El Barrio Unite East River Plaza Expansion Fact Sheet 03/09/2015
Who is El Barrio Unite? A newly formed organization of concerned New Yorkers centered in East Harlem.
Mission: To protect the residents of the East Harlem from predatory developers that threaten the decay of the community and living environment through gentrification, displacement, tax increases, exploitation and greed.
As a community based group in East Harlem that is openly opposed to the East River Plaza Residential Development (ERPRD) project (project ID # P2014M0466) proposed by the developers Blumenfeld Development Group (BDG) and Forest City Ratner (FCR).
What is the East River Plaza Expansion? Tiago Holdings, LLC under the development groups, Blumenfeld Development Group and Forest City Ratner, propose the construction of three residential towers on the existing East River Plaza shopping complex. The proposal would include approximately 1,000-1,200 residential units of which 20-25% would be affordable housing units, according to their application. The towers would have approximately 32-47 stories and would rise between 320-470 feet above the platform, connected through a series of skyways equipped with residential amenity space and features. The towers require a number of rezoning and mapping changes that require permits.
Who are the Developers? Blumenfeld Development Group: Edward Blumenfeld who runs the development group has been developing retail, commercial, industrial, and residential projects in New York, New Jersey, and Florida for over three decades.
His personal and professional relationship with crook, Bernie Madoff is highly questionable. According the Bloomberg News, Blumenfeld invested about $140 million with Madoff across 38 accounts, even an $11 million transfer from Madoff a few days before his arrest.
Forest City Ratner has a pattern of making promises to local communities that they will generate jobs, housing, economic development, and tax revenues but do not follow through on those promises. In 2004, FCE promised to deliver 10,000 permanent jobs and 2,250 affordable housing units in the 22 acre Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn in return for $270 million direct subsidies to construct the Barclays Center. Purchasing the land for the project at less than half-price and other land through eminent domain, FCE has completed the Barclays Center but has not completed the affordable housing units and has only created 1,900 part time jobs.
What are the community’s concerns? Gentrification, Displacement, Public safety, Environment, Asthma, Public Health, Rent increases, Tax increases, Decreased sun light for community garden, Education/schools, Disruption of commerce and labor at East River Plaza, Reduced services, Land use zoning, Flood zone, Tax breaks and subsidies to the developer, Quality of life, Tax abatements and government subsidies without benefits to the community
What Can I do to help? Tell your friends and neighbors and invite them to an El Barrio Unite meeting. Like and Follow El Barrio Unite on Facebook and visit www.elbarriounite.org for more information.