No 'Tech Hub' Without Zoning Protections - Update
We have some important progress to report in our efforts to secure zoning protections for the area between 5th and 3rd Avenues, Union Square and University Place, which are facing out-of-control, oversized development and the Mayor’s ‘Tech Hub’ plan on 14th Street which will only make the situation worse.
We co-hosted an overflow crowd for our preservation forum for City Council candidates where this issue featured prominently. All District 2 (which covers the affected area) candidates who attended -- Erin Hussein, Carlina Rivera, and Mary Silver – pledged not to support the necessary City Council approval of the ‘Tech Hub’ unless the Mayor agrees to the zoning protections we are demanding for the surrounding neighborhood. GVSHP is reaching out to the other candidates. You can watch video of the forum here, and read coverage here and here.
Town & Village newspaper published an op-ed from GVSHP urging the Mayor to support our proposed zoning protections for the area, especially in light of the impact his Tech Hub plan would otherwise have – read it here.
GVSHP presented its rezoning proposal to Community Board #3 and urged the board to condition any support for the Tech Hub plan upon zoning protections for the affected area (view GVSHP’s presentation here). We were joined by dozens of CB 3 residents who supported that call, and most importantly City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, who also expressed strong support for this effort. The Councilmember has asked CB 3 to form a joint Task Force with Community Board #2 (4th Ave./the Bowery divide the two boards) to deal with the Tech Hub, its potential impacts, and the need for mitigations – a suggestion we strongly endorse. We expect a new round of public hearings, which we will notify the public of, to be scheduled for late spring/early summer.
GVSHP is meeting with Borough President Gale Brewer about this issue.The Borough President has a formal role in the approval process for both the Tech Tub and any rezoning, so her support is critical. She has already expressed support for our requested rezoning of the Broadway/University Place corridor as well as for the Tech Hub. But we want and need her to insist that any approvals for the Tech Hub not be granted unless zoning protections are granted to University Place, Broadway, 3rd and 4th Avenues. She has already received hundreds of letters from residents urging her to do so.
You can always see the latest information about this effort at www.gvshp.org/savemyneighborhood. If you have not already, please ask friends and neighbors to send letters to the Mayor and his administration and elected officials at www.gvshp.org/mayor and www.gvshp.org/elected.