Thursday, July 07, 2005

127th Street Colossus (Wal-Mart in the Wings?)

On Tuesday, the Economic Development Corporation has scheduled a public scoping meeting for a mega-development between 125th Street and 127th Street in East Harlem. The meeting will be held at the Julia de Burgos Latino Cultural Center, 1680 Lexington Avenue @ East 106th Street, from 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM.

The project is for 3 million square feet of mixed-use development, including 700,000 square feet of commercial space and around 1500 units of housing. Community concerns over density are already being expressed. As we’ve been reminded, Community Boards 10 and 11 have recently adopted zoning guidelines that call for significantly less dense building and lower height restrictions.

In addition, the project is proposing around 1,010 parking spaces which means that there will be a significant impact on the Harlem River Drive corridor that the State DOT is still trying to mitigate because of significant congestion. It is also imperative that the EIS take into consideration all of the Washburn Wire project impacts although, contrary to some published reports, no tenants have yet been finalized for the site.

Wal-Mart in the Wings?

This is, of course, the site that has been rumored for a proposed Wal-Mart. The scoping meeting should be used to emphasize the level of opposition that any box store will generate, particularly if it’s Wal-Mart or BJ’s.