Pleasant Village, East Harlem

Client: Municipal Arts Society and CIVITAS
Faculty: Paul Buckhurst, Frank Fish and Harlan Sexton
Team: Alissa Black, Adrian M. Esparragoza, Jill Gallant-Foley, Adam Geller, Nick Johnson, Ingrid Lennie, Anthony V. Limoli, Gail Pickett, Morgan Porzio, Veena Sawant
Year: 2003
The former site of the Washburn Wire Factory in Pleasant Village is currently owned by a developer who plans to turn the site into East River Plaza (ERP). ERP, a big box retail complex, is based on uncertainties and may not be built as planned. The scale and potential negative impacts of the project are of significant concern to the surrounding community. After surveying the existing conditions of the neighborhood, the Capstone team split into three groups to explore alternative strategies for the site. Group One developed a full mitigation plan including design measures and social programs that will lessen the negative impacts of ERP while capitalizing on its advantages. Group Two assumed that ERP will be reduced in size and has examined the resulting impacts and potential uses for the remaining space. Group Three proposed a mixed use alternative development program for the ERP site that focuses on community needs and character and includes housing as a major alternative use.