Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Welcome to SPARC's blog

We are the Seward Park Area Redevelopment Coalition, or SPARC. Our mission is to advocate for the redevelopment of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA), which comprises 7 acres of mostly vacant city-owned land on the south and north sides of Delancey Street, near the Williamsburg Bridge. The area was razed in 1967, displacing over 1,800 families and over 100 businesses, and it remains undeveloped.

Our members are residents, former site tenants, non-profit organizations, and people who work on the Lower East Side, in and around the Seward Park area. As stakeholders, we have advocated for the development of mixed-income (low, moderate and middle income) housing and mixed-use buildings with ground floor retail to create a vibrant community, and to allow for residents who were displaced to have the right to return.

On January 25th, 2011, after two years of community meetings and much debate, Community Board 3 voted unanimously in favor of a development guidelines for the largely vacant sites (6 parcels below Delancey Street and 4 parcels north of Delancey Street). http://www.thelodownny.com/leslog/2011/01/cb3s-full-board-approves-spura-plan-nyc-review-begins.html#more-26430

You can read the planning guidelines approved by CB3 here:

This landmark achievement set the stage for the City to prepare an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will look at the impacts the new development will have on the surrounding community, including traffic, infrastructure, schools and the housing and retail markets. The EIS will be completed in 2012. The City must also submit a Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) application, which will be reviewed and voted on by Community Board 3, the Borough President, the City Planning Commission, the City Council and the Mayor. Most of these entities will hold hearings on the ULURP application, starting in the Spring of 2012. Once these processes are completed, the City will issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) from potential developers. The NYC Economic Development Corporation provides an overview of the project here, including scoping documents, the project schedule and other public documents.

SPARC plans to remain involved in advocating for faithful implementation of the planning guidelines for SPURA throughout this process, and we will keep you informed.