West 14th/15th Street Rezoning Approved!
This morning the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a contextual rezoning of a portion of the block bounded by West 14th and 15th Streets, 9th and 10th Avenues which GVSHP strongly supported. The much-needed rezoning puts in place height limits for new development where none currently exist; under the existing zoning, towers of 250 feet in height or greater are possible here. Thanks to everyone who wrote the City Planning Commission in support of the rezoning!
Additionally, the height caps in effect prevent the transfer of air rights from the Hudson River Park to this block, which would have been allowed under state legislation passed in 2013. With such air rights transfers, development on this block could have grown to even greater heights.
Write to City officials urging them to move ahead with landmarking the final phase of the proposed South Village Historic District right away > >
This is a small but important victory in seeking to preserve and protect this northern corner of the Meatpacking District. As originally proposed, the rezoning would have actually allowed much larger development in this area, but after opposition from GVSHP and other community groups, that provision wa s dropped. The rezoned area is directly adjacent to the Gansevoort Market Historic District GVSHP secured designation of in 2003, and lies within the Gansevoort Market State and National Register Historic Districts GVSHP secured approval of in 2007. Read GVSHP's testimony in support of the rezoning here.
The rezoning must now be approved by the City Council. Councilmember Corey Johnson, in whose district the rezoning lies, has been a strong advocate of the rezoning, thus making final approval almost assured.
Potential New Development Application for 11-19 Jane Street
It has recently been reported that the parking garage at 11-19 Jane Street has been sold for $26 million to Minskoff Equities. These reports have speculated about what might be built on the site, assuming, based upon the sale price, that something will be built here.
The site is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, and thus no demolition or new construction can take place here without a public hearing and review process, and until and unless any proposed changes are approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as "appropriate" for the site and district. No demolition or new construction applications have yet been filed for the site.
If and when such applications are filed, GVSHP will notify the public by placing information about the application on our Landmarks Application webpage, and by including it, and all other landmarks public hearing applications, in our e-mail newsletter. If you want to be notified specifically about this application, you can sign up here. Find out more about our Landmarks Application webpage here.
Once an application has been filed, a public hearing on the application will first be scheduled at Community Board #2. Any member of the public can testify at that hearing, and the Community Board will vote on the application, though their resolution is advisory only. The application then goes to the Landmarks Preservation Commission for a public hearing, where any member of the public can testify as well, including elected officials and community and preservation groups. The Commission, a city body consisting of appointees of the Mayor, ultimately decides if the application is approved, denied, or modified.
In order to build on the site, the applicant would have to get approval for demolition of the existing structure, which would require the Commission finding that it is of no architectural or historic significance, as well as approval for the design of a new building to replace it.
While the zoning for the site would allow a tower of a dozen or more stories, the Commission is only obligated to approve a design which they feel is appropriate for the character of the historic district. This is a subjective evaluation, and there are no specific guidelines regarding the height, scale, or design of new construction. If you want to see some examples of new construction which the Landmarks Preservation Commission has approved in historic districts in our neighborhood over the last several years, you can search our Landmarks Applications webpage by 'New Buildings' here. This will also show versions of the applications which were rejected by the Commission. However, please note that each application is considered individually based upon its context and surroundings, as well as the character of the entire district. Please also note that the "appropriateness" of applications are reviewed based upon what could be seen by the public from the street or other public areas, and not by what can be seen from private homes.
GVSHP will be closely monitoring this site for any applications, and sharing information with the pubic as soon as it becomes available.
One Year Anniversary of South Village Landmarking, But 1/3 of Neighborhood Still Unprotected
It was one year ago today that the South Village Historic District was landmarked, thus protecting most of the second third of GVSHP's proposed South Village Historic District. The first third of GVSHP's proposed South Village Historic District was landmarked by the city in 2010 as an extension of the existing Greenwich Village Historic District.
Each of those designations protected about 250 buildings on a dozen blocks which previously could have been demolished at any time. Each of those areas contain a wonderful array of 19th and early 20th century architecture that reflects this neighborhood's unique role as an incubator not only for generations of immigrants, but for some of the most important social, cultural, literary, artistic, political, musical, and theatrical movements of the last century and a half.
These designations were a cause for great celebration, and the result of years and years of hard work and advocacy.
But the final third of our proposed South Village Historic District remains unprotected, with the City still not moving ahead with either landmark designation or a contextual rezoning of the area. This section of the South Village is also replete with architecturally and historically significant buildings which tell the story of our city's immigrant transformation and cultural flowering in the 20th century. Like the rest of the South Village, GVSHP got this area placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places last year, but demolitions and out of scale new developments continue.
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