Two Important Meatpacking District Victories
9-19 Ninth Avenue (Little West 12th Street): Last week the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) heard the proposal to add a large glass addition atop this iconic building (which for years housed Pastis Restaurant) at a key location in the heart of the Gansevoort Market Historic District. GVSHP, among many others, raised strong objections to the proposal, which we felt would overwhelm the existing building, negatively impact key features of the historic district, and relate poorly to its surroundings. Because GVSHP was able to help get this and surrounding sites landmarked in 2003, the project cannot move ahead without LPC approval.
Fortunately, the Commissioners appeared to agree with many of our concerns, telling the applicant they could not approve the proposal as is, and to significantly re-work it with more sensitivity to the existing building and its surroundings. Several of the Commissioners also said the proposed addition was too large. It is now up to the applicant to submit a new design to the LPC responding to their comments.
See GVSHP's webpage for further information on the application and its status, to be informed of when revisions may be proposed, and to view the video of the presentation, public testimony, and Commissioner deliberations of this application at the LPC.
40-56 10th Avenue (13th Street): Yesterday the Board of Standards and Appeals took a final vote on a zoning varaince application for this site, where a developer originally requested a 34% increase in the allowable size of a new development (full application here). The developer claimed the presence of the High Line on the site and landfill undeground created a "financial hardship." GVSHP, among many others, argued strongly against this logic, pointing out that the High Line's presence made this site uniquely desirable, and that other developers had built on the same subsurface conditions without any "hardship."
Fortunately the Board of Standards and Appeals agreed with us; while they granted the developer some waivers to allow more light and air to reach the High Line (to which GVSHP had no objections), they did not grant the developer any of the originally-requested increase in the size of the planned development. This is an important victory for our efforts to preserve the scale and character of the Meatpacking District.