Zone This!

Is that a “condo-hotel” on your head?

Our friends at the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation sent us a little note today about the anticipated ruling by the city whether to allow “condo-hotels” in manufacturing zones. At particular issue is Donald Trump’s planned 45-story condo-hotel at 246 Spring Street.

Now, the nub of the matter is this: Hotels can reside in manufacturing zones; Mr. Trump, with a speculator’s glint in his eye, wants to develop these condo-hotels there too. Opponents like the GVSHP claim that these new developments will not be transient in nature, like the law says they must be.

The GVSHP’s main concerns are:

  1. It will encourage high-rise development of luxury residential and hotel units in these areas
  2. It will help push out area businesses, which are supposed to be protected by zoning from competition from residential development, thereby changing the character of these neighborhoods
  3. It will circumvent the possibility of these communities considering zoning changes to only allow residential development which is appropriate for the area in terms of height, size, and location
  4. It will undermine hard-fought-for provisions to encourage the creation of affordable housing in recently rezoned neighborhoods like West Chelsea, Hell’s Kitchen, and Williamsburg/Greenpoint, by opening up new areas of these neighborhoods to luxury housing development without the agreed-to affordable housing incentives attached

To us it seems to be a short-sighted ploy to grab a quick buck in the ferocious go-go 2000’s real-state orgy. But how long will it last? And what happens when the bottom drops out? (Oh, c’mon, you know it will)

Check out the GVSHP’s Web site for more info.

-Matthew Grace Zone This!