Monday, May 15, 2017
Post office-replacing residential building reaches ground level on 14th Street
The foundation appears to be set at the 8-story retail-residential building for 432-438 E. 14th St. This photo shows the workers at ground level now here between Avenue A and First Avenue...
[Photo by Bobby Williams]
Reps for Benenson Capital Partners and Mack Real Estate had been lobbying to receive a zoning variance for a 12-story building — four more floors than the area's zoning allows — at the site of the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office.
Facing opposition from community groups and residents in previous meetings, the developers cut back their request by two-thirds. Their new proposal sought nine stories on the East 14th Street side of the building, one higher than the eight allowed under the current zoning.
The developers had claimed that the property "is burdened by a combination of unique conditions that result in practical difficulties in complying with the applicable zoning regulations."
Specifically: "Unusually elevated groundwater levels and exceedingly soft and unstable soil (owing to the presence of an underground stream) ... result in extraordinary construction costs, which make a complying development with affordable housing infeasible." (An analysis of the project put the extra construction costs due to the substandard soil at $8.8 million.)
However, in March, they withdrew their request for the extra floor.
The pile driving started here last May. Crews for the new developments at 500 and 538 E. 14th St. likely encountered similar "soft and unstable soil," as foundation work lasted lasted more than a year.
The original plans for 432-438 E. 14th St. called for 114 residential unit with 20 percent affordable housing.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office slated to be demolished
The former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office will yield to an 8-story residential building
New residential building at former 14th Street PO will feature a quiet lounge, private dining room
A look at the new building coming to the former Peter Stuyvesant Post Office property