URGENT PRESERVATION ALERT!
Plans for the 450 foot tall residential high-rise in the Meatpacking district ARE BACK-- and your help is needed NOW to stop it!
 
That's right:  the same proposed tower at 848 Washington Street that we stopped at the Board of Standards and Appeals in March is back again, at the same overwhelming scale, and it still includes residences -- even though a Gansevoort Market Historic District has been designated, the zoning prohibits new residential development, and the developer LOST his fight to get a variance for this site. 
 
How could this be?  Because the site is just outside of the designated historic district boundaries (although we urged that it be included in the district), and because the developer has gotten a ruling from the Department of Buildings that if 49% of the units in his proposed development are residential, and the rest hotel units, they will consider the entire building a "hotel," which the zoning allows.
 
If allowed, this building will destroy this neighborhood -- it will overwhelm the scale of the just-designated historic district, and push out the meatpackers, bars, clubs, and other businesses which make this neighborhood a unique, eclectic mix.  Residents paying millions for their homes will complain about the noise, smell, and traffic generated by these businesses, which are right across the street from the planned tower -- the businesses will be forced out, and our neighborhood will be lost, forever.
 
What can you do?  Mayor Bloomberg has gone on record saying he supports the preservation of this neighborhood, supports retaining the mix of businesses, and opposes new residential development here. 
 
PLEASE WRITE THE MAYOR NOW, AND ASK HIM TO KEEP HIS WORD AND SAVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD, BY NOT ALLOWING THIS DEVELOPMENT TO GET CITY APPROVAL 
(a sample letter is below). 
 
It is not too late -- the Mayor can force the Department of Buildings to change their ruling considering this type of building a hotel (no permits have been issued yet), and he can ask the Landmarks Preservation Commission to add this and other nearby blocks to the Gansevoort Market Historic District.  Both will stop this development from happening.
 

SAMPLE LETTER

Please mail, fax, and e-mail your message to the Mayor, and call him:

To email, go to (www.nyc.gov/html/mail/html/mayor.html). Letter can be entered and emailed there.

fax: 212/788-3229

ph. 212/788-3000

 

Hon. Michael Bloomberg                                             

Mayor, City of New York                                           

City Hall

New York, NY 10007

Dear Mayor Bloomberg:

Please stop the proposed 450 foot tall high rise with residences at 848 Washington Street in the Meatpacking district.  This tower would overwhelm a newly designated historic district and drive out the jobs and businesses located in a neighborhood zoned for industry, not for residential development.

The Department of Buildings has said it will allow a 49% residential development at this site by considering it a hotel.  This is totally outrageous, and an end-run around the law.  The developer tried and failed in March 2003 to get a residential variance for this plan, as the area’s M1-5 zoning prohibits new residential development.  Your own Departments of Business Services and City Planning testified against this plan then, because it would have driven out the many meatpacking and other business in the neighborhood.  When the Gansevoort Market Historic District was designated, you said you supported that move to preserve this neighborhood’s unique character.  All of this would be undone if this development goes forward.

But you can stop this outrageous proposal, and maintain your commitment to preserve this neighborhood.  Tell the Department of Buildings that considering this development a hotel is absolutely wrong, and to stick to the zoning which says that no new residential development is allowed.  Urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission to designate this and the other nearby blocks left out of the historic district, so only appropriately scaled development can take place here, and the neighborhood can truly be preserved.  But you must act quickly, before it is too late.

Please Save Gansevoort Market.

Sincerely,

Name

Address

Please also send a copy of your letter to Save Gansevoort Market/Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, at gvshp@gvshp.org, or fax: 212/475-9582, or 232 East 11th Street, NY NY 10003