The largest undeveloped area of city-owned land south of 96 th Street is on the Lower East Side, which was known until recently as the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). After nearly 50 years of political stalemates, the city began accepting bids in May and then selected a developer for the 1.65 million square foot site which will break ground in 2015. Now named Essex Crossing, it will add to the neighborhood many services and amenities including approximately 1000 apartments, with fifty percent slated for affordable housing and a full-time school for the nonprofit Educational Alliance's groundbreaking College Access and Success program, which helps low income residents earn a college degree while their children attend Head Start preschool in the same building.To meet the demands and needs of this diverse and growing neighborhood, the Educational Alliance will be opening the Manny Cantor Center in early 2014. The Center will provide the neighborhood with a state-of-the-art fitness center and classes, early childhood center, community space in addition to its long-standing and enhanced programming. "We started construction on the Manny Cantor Center at the height of the recession. Some people might have thought it was a risk, but we knew how much this neighborhood needed and deserved these services in a state of the art facility," says Educational Alliance CEO Robin Bernstein "The Manny Cantor Center will provide opportunities to every family in the Lower East Side community while supporting and investing in the future of the neighborhood and its residents."
Rebuilding In Lower Manhattan: The Changing Profile Of NYC's Lower East Side
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