In the foreground is just one of the empty lots (now used for parking) in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA) on the Lower East Side. SPURA was cleared of its tenements, and residents relocated, in the early-mid 1960s as part of an urban renewal project and has been stalled ever since as different neighborhood groups debated over what should be built, how much housing v. commercial, how much "affordable" v. market rate housing, etc. Today it remains the largest plot of undeveloped land in Manhattan south of 96th Street. But a plan was recently agreed to which will build a mix of commercial and residential (about 40/60) with about 1,000 apartments (50% of which will be "affordable" - this view will change dramatically within the next few years.
Beyond this SPURA lot is Delancey Street, a busy shopping street which also carries a high volume of traffic to/from the Williamsburg Bridge (just out of view to the right). Beyond Delancey Street are two of the newer buildings built over the past few years - The Hotel on Rivington (THOR) towards the center and the Blue condo at the right.