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Telling the Truth About the Shady Deal
Behind the 14th Street Tech Hub
and the Broken Promises Attached To It

 

 

Yesterday Village Preservation led a demonstration outside the groundbreaking ceremony for the new planned Tech Hub at 124 East 14th Street (east of 4th Avenue). Though we were kept out of the private ceremony on public land, we got our message across about the shady sweetheart deal behind the project which actually includes significantly LESS public benefits than originally planned, and the failure of Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Carlina Rivera to maintain commitments made to protect the adjacent Greenwich Village and East Village communities from turning into an extension of Midtown South and Silicon Alley with the kind of development this project encourages. Read some coverage here.

 



See images from our demonstration and watch video here


Read the press release here.


The same day we issued a report outlining how large donors to and fundraisers for the Mayor’s various campaigns won the right to develop the project on incredibly valuable public land for a song, even though other bidders proposed projects with MORE public benefits and fewer of the harmful impacts on the surrounding neighborhood which has sparked such controversy.

 



Read the report here.

We also called out Councilmember Carlina Rivera for breaking a series of promises.  When she ran for office, she promised to insist upon comprehensive protections for the surrounding neighborhood as a condition for her required approval of the Tech Hub.  She approved it without such protections.  In response, she claimed that she had secured commitments for some incredibly weak measures to be taken to help protect the surrounding neighborhood.  A year after her vote to approve the plan, almost none have been implemented.  These include:
  • Requiring a special permit for new hotel development in the area.  Status:  No action whatsoever.
     
  • A tenant protection campaign including community-wide forums, door-knocking campaigns, and priority status for Council District 2 residents who need assistance from the City’s new Tenant Protection Unit.  Status:  None implemented.  The Councilmember did, however, convene a hastily-arranged “tenant fair” last week in response to our calling attention to the failure to keep this promise.  Here’s how one neighborhood resident who attended described it:  Most of the city agencies were late and maybe a dozen people attended.  The representatives of the city agencies were dismissive of many of the questions asked by residents and offered very little information. There was no information given that one could not have more quickly just looked up on the internet.”
     
  • A standing monthly meeting with the Landmarks Preservation Commission team to further discuss preservation targets and landmarks issues in Council District 2.  Results:  So far not a single additional action to protect the area affected by the Tech Hub development beyond the seven unthreatened buildings (just 3.6% of those requestedlandmarked earlier this year.


Village Preservation is continuing the fight to protect this area, and will continue to shed light upon the pay-to-play process behind the Tech Hub project and the failure of elected officials to keep their promises and protect this neighborhood.  We have a proposal before the Landmarks Preservation Commission for comprehensive landmark protections for this area.

 



Read the landmark proposal here.

 

Support Comprehensive Landmark Protections for Greenwich Village and the East Village South of Union Square

 

Previous: 7/2/19




Home : Advocacy : University Place-Broadway Rezoning/Bowlmor Tower : Latest News : 8/6/19

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