LOWER EAST SIDE — A six-story building could soon rise on a Lower East Side lot that until recently was part of a community garden, records show.
Developer Serge Hoyda has submitted plans to the Department of Buildings for a new 70-foot residential building at 157 Norfolk St. near Stanton Street, which for 31 years was part of the Children's Magical Garden.
The plans, which call for a single apartment per floor, have not yet been approved by the DOB, and garden volunteers are still hoping to reach an agreement with Hoyda to preserve the lot as public space.
"We are meeting as a garden [community] quite frequently and we are still very hopeful that we can have a conversation" with Hoyda, said Kate Temple-West, a Lower East Side resident and writer who is the director of Children's Magical Garden.
"We are very concerned and working really hard to come up with a solution," she added.
Hoyda infuriated the gardeners in May by building a fence through the middle of the 2,500-square-foot space, sectioning off the portion he owned from the part owned by the city. Residents had claimed the formerly derelict lots in 1982, building a community garden there that they had maintained for decades.
Hoyda and his architectural firm, Kutnicki and Bernstein, did not immediately return calls or emails for comment.
The building plans were first reported by Buzz Buzz Home.
Even if Hoyda moves ahead with his building plans, the volunteer gardeners still won a victory earlier this year when they convinced the city to preserve the other half of the space as permanent parkland. The city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, which owned the remaining portion of the garden, announced in June that it would give the space to the city's Parks Department rather than developing affordable housing there.