In 2012, a blighted sliver of land between two buildings at 181 Stanton Street was transformed into a blooming green space by the hands of local volunteers. Siempre Verde is one of the most recent additions to the number of miniscule community gardens dotting the Lower East Side, but its existence is already threatened by a proposal for luxury housing.
In two weeks the estate of William Gottlieb, the owner of 137 Attorney Street (the lot adjacent to Siempre Verde), will present his plans to the community board. He hopes to purchase the city-owned lots currently occupied by the garden in order to construct a 16-unit luxury building at the site.
Siempre Verde is operated by the Parks Department through the Green Thumb program, but according to a press release we received from the community garden, the developers “are proposing to add the garden’s small two city-owned lots to their parcel” since “their lot has no street access and is too small for any development.”
As The Local East Village noted last year, the initial concept for an L-shaped five-story building was approved by Community Board 3 in 2012, but that plan was stalled. Now the board will meet on Tuesday, October 14 at 6:30 p.m. to hear the developer’s latest proposal.
Siempre Verde’s volunteers are calling on locals to sign a petition and attend the community board meeting, which will be held at 184 Eldridge Street, to show their support for the garden. We’ll keep you updated as the story progresses.