Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. What is the threat to Elizabeth Street Garden?
We recently learned that the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC) is considering a grant to New York City Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) to build an affordable housing project at 21 Spring, which would destroy Elizabeth Street Garden.
2. What is the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation?
The Lower Manhattan Development Corporation (LMDC), a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation, was created in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, to help plan and coordinate the rebuilding and revitalization of Lower Manhattan, defined as everything south of Houston Street. Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio each appoint half of the eight LMDC board members, with the Governor appointing Chairman Joseph Chan.
3. What proposals are being considered by LMDC?
LMDC must allocate $50 million in federal funds for projects south of Houston Street that meet the agency’s selection criteria. Ten projects totaling $59.8 million were presented at the July board meeting, including HPD’s $6 million request for an affordable housing project at 21 Spring. LMDC is accepting additional proposed projects through September 17, 2015. No capital project will receive more than $10 million.
4. Does the project at 21 Spring meet LMDC’s mandatory criteria for funding?
No. The project does not meet the first mandatory criteria for funding, that “the project demonstrates a high level of community interest and support.”
5. Is the proposed project at 21 Spring?
No. This is the address used in the funding proposal. The project would be built on Elizabeth Street Garden, adjacent to 21 Spring.
6. What is the community’s position on Elizabeth Street Garden?
Community Board 2 has held two public hearings and passed two resolutions supporting the permanent preservation of Elizabeth Street Garden as a New York City park and the transfer of jurisdiction over the Garden to the NYC Parks Department.
Read 2015 Resolution.
Read 2014 Resolution.
7. Are there other locations within Community Board 2 where affordable housing could be built?
Yes. Community Board 2 has identified a site within the district that can provide five times more housing than the Elizabeth Street Garden site, without destroying a cherished and needed public green, open space.
For further information, as well as the three-step action plan to Help Save the Garden, please visit elizabethstreetgarden.org.