The Sheridan Lands/Community Visions Sessions are a series of meetings with fellow community leaders to envision new, productive uses for the 28 acres of land occupied by the Sheridan Expressway.
Draft Documents from the Visioning Sessions:
Circulation and Transportation Map
Housing on the Sheridan Footprint
Proposed Land and Building Use
Typical Floor Plan for Sheridan Housing Units
Session 1: presentation of basic land use & demographic information and brainstorming of issues
Our first meeting was a huge success! We went over the history of the Sheridan Expressway, where we are in the Environmental Impact Statement process, and looked at visuals of what exist instead of a highway. There were several pressing concerns addressed for the community surrounding the Sheridan including:
- Lack of open space for a growing population
- Affordable Housing
- Infrastructure to provide health benefits, i.e.: bike paths and more exercise options
- The need for family-oriented arts center that can host dance, music, etc.
We also talked about the importance of making sure the Sheridan lands does not become a gated community but remains an important link between communities. The Sheridan is also an opportunity to do very innovative environmental work such as 100% storwater retention and green roofs.
The next visioning sessions will discuss physical opportunities and site constraints: connecting to surrounding streets, transportation,and other locations.
Session 2: physical opportunities & site constraints; connections to surrounding streets, transportation, & other locations
The second visioning session addressed some of the site constraints that exist on the Sheridan lands, as well as new opportunities to create housing and parkland.
- Housing should not be developed near the elevated 6 train, due to the noise. Instead, housing should be located further north.
- Amtrak railroad tracks are a barrier for passing through the site.
- The waterfront should be available to the public and not used for private development or housing.
- The Sheridan land creates opportunities for connections to existing retail and shopping centers in the area.
- There are also opportunities to create connections to future parkland, such as the Concrete Plant Park and Starlight Park.
Area transit services, including the potential addition of a Metro North station at Hunts Point Avenue, were also discussed. Participants worked with a rough sketch for much of the session, in order to visually determine the best location for housing, parkland, and retail.
Session 3: ‘Housing 101’ – physical types of housing, density, brainstorming of other essential land use
The third visioning session began with a dialog among the attendees about the positive and negative aspects of urban housing. The discussion revolved around various attributes and amenities, number of units, common space and proximity to community resources. Later, the group addressed physical types of housing that could potentially be developed on the Sheridan lands, such as towers or townhouses.
Attendees were also asked to consider how much area community and retail facilities typically take up, including, small neighborhood stores, supermarket, and larger chain stores. Participants were given work sheets to rate the types of facilities and community amenities they would like to see more or less of, such as storefront churches, small health care clinics, day cares, and schools.
Potential housing design concepts were also presented, among them:
- A scenario featuring all towers and no parking – this design would preserve the most square footage for retail and community facilities.
- A scenario featuring the maximum number of surface parking spots (341 spaces): this design significantly reduces the total number of housing units.
Session 4: -‘Housing 201’ – affordability and forms of ownership, more development of site plan to show green space & circulation
The fourth visioning session began by providing attendees with detailed information about the state of affordable housing in New York City today. Participants learned that nearly a quarter of New York City residents are using half of their annual income to pay rent and most new units built are selling at market rate. On average, developing housing in New York costs an astounding $300,000 per unit, due to scarcity of land, hard costs such as construction, and soft costs such as insurance fees.
Attendees also learned about the “area median income” (AMI), or the midpoint income where half of area wage earners have salaries higher than the median, and half have salaries lower than the median. The AMI for a New York City household is $40,000 per year. Thus, an extremely low-income household is making around $20,000 a year, and a middle-income household is making approximately $100,000 per year.
Equipped with this knowledge, participants were asked to work together to devise a housing plan for a building, wherein higher income residents would be subsidizing the lower income residents. Using this model, it became clear that it would be necessary to have many more high income residents to subsidize relatively few low income residents. This exercise was used to demonstrate how difficult it is to build affordable housing but it encouraged attendees to become problem solvers.
Join us on May 9 where we will review a first draft of the complete plan, add additional comments, and discuss next steps.
Session 5: first draft of complete plan for feedback and discussion of next steps
The fifth session began by reviewing the land use maps presented by PrattCenter for Community Development. The land use maps depicted the following: the placement of parkland, retail, and housing; connections to existing transit; and a new shuttle service.
After reviewing maps, participants looked over a document describing community development goals for the lands, titled Principles for the Redevelopment of the Sheridan Lands. These principles detailed community objectives for housing, social services, commercial space, and a governance structure for the 28 acres.
Although the fifth session marked the conclusion of the formal visioning process, the Sheridan Campaign is really just beginning. The Alliance will now bring the draft plan to local residents and organizations for feedback that will inform the development of a finalized land use plan. Suggestions are welcome from anyone who may be able to suggest individuals or groups who may be interested in this presentation.
Once a final draft has been created, the Alliance will present the Sheridan Land Use Plan to citywide organizations, developers, community boards, and elected officials.
The draft principles and the land use maps can be downloaded with below. We encourage you to stay in touch by emailing us with any thoughts regarding the Sheridan lands. – cvisions-