Two Bridges towers face new challenge from politicians

Two elected officials are challenging the construction of three skyscrapers on the Two Bridges waterfront.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilwoman Margaret Chin are concerned with the scale of the developments, which range from 62 to 77 stories and are set to be built within blocks of each other between South Street, Cherry Street, Montgomery Street and Pike Slip.

The two politicians filed an application to the Department of City Planning on Oct. 12 for a zoning amendment that would require the approval of a special permit before construction can begin. If the amendment is passed, the developers would have to go through the Uniform Land Use Review Process, which includes approval from the community board, borough president and City Council.

The DCP ruled in 2016 that the developments -- a 77-story building at 247 Cherry St., a 62-story building at 259 Clinton St. and a building with two towers, one 62 stories and the other 69 stories, at 260 South St. -- were exempt from ULURP because they were “minor modifications” to the area. The agency issued a joint environmental review to access the buildings’ impacts on the area.

But Brewer and Chin argue that the skyscrapers are more than “minor modifications” to the neighborhood they describe as affordable and diverse.

“When you look at the Two Bridges community and the way these massive towers would loom over it, you can’t help but understand that ‘minor modification’ has lost its meaning and we need clearer rules,” Brewer said in a statement.

“These out-of-scale buildings threaten to displace hardworking residents, bring forth irreversible environmental hazards, and accelerate gentrification, which would endanger the very fabric of the Two Bridges community,” Chin said in a statement.

Housing advocates and community members have also expressed disapproval of the developments. Some gathered outside the DCP Manhattan office in August, calling on the department to require more review of the towers.

The DCP and the project developers — JDS Development Group (247 Cherry St.), Starrett Corporation (259 Clinton St.), and L+M Development Partners and CIM Group (260 South St.) — did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


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