Greenwich Village may be notoriously prickly about new development, but will Donald Trump’s provocations never end?
Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and ardent Trump SoHo opponent, has just sent out a plea for like-minded activists to inundate the City Planning Commission with requests to "change the zoning for this area to prevent more out-of-scale development like Trump SoHo ‘Condo-Hotel.”’
The catalyst for this most recent burst of outrage?
According to Mr. Berman:
"Last week it was revealed that the Department of Buildings (DOB) approved an additional, 43rd floor for the 454 ft. tall Trump SoHo ‘Condo-Hotel.’ However, a review by GVSHP of DOB’s records shows that the developer has recently submitted permit applications referring to a 44th floor, one floor even higher than DOB already approved. GVSHP has written to DOB to express outrage over the approval of the 43rd floor, and questioning the new reference to a "44th floor." We have urged DOB not to approve any additional height for the building, and to rescind the existing approvals. We have also filed a Freedom of Information request to review all of DOB’s relevant files for the project, to uncover and refute the Department’s justification for approving these permits in the first place. GVSHP also continues to work closely with the SoHo Alliance in their legal challenge in NY State Supreme Court against the City’s original approval of the Trump SoHo ‘Condo-Hotel.’
This is, of course, hardly the first time controversy has erupted about Mr. Trump’s development of a skyscraper in the middle of low-rise Soho. In March, New York magazine ran a scathing article about the development, in which Mr. Trump is quoted as saying:
"In New York, I can build a box as-of-right [within existing regulations]. Or I can get a creative design, go through 10 years of community boards, and still get refused 32 to zero. Given that choice, I’ll build a box."
And in January, Yuriy Vanchytskyy, a construction worker and father of three, fell 42 stories and died at the site.