What's at stake?

The proposed East River Plaza Project, which will result in a huge retail shopping complex with Home Depot and Costco as the primary retailers, threatens our community at many levels. Firstly, small businesses will be forced to relinquish their property to the state under "eminent domain". This will result in the loss of jobs and perhaps the eventual failing of the dislocated businesses which rely on their East Harlem location for their competitiveness. In addition, certain residential properties are also slated to be condemned. And for what? A mega-mall that will draw business away from hundreds, if not thousands, of local businesses providing goods and services ranging from home repair tools to mid-priced clothes, to foodstuffs. The 24-hour complex would also generate incalcuble health hazards including environmental pollutants, extraordinary traffic, noise, and general wear-and-tear to a sleepy community chock full of schools. Our community is under seige. Under seige.

Facts and Figures:

  • Location: the site is within one block of 4 schools, preschools, a playground and a large park.
  • Health: it will increase our already high asthma rate. (East Harlem has the highest reported rate of Asthma-related hospitalisation in the country)
  • Noise: it will be open 24 hours per day, 7 days a week! 2,352,000 automobiles and 11, 240 freight trucks will be driving through our community each year!
  • Environment: carbon monoxide and diesel fuel emissions will increase air pollution.
  • Children: it will expose our children to dangerous traffic conditions, from drivers of cars and trucks who are not familiar with our neighborhood.
  • Roads: 7,000 more cars and 120 more freight trucks each day will cause horrendous traffic problems on our streets.
  • Parking: on street parking on Pleasant Avenue will be eliminated. The new shopping mall will charge high parking fees after the first two hours. So, shoppers will park on local streets and take away the residential parking.
  • Jobs: it promises to create 2,000 jobs. But for whom? The are no guarantees of jobs for East Harlem residents. In reality it will put many small stores out of business.
  • Land: small business owners' land will be condemned and given to outsiders.
  • Neighborhood: the ambiance our residential neighborhood and the character and "flavor" of East Harlem/El Barrio will change.

We believe that this site can be better used by the East Harlem community for housing, small businesses or a waterfront promenade.

We are not alone fighting a Home Depot in our backyard!

Had you seen WPIX 10 o'clock news on Wednesday, September 23rd, you would have gotten a preview of what awaits the residents of East Harlem in general and the residents and schools of nearby Home Depot in particular.

Long Islanders in the town of Freeport have been waging a campaign to obtain relief from the noise, pollution and constant traffic in their neighborhood. We obtained a copy of the news segment and have it ready to show at our meetings. Newsday reported on 9/23/98 and quoted Al Norman of Greenfield, Mass., that "Across the country people are complaining that this company is a lousy neighbor." In fact, he has created a Web site that "chronicles the efforts of thousands of local residents fighting Home Depot."


Contact us...

341 East 116 Street
New York, NY 10029
Tel:, 212-410-5500, 212-348-8004
E-mail: BARA116@aol.com