[Photo by Derek Berg]
A group of residents, preservationists, local elected officials and union reps came out early last evening to protest the incoming hotel by Marriott's Moxy brand slated to replace a row of buildings at 112-120 E. 11th St. between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue.
The speakers blasted Mayor de Blasio's administration, who despite the purported dedication to affordable housing, is allowing the 300-room hotel aimed at millennials to move forward.
The Lightstone Group paid Pan Am Equities $127 million for the portfolio.
In July 2015, Mayor de Blasio appointed Lightstone Chairman and CEO David Lichtenstein to the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s Board of Directors.
According to the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), who helped organize the rally, the five buildings were ruled "landmark-eligible" by the city in 2008. However, when the buildings faced the threat of demolition this past summer, the city said that they no longer qualified for landmark status, per GVSHP.
[Photo by Peter Brownscombe]
[Photo by PB]
Here are a collection of comments distributed to the media following last evening's rally..
"Community groups, preservationists, affordable housing advocates, and labor all agree that this development stinks. Something is wrong when a Mayor who claims to care about neighborhoods, average New Yorkers, affordable housing, and organized labor allows his campaign contributor and political ally to avoid landmark protections so he can demolish historic buildings with affordable housing to put up a high-end hotel with non-union labor. Preserving these buildings and the housing they provided represents everything New Yorkers and residents of this neighborhood want; the hotel plan represents everything they do not want." — Andrew Berman, GVSHP Executive Director
“It is disappointing, but sadly not surprising, that a project like Lightstone Development’s Moxy Hotel on 11th Street has been approved by the City of New York. Disappointing because it will eliminate desperately needed neighborhood affordable housing, provide no decent career pathways for New Yorkers, and is being driven by a developer known to use contractors with a history of safety violations and worker exploitation ... Not surprising because Mayor de Blasio’s appointment of Lightstone’s CEO David Lichtenstein to the EDC raises serious concerns about who is watching out for the public good of the city’s economic driver plans." — John Skinner, President/Political Director Metallic Lathers Reinforcing Ironworkers Local 46
[Photo of Rosie Mendez by PB]
"I stand by my original statement and my continued disappointment that we are losing five buildings in my district that contained several dozen affordable rent regulated units, as well as the fact that these were architecturally and historically significant buildings built in the late 1800s. Instead we will have a hotel that will be architecturally out of character and out of scale with our neighborhood. I am extremely disappointed that this mayoral administration has not come forward with any legislative/zoning solutions to prevent these types of 'as of right developments' from reoccurring. — Council Member Rosie Mendez
[Photo of Brad Hoylman by PB]
"It’s wrong that units of affordable housing on an historic East Village block are slated to be demolished and replaced forever by expensive hotel rooms by a developer who has a poor safety record in protecting workers. This case is a glaring example of the work we need to do to protect the historic fabric and character of our neighborhoods and ensure we use union labor for new construction." — State Senator Brad Hoylman
Previously on EV Grieve:
6-building complex on East 10th Street and East 11th Street sells for $127 million
Report: 300-room hotel planned for East 11th Street
Preservationists say city ignored pitch to designate part of 11th Street as a historic district
Permits filed to demolish 5 buildings on 11th Street to make way for new hotel (58 comments)