September 7, 1999
CITY PLANNING COMMISSION APPROVES EAST RIVER PLAZA
APPLICATION TO REDEVELOP THE FORMER WASHBURN WIRE
By a 9-3 Vote,
the Major Retail Development Project Heads to the
City Planning Commission today approved the application
for East River Plaza -- the multi-level retail center
to be built on the former Washburn Wire Factory site
located in East Harlem between 116th - 119th Streets
adjacent to the FDR Drive. The East River Plaza will
provide approximately 475,000 square feet of retail
space -- including two levels for large retail establishments
-- and 1,250 parking spaces. The Commission concluded
the project would revitalize a long-vacant site and
provide a significant economic boost for East Harlem.
response to issues raised at the City Planning Commission
public hearing last month and serious concerns by Commission
members, the approved project was substantially revised.
The project has been redesigned with significant modifications
in urban design and incorporates improved vehicular
access and movement to and within the project, improved
garage design and operation, safer and more convenient
pedestrian improvements, and additional landscaping
in adjacent neighborhoods. A predominantly masonry facade
and an expanded outdoor seating area with views of the
river were also incorporated into the revised project.
Commission voted 9-3 in favor of the project. The City
Council presently has 50 days to act. The project also
requires the approval of a state-prepared General Project
Plan by the Empire State Development Corporation.
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