The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
11 February 2011

In This Issue

Hudson Square Rezoning Plan Unveiled

Jane Street Triangle Makeover

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Hudson Square Rezoning Plan Unveiled

In 2007 the City approved the 454 ft. tall Trump SoHo ‘condo-hotel’ in Hudson Square over the objections of GVSHP and a large coalition of community, civic, and business groups who claimed it was illegal. GVSHP called for a zoning change for the area to prevent similarly-sized developments in the future, and both City Planning and the City Council promised to propose a rezoning of Hudson Square to accomplish this, as well as to close what they claimed was a “loophole” in the zoning text allowing condo-hotels in ‘manufacturing’ zones like Hudson Square (GVSHP and most others contended there was no loophole, and the City was simply refusing to appropriately enforce the law). GVSHP has been pushing the City and City Council to keep that promise.

Four years and several more oversized and out-of-context developments later, neither body has acted to close the supposed condo-hotel “loophole” or put forward any rezoning plan. However, last night Trinity Real Estate, the major property owner in the Hudson Square area, unveiled a draft proposal at Community Board #2 to rezone a 20-block ‘M1-6’ zoning district in Hudson Square, stretching from Houston to Canal Street, Sixth Avenue and Varick Street to Greenwich and Hudson Streets (see map).

The current M1-6 zoning for the area encourages tall, set back towers, has no height limits or contextual envelopes for development, does not allow as-of-right residential uses but does allow commercial, manufacturing, and transient hotel uses. Last night’s draft Trinity rezoning proposal would allow residential development/conversion and encourage the inclusion of a percentage of affordable housing, require the preservation of some commercial spaces, impose varying height caps and contextual envelopes that would require new development to meet the streetwall, prohibit as-of-right development of hotels of over 100 rooms, and prohibit new nightclubs and big box stores (except supermarkets). However, Trinity would also seek approval for a much larger, 429 ft. tall residential tower on the block bounded by Canal, Varick, and Grand Streets and Sixth Avenue, which would also include a public park and a 420-seat K to 5 public school in its base. Trinity predicts the rezoning would create 3,000 to 3,500 residential units, eventually increasing the portion of residential uses in the neighborhood from 4% to 25%.

The plan has not yet been formally filed and would have to go through a lengthy and extensive public hearing and approval process. Because last night’s plan unveiling was only advertised as an “informational update,” attendance was sparse. GVSHP has urged that more public sessions be held to inform the public of this proposal before it moves forward. Learn more details of the plan HERE.

Jane Street Triangle Makeover

The city’s Department of Transportation recently unveiled a planned makeover of the Jane Street triangle, at the intersection of Eighth Avenue, Jane Street, and West 4th Street. The plan would add benches, plantings, and trees to the space, extend the sidewalk, and make permanent the conversion of a small section of West 4th Street from street to pedestrian space. See the current conditions, proposed plan and details HERE.

Because the site is located within the Greenwich Village Historic District, the plan must receive a public hearing and approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. No date has yet been set, but you can check GVSHP’s Landmarks Application Webpage HERE to see when it has been scheduled.

Help Name GVSHP’s Blog!

GVSHP will soon be launching a blog! This will be a great opportunity for us to share more about what’s going on in the Village, East Village, and NoHo, historic tidbits, interesting research we’ve unearthed, and news and views about our great neighborhoods.

But our blog needs a name! Help us by offering your ideas HERE.

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