Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
It used to house cast offs from some of the city’s oldest buildings, but soon it could house low-income New Yorkers.
The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development is seeking a developer to turn a Williamsburg warehouse that served as storage for the Landmarks Preservation Commission into an affordable housing development with 50 apartments. The development, at 337 Berry Street, sits on a 15,000-square-foot lot and calls for commercial or community space on the ground floor, as well as about 1,200 square feet of open space for residents.
The views are not too bad, looking out on the Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan, though the rumble of the J-Train just might intrude on the apartments, as well, barring some good windows.
Is there a war on against the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission? That is what preservationists fear, and there is some concern this is not simply about development issues, but also electoral politics.
According to DNAinfo, Councilman LeRoy Comrie could stand to win funds for his ailing campaign coffers if pro-development, anti-preservation proposals move forward.
Is the city’s Landmarks Law broken?
To the uninitiated, that would have been the likely conclusion from a hearing held at the City Council today. Eleven different pieces of legislation addressing myriad issues at the commission were debated. Nearly half of the council’s 59 member made an appearance, grilling officials from the Landmarks Preservation Commission and the Department of Buildings over problems perceived, parochial and patrician at the city agencies.
The city is under assault from a nanny state stuck in the past seemed to be the clear message.
For the large crowd assembled in protest for what turned out to be a four hour meeting, the case was quite the opposite: It was the city’s daring Landmarks Preservation Commission, keeper of the soul of the city, that was under assault. Of the 54 people who signed up to give testimony before a joint session of two council committees all but one spoke out against the vast majority of the bills.
Gene Kaufman, the swankest architect in town, went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday to try and win support for an addition atop the Hotel Chelsea, which Mr. Kaufman is redecorating for mysterious developer Joseph Chetrit. Tenants, who have lodged numerous complaints about the renovations, are especially concerned about a rooftop addition that they fear will become an all-night party spot. It turns out they have some powerful neighbors who agree.
Every local elected official thinks the rooftop addition is a bad idea, and they submitted testimony to the commission saying so. Signed by Congressman Jerry Nadler, Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Speaker Christine Quinn, State Senator Tom Duane and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried, the letter (attached in full below) condemns the addition as a bacchanalia waiting to happen.
on the waterfront
At 126-years-old, Pier A could be doing worse—at least it has not totally fallen into the waters of the harbor like so many of its peers.
who's watching the watchmen?
Forget Occupy Wall Street protestors—after removing part of a brick wall at a historic former police station, the N.Y.P.D. has to deal with a new set of idealistic hippies: the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
Missing the Landmark
While there’s no official word yet on whether or not there has been any “K-I-S-S-I-N-G,” it seems like some pouty lips are being puckered by both parties on the matter of Vornado’s ongoing renovations of 510 Fifth Avenue, the former Manufacturer’s Hanover Trust building.
The Landmarks Preservation Commission just approved the controversial preservation of 20 buildings in Downtown Brooklyn. Known as the Borough Hall Skyscraper Historic District, it had been opposed by local landlords and a co-op board who feared it would make renovations and new storefronts expensive to construct and maintain.
The architecture magnet that is the High Line is still attracting those big steel-and-glass gems. The Standard, the Whitney, Diane Von Furstenburg’s place, Frank Gehry, Jean Nouvel, Neil Denari and his crooked HL23—all are there, and so is Morris Adjmi. He already has the XXX-rated High Line Building, and he has been hard at work wooing the Landmarks Preservation Commission with his designs for 837 Washington Street. Yesterday, the commission approved the project 8-2.
Whatever the motivations, a lawsuit against the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission over the proposed Park51 Islamic center is indeed historic. The conservative American Center for Law and Justice and former firefighter Timothy Brown brought the suit, alleging that the commission erred in not designating 45-47 Park Place a landmark last August. That decision that would Read More