On Thursday the full Community Board 3 voted unanimously to reject the proposed air rights transfer for a planned new office tower at 3 St. Marks Place (at 3rd Avenue) which would increase the size of the planned development by 20% beyond what zoning allows. We oppose the plan because we do not want to see an even larger tech-related office tower rising at this location. This project has already resulted in the demolition of a nearly 200 year old house containing residential units. The replacement of low-rise, historic, and often residential buildings in this area south of Union Square by high-rise office towers is part of the city’s plan for this area in the wake of the approval last year of the Mayor’s 14th Street “Tech Hub.”
The proposal now goes to Borough President Gale Brewer for her recommendation; the Borough President spoke out against the proposed air rights transfer at an earlier stage of the application, as did State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. We hope she will maintain her opposition.
After the Borough President’s vote, there will be hearings at the City Planning Commission and City Council (not yet scheduled). Ultimately the decision about whether or not the air rights transfer is approved will likely come down to Councilmember Carlina Rivera.