On Friday, William Macklowe filed plans to construct a 23-story, 308 ft. tall tower at 110 University Place (at 12th Street), the former home of Bowlmor Lanes. GVSHP is deeply disturbed by this, and has been in contact with Mr. Macklowe since this past March to urge him not to construct a tall tower on this site, but rather to pursue a contextual development that would be in scale and character with the neighborhood (read our letter here). Unfortunately as this site and much of its surroundings lie outside of the Greenwich Village Historic District, and as the zoning for this site allows towers of the planned height or greater, such a development may well be perfectly allowable under the law.
In response, GVSHP has again reached out to Mr. Macklowe to urge him to reconsider his plans (read our latest letter here). We are also working closely with local community leaders and elected officials to reach out to Mr. Macklowe and to examine all options available to us. We have also been working for some time with local leaders and elected officials on the possibility of putting forward proposals for zoning changes and expansions of landmark protections for this area. However, because such measures, if supported by the City, take many months at best to enact, there is little chance of their affecting a development at this site. Rather, we are pursuing such possibilities to more similar developments from taking place in the future.
There are many reasons why it would be more advantageous to a developer to construct a contextual building which relates to the character of the surrounding neighborhood at this site, rather than one which would stick out like a sore thumb and become a source of controversy. We are hopeful that Mr. Macklowe will recognize this and reconsider the current, preliminary plans which have been filed. As more information becomes available, we will keep you posted.