In the News: Goodbye, Elizabeth Street Garden

••• From Curbed: “Plans to replace the Elizabeth Street Garden with a senior affordable housing development are officially moving forward. On Friday morning, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development and Housing Development Corporation jointly announced the proposal for a seven-story building with 121 permanently affordable apartments at the site of the garden.” Meanwhile, in a press release, “State Senator Brian Kavanagh, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Congressmember Jerrold Nadler, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Letitia James, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick joined with Community Board 2 Chair Terri Cude to release [a] statement in opposition.” Notably absent from that list: councilperson Margaret Chin, who has supported the plan against vehement community opposition—and because it’s in her district, the city council will defer to her. (By the way, there’s a vacant lot on Hudson Street that would have worked just fine.) The rendering of the new plan is sterile and depressing compared to the lovely garden that exists now.

••• Muggings and thefts in the Tribeca Trib police blotter.

••• “Soho activists have raised enough money to establish a nonprofit—which they’re calling a ‘neighborhood improvement district’—to help clean up trash in the area. Residents were fed up with litter on the sidewalks and overflowing waste baskets, ‘despite funneling millions into city coffers from its astronomical sales and property taxes,’ as a press release puts it. Organizers did not want to set up a traditional Business Improvement District, saying they were hesitant to ‘cede control of their neighborhood to a real estate-driven B.I.D'” —Curbed

••• “After 15 years on the Lower East Side, Il Laboratorio del Gelato is adding a Greenwich Village branch.” It’s on University Place at 10th St., and yes, I do consider more quality ice cream within walking distance to be locally relevant. —New York Times

••• “The vendor selling trees at Washington Market Park in Tribeca paid the city $8,963 in 2009; this year’s vendor paid $31,400. ‘We’re an endangered species,’ said Scott Lechner, who manages the stand in Washington Market Park and four other parks auctioned by the city. ‘The condor might fly this year, but I just don’t know about the next.’ Mr. Lechner says he sells ‘a small forest’ every year, but is trying to keep up with his ‘skyrocketing’ rents as other vendors bid against him. His locations in trendy neighborhoods allow him to sell five- to six-foot trees at $95 to $135. Even so, he said he was invested in better marketing in the hopes of selling more trees and avoiding price increases. ‘Our customers already pay enough for Christmas trees,’ Mr. Lechner said.” —New  York Times

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