Hundreds Turn Out for Rally on Saturday, Despite the Rain
Thank you to City Councilmember Rosie Mendez, Community Board #2 Chair Terri Cude, several candidates to succeed Councilmember Mendez in the Council, and the more than 200 residents who turned out for our rally this Saturday (in spite of the rain) to call upon Mayor de Blasio to enact the common-sense zoning changes we have proposed to protect the area between Union Square and Astor Place from a growing tsunami of oversized development. Watch the video, view pictures, and read the press release from the rally.
The area between 5th and 3rd Avenues largely lacks landmark protections and mostly has half-century old zoning which encourages tall towers and hotel, office, or luxury condo development. GVSHP has proposed a rezoning that would put in place reasonable height limits, reinforce the residential character of the area, and include incentives for affordable housing (current zoning west of 4th Avenue has no affordable housing allowances). Yet Mayor de Blasio has adamantly opposed the proposed rezoning, in spite of broad community and local political support.
Six oversized developments are moving ahead in the area right now, with dozens more potentially coming down the pipeline in coming years. As we pointed out on Saturday, developments currently underway in the area could have included over 50,000 sq. ft. of affordable housing, and future developments could include hundreds of thousands of additional square feet of affordable housing, if the Mayor approved our proposed rezoning.
To make matters worse, Mayor de Blasio’s is seeking to extend ‘Silicon Alley’ through this neighborhood by building a ‘Tech Hub’ on 14th Street, which would only exacerbate and accelerate the troubling overdevelopment trend in this neighborhood.
However, we have a way turn this around, and finally get the Mayor to protect our neighborhood. The Mayor’s Tech Hub plan requires City Council approval. City Councilmember Rosie Mendez is standing firm with GVSHP and hundreds of neighbors to say to the Mayor that the Council will not approve the Tech Hub unless the Mayor also agrees to the necessary rezoning protections for the blocks between Union Square and Astor Place, 5th and 3rd Avenues. Please join us in continuing to push the Mayor to support the rezoning, and in urging other local elected officials to stand with GVSHP and Councilmember Mendez in calling for rezoning of our neighborhood to be a condition for approval of the Mayor’s Tech Hub.
See gvshp.org/savemyneighborhood for more information.