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Essex Crossing Development Plans Set To Change Lower East Side, Will Cost $1.1 Billion (IMAGES)

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A large swath of the Lower East Side is set for a major facelift.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's office announced Wednesday a $1.1 billion dollar plan to transform a vacant, 1.65 million square-foot area along Delancey and Essex streets near the Williamsburg Bridge into a complex containing "1,000 units of housing...15,000-square-foot open space, a new and expanded Essex Street Market, a dual-generation school operated by the Educational Alliance, a community center run by Grand Street Settlement, a rooftop urban farm, the Andy Warhol Museum, 250,000 square feet of office space and a diverse mix of retail space." Also, a bowling alley and movie theater.

Tenement housing in the area was razed in 1967 and ever since, city politicians have fought over what to do with the land, referred to as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area.

On Wednesday, the city awarded the project to Taconic Investment Partners, L+M Development Partners and Don Capoccia's BFC Partners, whose design can be seen in the renderings below.

From The Wall Street Journal:

The winning plan includes 1,000 units of new housing, half of which will be below market rate—a virtually unprecedented amount of affordable housing in a development of this scale. The development, which the team has called "Essex Crossing," will include a mix of income levels, rental and condo units, and housing for both families and seniors. Heights will range from about seven to 22 stories.

Plans also call for a below-grade, sun-filled market lane stretching along five contiguous sites on Delancey Street that will feature stalls from the Essex Street Market and other small retail spaces curated by Brooklyn's Smorgasburg.

Construction on the project is set to begin in the spring of 2015. Five buildings are scheduled for completion by 2018, while the rest of the housing units are slated for a 2021 opening. By 2024, the developers say construction on the complex will be complete.

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