“A remnant of the Great Recession is hiding behind a paint-splattered wall in Chinatown, in an empty lot where a building was supposed to rise into the sky.
The plywood barely conceals the mess behind it: a pile of cement blocks and tangled metal and empty bottles of beer. It is, in short, exactly the sort of place that draws the ire of Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer.
“There’s a lot of bad things that happen in stalled construction sites,” says Stringer, whose office issued a report earlier this year cataloguing the more than 600 stalled sites that are scattered throughout New York City. “Especially if everybody sort of ignores the site and lets it grow in a very unpleasing way.”
Instead of allowing these lots to become eyesores, some developers are coming up with creative ways to use them temporarily until construction can begin. Grow vegetables in milk crates? Sure. Sell doughnuts out of a shipping container? In New York City, where open space is a precious commodity, just about anything goes.”