out. That's when drunken young ones collapse on the sidewalk. That's when the hipsters throw up in my doorway. And you're worried about guys who pay one of them to go to the deli (runners), cuz they don't want to leave their rooms?

The homeless and almost homeless are never the problem. You'll be lucky to have this buidling on your block. It might keep a few bars and clubs from opening up underneath your window and going strong till 4am. Your kids will be able to sleep at night.

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

Yeah, a lot of the comments on this post are really gross.

I live very close to this building, and I have no problem with it at all.

Anonymous said...

I live on the block and am slightly disappointed. On the one hand, I would have loved to see green space go in here, but as others have pointed out, that's simply not in the cards for any vacant land today, unfortunately. I also wish the building weren't quite so ugly.

On the other hand, I'm a bit shocked at the level of commenter outrage over the fact that it's going to be an affordable housing building. This neighborhood was built by low income people: homesteaders, HDFCs, political activists, etc. We have always been a welcoming, rather than exclusionary, community, which is one of the reasons it's been such a privilege to live here.

And let me just say, I think there's probably a lot more mental disfunction in the people who work on Wall Street and live uptown than these folks you're maligning without having met. Maybe they'll hang out outside and try to talk to you and form a sense of community, and keep some of the too-cool yuppie hipsters off the block.

Demographically Desireable said...

This is outrageous. I had to step over 4 or more homeless in the street to catch a cab down to Ludlow after I got bored with the dive bars in the so called East Village.

I asked one mentally challenged individual where I could pick up a copy of "L" magazine nearby and he looked like I was speaking a foreign language. Hopeless.

Another day one of the homeless nearly brushed against my khaki dockers and I almost spilled my latte jumping out of the way.

And they really mess up the look of the hood, you know. They'll wear anything even if they don't match.

I'm disgusted. I don't know why I even bother to drive in some nights but the NYU chicks are pretty hot and they get wild when they're drunk.

we$tville said...

you commentors talk a lot.. im surprised! you hate rich people, you hate middle class people paying market rate, you hate the EV person of the week, and you hate public housing at the same time.

you guys are all talk and no action though... you should have loaded the shell car thats parked on that block with explosives and destroyed we$tville east and this center...


whats worse is that senior center on the corner of 11th and A.. that place is hotbed of grieve... a few years i used to go to church meetings and the old people from there would never stop talking about how they hate westville....

Jill said...

What kind of mean people here who would deny housing to people who need help if its near you. You don't like them living on the sidewalk and now you don't want them living inside if its on your block either. Wow.

I live in a building with 3 units rented to CA tenants for at least rhe past 15 years, maybe more, i cant quite remember when they arrived.

Overall they are fine. Every now and then there is a crisis where someone loses their key or dies in the hallway. Once there was a very creepy guy who would open his door all the time causing one wall streeter to break his lease and move to a doorman building. I couldn't really blame him for choosing to spend his $3k elsewhere, that guy was scary. We like to think their presence keeps out riffraff like that kid who couldn't hack it.

If there is ever a problem the staff are responsive and there is always someone on duty.

Jill said...

Oh and to the person saying don't raise your kids here, that's ridiculous. My son lived his whole life in this building with the CA neighbors with zero problems. He learned how to live with diversity and to be tolerant. His shock came when he went to college and met his first republicans who weren't adults..

Anonymous said...

The building is too tall and as another poster mentioned, we have more than our share of low income housing on the block plus a church with a soup kitchen line that runs down the whole block. I'm sure most of the supporters are rent-stablized moochers.

Anonymous said...

It's easy to be compassionate when you don't live on the same block.

Anonymous said...

editrrix: "The East Village should be for EVERYONE" Why ? If you can't afford to live here then get out. Let me guess...rent stablized tenant.

This will not help with the bar situation. It was a vacant lot. A vacant lot that those on the block wanted to convert into a garden & join to the garden & park on 12th Street but Margarita Lopez insisted on low income housing.
If it's such a great idea how come Margarita & Rosie don't move in some homeless, mentally ill chaps in the garden next to their home ?

Anonymous said...

Doesn't anyone build brownstone type buildings anymore. You know, made out of brick. Why does everything new have to be glass and tall. It will stand out like a sore thumb.

L said...

There is actually a lot of permanent housing (mostly SROs) on the Upper West Side, less so on the Upper East, but more than you may think. Perhaps not as much as the LES, but it is not limited to here. And there is a ton of housing being built in the outer boroughs, but sadly there is still not enough housing to meet the ever surging need.

Additionally, the idea that people with mental illness are violent more often than not untrue. Please take the time to educate yourself. See: http://www.samhsa.gov/mentalhealth/understanding_Mentalllness_Factsheet.aspx

Finally, plenty of us living in "regular" apartment buildings live next door to people who are mentally ill, or formerly homeless, or current/former substance users. Not everyone dealing with those issues end up in supportive housing.

Anonymous said...

My only concern is the proposed passage way to a children's park. Sauer gets locked up by the parks department early evenings, this new entrance will make the park more difficult to keep an eye on and I don't doubt teens will be finding their way in at night to party. Sauer was salvaged from drug dealers and the homeless in the early 90's by the 12th street block association. One of the park rules is adults should be accompanied by a child, this was to keep potential trouble out. Remove the toilet and park passage and I'm on board.

blue glass said...

anybody here remember the men's shelter at 8 east 3rd street, 2-3?
the kenton and 5 other sros on the bowery?
the salvation army at 3rd & 3rd?
the salvation army o avenue a?
girl's town on 12th street1-2?
the teen-age prison on 12th street 2-3?
the many many medicaid mills?
the methadone centers?
the real problem is when there is an over saturation of mostly poorly run large facilities. it only takes two or three disruptive clients to cause problems.
and the people in power in this city seem to concentrate disruptive facilities into a few neighborhoods.
the history of bad facilities in this community, and the huge battle to humanize them, makes folks suspicious when a new facility is proposed.
history repeats itself too often.

VH McKenzie said...

I live on this block -- and, yeah, actually on the block, a few doors west on the opposite side of the street -- and I found myself reading through these comments and going back and forth, trying to figure out which side of the debate would win me over.

I've lived on this block since '89 and my building was probably one of the first gut renovations that could be classified as a gentrifying presence on the block. The rest of the street had long gone to hell-inna-handbasket, at least as far as I, a newcomer back then, could tell. I was afraid to walk east after dark. Hell, I wasn't so crazy about walking west after dark either but I kept my head down, minded my own business and just avoided the smack/crack dealers and users, stepping over the latter in my doorway on many occasions.

On the other hand, I'm not crazy about the neighborhood being turned into Luxury Central. The old gangstah parking garage across the street was turned into luxury condos, growing several stories in the process. The NYC bath house that had descended into chop-shop status for years, was bought by Eddie Adams and turned into a high-end production studio.

So now that I mull over this new addition to the block, I have to say that I think it is a fair and balanced choice (tho I think that rendering doesn't inspire confidence, aesthetically speaking). Consider the make up of the block:

1. Luxury condos
2. One bar now that Angels and Kings is gone
3. A senior citizens home on the corner of 11th and A
4. We have a church with weekend soup kitchen and ice-cream storefront shop
5. Yes, a couple of subsidized housing buildings
6. My building is one of at least 2 of the co-ops on the block, not luxury but modest and well maintained.
7.We have a great bodega mid block, shout-out to Caesar y sus hermanos.
8. Pizza on the other corner 11&B -- half "joint" and half "decent restaurant space."
9. The aforementioned high-end production studio owned by Eddie Adams' widow in the old bath house.
10. Now a low-income building which is not just for the mentally disabled but also for formerly-homeless people.

So, all things considered, I think our block has been evolving into a good mix and I have to give a thumbs up to the affordable housing.

Anonymous said...

Watch "The Super ", filmed right at that location. From the 80's.Then comment on the block.

Cosmo said...

It's disheartening to read some of these negative comments. Be glad you have your health and hope that some day, if you ever need assistance, you'll be fortunate enough to be living in a neighborhood of compassionate and tolerant people.

But, this is the new EV - where everything goes, as long as it's NIMBY.

Anonymous said...

The 47% have spoken.

Anonymous said...

The building does not fit in with the rest of the block. I hope that it doesn't block all the sunlight to the garden on 12th Street. That is a beautiful place to relax on a nice day.

Anonymous said...

"I'm surprised by all the negative comments on this board"

Seriously ? That's all anyone does on this board and in the East Village. If you didn't notice, the web site name has the word GRIEVE in it. Get it ?

editrrix said...

Hey anon 8:22: Screw you.
I've managed to stay here through years of hard work. And so what if I pay $1,500 instead of $3K? I also live in a disgusting tenement, not a refurbished "luxury" space. Have you ever paid attention to the vacancy rates in Manhattan? The ONLY way you can justify paying so much god-damned rent is by staying put and benefiting from stabilization. Can I help it if you're too stupid to get rent-stabilized housing? I deserve to live here too, even amongst all this White Privilege. And you know what? I'm not leaving. I welcome these struggling newcomers; their stories are likely far more interesting than yours, the NYC portion of which will probably be short (or we're all hoping).

Anonymous said...

The building itself is too big and is ugly.

Anonymous said...

@we$tville

Are you really Westville? I don't think that it's right that you clog up the whole street with Yuppies. I also don't understand how anyone can support your establishment. I was at a CB3 meeting once and I noticed that many neighbors showed up to oppose you, except for one guy who came to support you. He lives right in your building. I forget his name. Shane, Sean something? Anyhow, how dare you say that about the senior housing on the block. I love the seniors there. They really hate Westville and the Yuppies andYunnies that reside here now. They just don't understand how people can be rude. One of the seniors told me she thinks that these people are not real. Ha ha!

11thStBtwnAndBPlease said...

I live on the block (have lived in the East Village for 5 years), and I work in finance. You know why I do? Because I like numbers. I also need to pay off my student loans and take care of my mentally disabled adult brother. Housing for the disabled is a major issue and the shortage of it is significant. This is a great idea if it is managed properly, for the benefit of both the current residents and the new ones. However, the distaste for young people and especially those with careers in finance is very disheartening. I pay market rent because I can and am not trying to take affordable options away from those who can't afford it. I also support local businesses, which is a major reason why I love the East Village. I take the $ paid to me by The Giant Vampire Squid and place it in the cash registers of places like Tompkins Square Bagel, Mud Truck, and BAD Burger. And yes, as much as people hate on Westville, that is a thriving local business as well. I think younger people would be more inclined to get involved in the community if there wasn't a "we were here first and now you are ruining it" attitude held by people in the EV.

Anonymous said...

CA offers a dignified alternative to New Yorkers suffering from mental illness and substance abuse. Please understand, first their clients go into a heavily supervised group home. Once they are stabilized, they are placed in their own home and are offered continuous support; including job training, medical care and an on site social worker. Things like learning to keep a clean home, how to care for a pet, or even socialize with neighbors are all learned skills. CA helps teach people who may not have had the basic life lessons that most of us take for granted.

Before you freak out about a building full of crazies, check out their website and watch some of their videos. This org. really has done a lot to help people. It started right here in the EV with one broken down reclaimed building in 1974!

comunityaccess.org

Having said that I will add; yes the building is ugly.

Anonymous said...

The issue is not "a building of crazies". The issue is that yet another large ugly glass buiding is thrust in our faces under the guise of 'affordable housing'. Affordable housing, luxury housing, WHATEVER, it's still a large ugly building that we have to look at every day.

Crazy Eddie said...

Or it could be a bookie joint. Where’s Sal Mineo when you need him? “Nah, there’s’ dis warehouse on Ave A” etc. I am beginning to think guys like us don’t have chance as well in the EV and it’s NOT a temporary condition. On a serious note, this is not a meth clinic. Like @11thStBtwn and ANONY 6:14 PM said, there’s a need for such a facility. With some community input, maybe it does have to be so damn ugly. Re Westville, with cooler weather coming, most of the vocal fry clientele will be contained in the interior. Except for the brunch lines but rubes will be rubes. I know, I am obsessed by vocal fry, I need to move on. Like Louis C.K., it drives me nuts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xOKYW_Ko6Zw

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pJ51BNYXbV4

onemorefoldedsunset said...

I'm pretty amazed by the NIMBYs too. I work with emotionally disturbed young adults & finding appropriate housing for them as they get older is very hard. Just about to see one of my students move into a newly created apartment in Harlem and am very happy for him. He's a great guy, and much loved by anyone that takes the time to get to know him. Just because someone has psychiatric problems doesn't mean they can't be a great neighbor too. Love the comment about sending people off to the Bronx or Queens ... or was I just missing the sarcasm? A newish center near me in Brooklyn is housing a similar population of adults & seems to be working fine. It comes down to proper planning/supervision and getting to know people as individuals, not just as the diagnosed. Yes there can be problems, but everyone deserves a space to call their own.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the posters who find the design of the building unappealing, but let's face it: All of the new construction going up in the city is ugly. I don't think there is much to be done about that. But aesthetics aside, I am very happy for the people in need who will have their own homes thanks to this project. The East Village has long been about helping those who need assistance, and this project just reaffirms that. I am not so sure about the need for the passageway running next to this building from 11th Street and providing another entry point into Sauer Park. I am sure most parents are fine with their simply being the one entrance on 12th Street. It's easier to keep track of the kids when you know they only have one potential exit point.

Anonymous said...

does any one remember a bar , called'' gold bar'' , on ave b or , mid 80s to early 90s , ,.... very austere . minimalist -industrial .. in a former liquor store..... --------VH MACKENZIE , U SAY UVE LIVED THER SINCE 1989 OR THE OWNER OF EV GRIEVE ... du u remember its address or location ... i pretty sure it wasnt advertised or even marked from the street .........ANY INFO , PLEASE ......THANKS , DAVID