A huge day for Save Gansevoort Market efforts
Wednesday December 11th was a huge day for our Save Gansevoort Market efforts, and we would like to update and thank everyone for their tremendous support and participation.
848 Washington Street: In the morning, more than 100 people showed up for the Board of Standards and Appeals hearing about the proposed residential hi-rise at 848 Washington Street. Our turnout was extremely impressive and unusual, as was our array of support — from elected officials, residents, businesses, preservationists, industry advocates, city agencies like the Department of City Planning and Department of Small Business Services, and even the Flower Market. Additionally, considerable positive media coverage of the hearing — including NY 1, Channels 4 and 11 News, the New York Times, WCBS 880 Radio and WFMU — generated further buzz about, and gave considerable weight to, our efforts to stop this project.
Most encouragingly, the Commissioners themselves expressed a tremendous amount of skepticism about the project on a host of fronts — the size, the use, its impact on neighboring businesses, etc. The applicant demanded time to rebut our considerable volume of opposing testimony, and the BSA granted them until March 4 to respond. This also allows our side until that date to submit any additional comments, so if you have not yet written to the BSA in opposition, please do so now (40 Rector Street, New York NY 10006). The BSA committed to arriving at a decision by March 25.
Gansevoort Market Historic District: In the evening, in spite of terrible rain, over 100 people showed up for the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s community meeting on a possible Gansevoort Market historic district. The impressive turnout was very helpful, as was the in-person show of support by State Senator Tom Duane and City Council Member Christine Quinn. The meeting was presided over by current LPC Chair Sherida Paulsen, and was observed by incoming LPC Chair Robert Tierney (a long-time Village resident, who is expected to become the Chair in January). After an initial presentation about the landmarking process, LPC was questioned about how quickly a Gansevoort district could move forward and how much of the proposed district would be included. Chair Paulsen said she could not yet say when she could calendar it (the next step in the process, which begins to provide some protection against demolition and inappropriate development), but that because of the LPC’s schedule, early January would be the first opportunity.
The issue of boundaries was also discussed. No definite decisions were shared regarding what boundaries LPC would give to the district they have promised to put forward. However, the Chair did mention that because the City is examining the future of the High Line (which runs west of Washington Street and east of 10th Avenue through the proposed district), the LPC would probably not be in a position to include the High Line in any district it put forward right now, and might look to advance a second Gansevoort district which includes the High Line and areas to the west once these issues have been resolved. Sentiment was expressed by many of those gathered to keep the district as intact as possible, and the letter from GVSHP and State Senator Duane and Council Member Quinn following up on the hearing urges the Commission to look at ways to include as much of the area in a proposed district as possible.
If you have not yet written to the LPC or the Mayor in support of Gansevoort designation, please do so now (their respective addresses are One Centre Street 9th floor NY NY 10007, and City Hall, New York, NY 10007). If you have already written, you can write again now to urge them to calendar a hearing as soon as possible, and to include as much of the threatened Gansevoort Market as possible.
While we still have a way to go on each of these fronts, we clearly have a great deal of momentum on our side, and the tremendous participation from our supporters has moved us light years forward. Thank you for your support and interest.