Huge Turnout for Rally to Save University Place -- Keep the Pressure On
On Saturday, more than 150 people joined GVSHP, City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, State Senator Brad Hoylman, Community Board #2 Chair Tobi Bergman, and Actor and long-time Villager Edward Norton to call upon Mayor de Blasio to allow a proposed rezoning of the University Place and Broadway corridors to move ahead. We stood across from the former site of Bowlmor Lanes, where demolition has just begun to replace the building with a nearly 300 ft. tall luxury condo tower. GVSHP has proposed a rezoning plan (details here) for the area which would put in place height limits for new construction and utilize the city’s “inclusionary zoning” mechanism to promote affordable housing in new developments. This rezoning plan has been endorsed by all local elected officials and the community board. However, in spite of the inclusion of the affordable housing provisions and the likely continued development of similar high-rise, out-of-scale, 100% luxury developments in the area, the Mayor has thus far refused to support the plan or allow it to move ahead (see letter). GVSHP has been asking the City to adopt the plan for nearly a year (see letter).
Under the rezoning plan, the development on the Bowlmor site and all future developments in the area would be no more than 8-12 stories (80-120 feet), with strong incentives for including 20% affordable housing. GVSHP has identified more than twenty potential development sites in the 12-block rezoning area (see map).
Had the city moved on this proposed rezoning in January when first approached, its provisions would have applied to the Bowlmor site. Rather than a nearly 300 ft. tall, 100% luxury condo tower, that development would have been matched the surrounding context by rising to no more than 120 feet, and likely would have included 20% affordable housing (see images). If the City now adopts the rezoning before that development is “vested,” or work has begun on its foundations, the new zoning rules and requirements would apply. Demolition work has just begun upon the building. Once the rezoning is adopted, all future developments in the area would have to abide by its provisions, including on any of the dozen potential development sites.
See video of the press conference here and photos here. Read the full press release here.
HOW TO HELP:
• Write the Mayor and other city officials urging them to enact the University Place/Broadway rezoning proposal NOW