Group Blasts Proposed East Harlem Towers

East Harlem residents are rallying against the proposed construction of high-rise apartment buildings in the neighborhood.

A community group known as El Barrio Unite organized a protest Wednesday against the East River Plaza expansion project, which would place three towers on top of a mall near East 117th Street and the FDR Drive.

Demonstrators say the towers would change the character of East Harlem, and push low-income residents out of the community.

"We've seen developments like this go up before, and it's gonna further displace residents in East Harlem, it's gonna increase property taxes," said Anne Kadamani of El Barrio Unite.

"Quite frankly they're already high as it is now. We already can't maintain these high rents, so this is just exploiting our neighborhood," said Manuel Davila of El Barrio Unite.

The proposal calls for 20 percent of the 1,100 apartments to be set aside for affordable housing, but those against the expansion say that's not enough.

If approved by the City Planning Commission, the project would then move to the community boards where public hearings will take place.

 

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