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Future of Essex St. Market Uncertain

Essex Street MarketSuzanne Rozdeba Preservationists have rallied around the Essex Street Market, which may be forced to move because of the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area development project.

While a battle between preservationists and the developer of 35 Cooper Square is still brewing, residents on the Lower East Side are raising their voices about the possible uprooting of another historic location, the 70-year-old Essex Street Market.

“If that market had disappeared, and I had just sat back in my apartment, I don’t think I could live with myself,” said Cynthia Lamb, a Lower East Side resident who is circulating a petition to keep the market, home to more than 20 businesses, from being relocated as part of the contentious Seward Park Urban Renewal Area project. The site is home to five parcels of land that have sat empty as a development debate has steeped for over 40 years. John Shapiro, the city’s planning consultant, has suggested a “superior location” elsewhere on the Seward Park site for the market.
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