National Planning Achievement Silver Award for Implementation

Essex Crossing

New York, New York

Resident-Driven Neighborhood Planning

Reuniting the Lower East Side with an inclusive, mixed-use community

After Robert Moses's slum clearance program displaced thousands, nine vacant lots sat unused on Manhattan's Lower East Side for nearly 50 years. In an effort to reunite the community and address city-wide needs for affordable housing, Delancey Street Associates worked with local neighborhoods to reimagine the underused space as mixed-use community, Essex Crossing.

Essex Crossing is the recipient of a 2020 National Planning Achievement Award for Implementation. Through a resident-driven neighborhood planning process, the project provides job training, recreation, retail, medical services, open space, and affordable, senior, and market-rate housing options for residents with a broad range of incomes and ages.

The nearly 2 million square feet of space will also house the historic Essex Market, a long-time community staple with more than 100 local vendors in the expansive public market.

With its focus on preserving the original character of the neighborhood, Essex Crossing stands as a testament to how attentive public-private partnerships can acknowledge past wrongs and work toward a united future.

View of Essex Crossing along Broome Street with Essex Crossing Park in foreground. Photo Credit: MOSO Studio

Essex Crossing along Broome Street with Essex Crossing Park in the foreground. Photo courtesy MOSO Studio.