Your Input Is Needed on Plans for Affordable Housing to Be Constructed at 388 Hudson at Clarkson Street

The 388 Hudson Street site lies at the cusp of the larger former manufacturing buildings to the south and west extending from Hudson Square, and the low-rise residential neighborhood of the West Village and the Greenwich Village Historic District to the north and east. It also directly faces highly utilized J.J. Walker Park. 

Plans are being formulated to construct a 100% affordable housing development on a vacant city-owned lot at 388 Hudson Street at Clarkson Street, and your input is needed on key elements of the plan — from the size of the development to the type of affordable housing to be included. Meetings will be scheduled for May by the city agency in charge of the planning process, the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), but Community Board 2 is already providing critical feedback about the project. Any plan will eventually require a rezoning and have to go through the ULURP process.

Background: The lot encompassing the entire blockfront of the east side of Hudson Street between Clarkson and Houston Street is vacant and city-owned, used for years to help construct New York City’s new Third Water Tunnel underneath. The southern half of the site cannot be built upon in order to allow permanent emergency access to the Water Tunnel below as needed, but will be developed as a public open space/seating area via a separate process. The northern half of the site was originally promised to the community to also include public park space, but in the intervening years both the City and Community Board 2 have identified that northern half of the site for affordable housing development. In 2021, as part of the 11th hour SoHo/NoHo/Chinatown Upzoning + Displacement Planagreements with the City Council, the City agreed to develop an approximately 100-unit, 100% affordable housing development there, and has begun the planning process.

In recent public meetings, Community Board 2 has been calling upon the city to build a significantly larger development on the site, as per the illustrations below. The City is now considering a larger development on the site, though Community Board 2 is asking the City to consider an even larger development. Any development would include retail and/or a community facility (likely some sort of public recreation space) on the ground floor and possibly below, and 100% affordable housing above. The type of affordable housing is to be determined, with public input requested; it can be anything from very low-income to middle-income housing and all levels in between; housing for seniors or those with special needs; supportive housing, etc. View the HPD presentation materials with more info here, and view the recent Community Board public meeting and discussion of this item here.

Top to bottom: (1) The originally planned approximately 100-unit affordable housing development; (2) and (3) larger versions of the planned development now being considered in response to requests from Community Board 2; (4) CB2 is asking the city to consider an even larger development on the site using air rights from the planned open space lot to the south. Note that diagrams are only illustrative and it’s possible each version could be built shorter and squatter by filing out more of the lot.

HPD has stated they will schedule public meetings starting in May to solicit public input, but feedback can be given now. After receiving the feedback, HPD will issue a request for proposals for development of the site outlining the parameters they are seeking, so feedback now and in the weeks ahead is key. Once a proposal is chosen, a needed rezoning for the site will have to go through the full ULURP public hearing process (review by the Community Board and Borough President, and approval needed by the City Planning Commission and City Council), but the most important decisions about what this development will look like and consist of are being made now and in the weeks ahead. 

Village Preservation welcomes the development of much-needed affordable housing on this site, which sits at the cusp of Hudson Square and the West Village/the Greenwich Village Historic District. We also believe, and have urged, that any development should respect and reflect the scale and character of the surrounding neighborhood, and serve as a transition between the higher density loft district to the south and the lower-rise residential district to the north, and make every attempt to minimize shadows on the well-utilized J.J. Walker Park directly across the street. 


Village Preservation will continue to keep you posted as the planning and public engagement process for this development continues. 

Learn more about how to get involved in the planning process for this project here.

April 21, 2023