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Home : Preservation : Gansevoort Market : 437 W. 13th St. : Latest News : 10/26/09

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MePa Glass Tower Plan Trimmed Again, But Still Seeks Variance

In the face of stiff opposition from GVSHP, other community groups and leaders, and even the Department of City Planning, the planned glass office tower/big box retail space at 437 West 13th Street in the Meatpacking District has been trimmed again. Originally a 250 ft. tall tower 66% larger than allowed by zoning, over the last several months the plan has been reduced to 215 ft. tall and 55% larger than allowable, and then 201 feet tall and 42% larger than allowable. Now the proposal has been cut to 175 feet tall and 24% larger than allowable, with the big box retail space proposed for the lower levels of the building reduced from three times the legally allowable size to twice. The developer is coming back before the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) on Tuesday to argue for approval of the new version and for the variances needed to exceed the legal limits for the size of a new building and retail space at this location.


Though the reduction in the requested variances is a positive development, GVSHP has written to the BSA to state our continued opposition to any variances for increased bulk or retail size at this location. The applicant’s claim that the presence of the High Line on part of this property creates a “hardship” requiring these variances as compensation is plainly false, and allowing an extra large building or oversized big-box retail space at this location would have a negative impact upon a neighborhood already struggling with overdevelopment. The site is also within the Gansevoort Market State and National Register of Historic Places District, and the plan would involve demolition of a historic meatmarket building which was originally slated for inclusion in the Gansevoort Market Historic District (which would have prevented demolition), but which was removed after objections by the owner.




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Home : Preservation : Gansevoort Market : 437 W. 13th St. : Latest News : 10/26/09

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