Chinatown Residents March Against Planned Mega-Towers

Scores of Chinatown residents and supporters marched from Cherry Street to City Hall Jan. 20 to demand that the city quash plans to build four massive towers on the Chinatown waterfront. The proposed Two Bridges development would contain four towers ranging from 63 to 80 stories with almost 2,800 apartments, about threefourths market-rate and 25 percent “affordable.”

A State Supreme Court judge delayed the project last August, ruling that the city could not allow it to be built without going through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure process, which requires local input and City Council approval. The protesters said that was not enough. “Compromised local officials can still broker back-door deals during ULURP to approve the towers,” organizers said in a statement.

“We deserve air, we deserve sunlight, and we deserve a place to live. Once we are displaced, we can never get our community back,” said Arnette C. Scott of Lower East Side Organized Neighbors.

The marchers also demanded that the city adopt the 2012 Chinatown Working Group zoning plan, which would limit the height of buildings constructed in parts of the Chinatown and the Lower East Side left out of the 2008 East Village rezoning.