More development is certainly in the works along Cooper Square and the Bowery... Like this newish "for sale" sign that was added to the empty lot at Sixth Street and Cooper Square... While the City Planning Commission voted to approve rezonings in the Third and Fourth Avenue corridors in the East Village last week, one important area wasn't included: The Bowery.
The west side of the Bowery has a height limit of 120 feet. However! On the east side, developers can toss up anything that they'd like, and they have: the Bowery Hotel, the Cooper Square Hotel, New Museum, the new Cooper Union Building, and 52E4.
In The Observer today, Matt Chaban reports that the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN, if you're nasty) have a powerful ally: Assembly Speaker Shelly Silver.
Despite his persuasive ways, the city doesn't exactly seem to be cowering with fear... Per Chaban's aricle:
Rachaele Raynoff, a department spokeswoman, explained it this way in an email:
The Department of City Planning appreciates the dynamic nature of the historic Bowery, and its enduring strength as a vital, economically thriving corridor, having seen a range of new development activity and investment. The wide, centrally-located street continues to support a mix of commercial, residential, community and cultural uses, and has excellent access to mass transit. As the Department considers citywide policies on rezoning, we work hard to balance the varying needs of a broad and ever-expanding city and continually seek to strike a balance among uses, constituencies and planning strategies.
In other words, were the city to downzone everything, there would be nowhere left to build.