After months of research and Freedom of Information Requests, Village Preservation has exposed the terms of the Mayor’s 14th Street Tech Hub deal and upzoning, and the results are not pretty.
We uncovered that:
- The developer of the planned 22-story office tower on the site will actually be paying less in rent to the City than the 2-story PC Richards store which operated there for decades.
- The City had absolutely no written records – no notes, no scoring sheet, no criteria for evaluation – of why the developer who was selected was chosen over other, less controversial and less impactful plans. While other bidders did not ask for or require the controversial upzoning for the site which allowed a large increase in the amount of purely for-profit, commercial office space to be developed on the site, and which increases development pressure upon the surrounding neighborhood, this one did.
- The winning bidder made at least $10,000 in contributions to Mayor de Blasio’s non-profit “Campaign for One New York” at the time that they were seeking selection, and other partners in the project made significant contributions to the Mayor’s campaign.
The good government group Citizen Union called the revelations of how the Mayor handled this selection process “really bad,” “not above board,” and part of “a pattern” of favoring campaign donors by the Mayor.
Read coverage in the Daily News, 6sqft, and EVGrieve.
Last year, the City Council, led by local Councilmember Carlina Rivera, approved the Mayor’s Tech Hub plan for 14th Street and the upzoning it required for the larger-than-allowable office tower on the site. The deal failed to provide any of the neighborhood protections Councilmember Rivera had promised as a condition of her support for the plan.