Come to ERFA’s Town Hall on June 8th at 8 a.m. at Morso — 420 East 59th Street for updates on the rezoning application co-filed by ERFA and its elected officials. We will talk about the efforts and status of getting the application certified by City Planning and finally into the public process.
We have to reschedule the Town Hall meeting originally scheduled for this Thursday. Why are we rescheduling?
This week, we are meeting with our co-applicants: Borough President Gale A. Brewer, Councilmembers Dan Garodnick and Ben Kallos, and State Senator Liz Krueger.
Next week, we will be able to share with you the results of that meeting and report on the next steps to get our application certified and finally into the public process.
We are still in this fight and are asking for the same considerations for rezoning as have been afforded other neighborhoods by asking the City to move our application through the process.
We regret any inconvenience this rescheduling may cause, but hope you can join us on May 4th.
East River Fifties residents and ERFA members Gail Wasserman and Jennifer Crandall have been leading our tabling efforts around the neighborhood. They are the smiling faces that distribute information and answer questions about ERFA’s plan and its progress. We asked them about the most common questions and misconceptions. Here’s what the ladies said:
What is the biggest misconception that you keep hearing?
People think that the former developer’s bankruptcy and foreclosure struggle means that there is no longer any danger of the E 58th St. building being built.
Foreclosure on a loan only means that the property would be transferred to another owner via an auction conducted by the lender. Another developer could take over the project and plan an equally tall building, perhaps with greater ability than the Bauhouse Group to see the project through to completion. Although the bankruptcy proceeding has caused a temporary delay, it could be resolved at any time and the project could rapidly move forward with a very able developer. The antiquated zoning laws that allow megatowers in our residential neighborhood would still exist and continue to be a threat in the future. ERFA’s rezoning plan, if successful, will ensure that this site and others in the East River Fifties community will no longer permit such towers.
Most asked question:
Do you really think you can win?
Yes! Not only do we have an energized and involved community and a rezoning plan that exemplifies everything that the City says it wants, we also have four elected officials (Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, City Council Members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick, and State Senator Liz Krueger) that actually co-filed our plan with us at the Department of City Planning.
The East River Fifties community is angry that this may happen in the Sutton neighborhood as well as elsewhere in the City. People are energized and committed to getting the rezoning accomplished.
Thank you again to Gail Wasserman and Jennifer Crandall for their continued hard work on this cause. You can find them at their next tabling event on June 16th at Cathedral High School (across the street from Le Pain Quotidien) on 1st Avenue and 56th Street.
Each year, the Municipal Art Society oversees a series of Jane’s Walks in honor of legendary urban activist Jane Jacobs. As part of that effort, on Saturday, May 7, East River Fifties resident and ERFA Communications Director Lisa Mercurio lead 25 people on a Jane’s Walk around our quiet residential neighborhood.
Ms. Mercurio’s walk, entitled, Historic Sutton Place Clashes with Billionaire’s Row, highlighted the conflict that is taking place between oversized towers and the unique nature of this residential neighborhood as Billionaire’s Row extends eastward. Her tour took participants past many of the “soft sites” in the neighborhood where supertalls can be built and talked about ERFA’s rezoning plan and its critical importance in keeping our residential community livable. During the lively walk, Ms. Mercurio fielded many questions and talked about the neighborhood’s history. Everyone left with a much better understanding of the threat posed by megatowers and the unique character of the community. They also each got their very own ERFA lapel pin.
Missed the May 10th ERFA rally? Hear the speeches now.
Speakers (in order): Deputy Manhattan Borough President Aldrin Bonilla, representing Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer; Senior Policy Advisor Marianna Vaidman Stone representing Councilmember Dan Garodnick; Lynn Ellsworth Co-Founder of New Yorkers for a Human-Scale City; Councilmember Ben Kallos
Emcee: ERFA Director of Communications Lisa Mercurio
Video courtesy of Councilmember Ben Kallos.