The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation

30 January 2015


GVSHP's University Place-Broadway Rezoning Proposal Wins Full Community Board
Support! Help With Next Steps

Trump SoHo To Go Legal?

Support the Cause! GVSHP Newsletters In Your Building or Business

GVSHP's University Place-Broadway Rezoning Proposal Wins Full Community Board Support -- Help With Next Steps

Last week the full Community Board #2 voted unanimously to endorse GVSHP's University Place/Broadway Contextual Rezoning Plan -- read the Community Board resolution here and GVSHP’s presentation submitted to the board here. Thank you to the hundreds of you who turned out for GVSHP’s community meetings and the Community Board hearings to learn more about the proposal and express support for this effort to preserve our neighborhood and prevent inappropriate development. Your efforts definitely made a difference! Read coverage in The Villager here.

GVSHP has now formally submitted its rezoning proposal to the Department of City Planning (read letter here). We are asking the Department of City Planning to undertake a rezoning application, which would require lengthy and in-depth analysis, followed by multiple public hearings and votes over the course of several months before it could take effect. Through this method, GVSHP and our allies have successfully secured four other contextual rezonings in the West Village (here and here), the East Village, and the Third and Fourth Avenue corridors.

This is an extremely important step in our efforts to preserve this special part of our neighborhood and protect it from further overdevelopment, such as the planned 308 ft. tall tower at 110 University Place at 12th Street. GVSHP is continuing to seek support for the proposal from elected officials and other stakeholders, and is also continuing to look at possible landmarking proposals for the area to further protect its character and prevent inappropriate development and changes. We will keep you posted as this work progresses.


Trump SoHo To Go Legal?
Several months ago, the Trump SoHo Condo Hotel went into foreclosure as a result of poor sales of the "condo-hotel" units. Now it's being reported that the new owner is looking to market the remaining units as hotel rooms, rather than the legally-questionable "condo-hotel" units.

The poor sales of the units and the new focus by the new owner are widely reported to be the results of long-standing efforts by GVSHP and others to prevent violations of the zoning and illegal uses at the Trump SoHo. From the beginning, GVSHP opposed the construction of the outrageous tower, citing the "condo-hotel" arrangement as an inherent violation of the area's zoning prohibitions on new residential or residential-hotel development. While the City and many local elected officials at the time would not do as we urged and oppose permits for the construction of the building based upon this blatant zoning violation, our objections did lead directly to limitations attached to the development proscribing how long owners could stay in their units. GVSHP has consistently held the City's feet to the fire to call for these provisions to be enforced. Apparently these restrictions have helped lead to the poor sales of "condo-hotel" units at the Trump SoHo, and would seem to indicate that the original developers expected no such restrictions when planning this project.

The new emphasis by the new owner on traditional hotel uses far from solves all problems with the Trump SoHo. While the restrictions on paper against long-term residential use and the considerable publicity around our efforts to ensure such zoning violations were not ignored may have had a chilling effect on sales, a fraction of the development remains a "condo-hotel." Such units are ripe for abuse and potential lax enforcement by the City. Most importantly, this development should never have been allowed to be built in the first place, given its legally questionable (at best) status. That said, the failure to sell these "condo-hotel" units with these restrictions attached sends a strong message that attempts to get around zoning restrictions do have consequences, and will hopefully help prevent further such abuses in the future. GVSHP will continue to closely monitor the Trump SoHo and the city’s enforcement of the zoning restrictions in relation to it, and work to ensure that illegal uses are not allowed here.

Support the Cause! Help Get GVSHP Newsletters In Your Building or Business

While nearly everyone in the Village, East Village, and NoHo wants to protect the character of their neighborhood and prevent inappropriate development, many of our neighbors don't know which battles are taking place right now and how they can get involved.  The best weapon we have in the ongoing fight to preserve our neighborhoods is a well-educated and involved community. And YOU can help make that possible!

Having GVSHP’s newsletter available in your building or local business is a great way to spread the word to neighbors, educate them about current preservation campaigns, and let them know how they can help.  
If you would like to have GVSHP’s newsletters delivered to your business for customers to pick up and take away, or if you can arrange to have newsletters placed in or distributed throughout your building, GVSHP will deliver them to you. We'll even stuff your building if given permission!  You can also reach out to your favorite local merchants and ask if they would be willing to have our newsletters available for their customers to pick up. If you are able to do any of these, just e-mail with the details of how many you want and where you want them to go, and someone will be in touch about making arrangements.

Placing newsletters in neighborhood buildings and businesses is a great way to spread the word, support the cause, and help preserve and protect your neighborhood.  Each year, GVSHP distributes thousands of newsletters to buildings and local businesses throughout the Village, East Village and NoHo. Help us reach even more in 2015!

You help make it happen!


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