At last week’s Town Hall with Mayor de Blasio on City Council District 2 issues, GVSHP representatives and members confronted the Mayor about his plans for a ‘Tech Hub’ on East 14th Street which would accelerate oversized commercial development in the neighborhood to the south, and his refusal to support zoning protections for the adjacent area – watch the video of the Town Hall here (questions on this issue start around 1:13:40).
The Mayor could best be described as non-committal. After months of refusing to meet with GVSHP, the Mayor did finally direct representatives of his City Planning Department to meet with GVSHP about this issue, and that meeting is scheduled to take place soon. However, these are the same City Planning representatives who have in the past refused to support zoning protections and who repeatedly claimed that sites in the area which GVSHP had identified as potential development sites could never be developed, including 827-831 Broadway; several of those sites have since been earmarked for development.
We know that it is very likely that the only way the Mayor will support necessary protections for the University Place, Broadway, 3rd and 4th Avenue corridors – which have almost no landmark protections and poor zoning – is if he is forced to by the City Council as a condition for approving the 14th Street Tech Hub, which requires their approval. Term-limited Councilmember Rosie Mendez has strongly supported such an approach, and GVSHP has worked hard to ensure that whoever succeeds her does as well. The Mayor intends to release his Tech Hub plan and begin the approval process in early 2018; GVSHP will keep fighting until protections for the surrounding residential neighborhood are also provided.
You can help by sending letters to Mayor de Blasio and Borough President Gale Brewer: