If At First You Don’t Succeed . . .NY Affordable Mega-Project 70 Years In The Making

Construction on site in New York. The previeous building was demolished 70 years ago.
Essex Crossing photo by Eden, Janine and Jim is licensed under CC BY 2.0
After 70 years, Essex Crossing is finally rising.

The saga of Essex Crossing began in the 1950’s with the demolition of some of New York’s historic gateway slums — the squalid welcome to America for waves of immigrants who crammed for decades into its six and seven story tenements. After the housing was razed, 26 acres of rubble waited for new development plans. And waited. Power brokers conspired to prevent redevelopment. At least one went to jail. The rubble was paved for parking lots.

It took more than fifty years before a housing development plan was finally approved, and today the final stages of the Essex Crossing mega-development are under construction with an unusually high percentage of affordable housing in an inclusive zoning project.

Read much more about this fascinating good-news saga rooted in New York’s immigrant history at CITYLAB: Why Essex Crossing Is A Model Mega-Development


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