Proposed Extra Large High-Rise and Retail Development at 13th & Washington
A developer is seeking zoning variances to build a 215 ft. tall glass high-rise at 437 West 13th Street (NW corner of Washington Street) with an extra-large 3-story retail space in its base. The developer needs special approvals to make the building 55% larger than the zoning allows, and to include a vastly larger retail space than the zoning allows or is currently found in the Gansevoort Market neighborhood. The developer claims the variance is needed because the site is cut by the High Line, creating an economic hardship which prevents a “reasonable return” on the property. We believe the High Line will be an incredible amenity from which this and other developers, as well as the public, will actually benefit considerably.
The site currently has a 2-story meat market building which GVSHP had proposed be included in the original Gansevoort Market Historic District; the building was removed from the proposed district by the City after strong lobbying by the owner. We believe that the proposed oversized building and oversized retail will drastically change the character of the Meatpacking District, and set precedents which may be used by other developers to do the same. We also believe the planned glassy design, combined with a completely blank and windowless 200 ft tall north-facing wall, is inappropriate for this neighborhood.
The first step in the approval process is a vote by Community Board #2. Unfortunately, last week Community Board 2’s Zoning Committee voted to APPROVE the requested variances for the project, while asking that the increase in bulk be reduced from 55% to 27%. However, the vote must be approved by the full Community Board on January 22nd.
YOU CAN HELP:
- Come to the full Community Board #2 meeting on Thursday, January 22nd at St. Vincent’s Cronin Auditorium, 170 W. 12th Street (6th/7th Avenues), 10th floor and testify IN OPPOSITION to the proposed variances for 437 West 13th Street. Sign up to speak between 6 and 6:30 pm; the public is generally given 2 minutes to speak.