Monday, November 13, 2017

There's a 'Don't Turn Our Neighborhood Into Silicon Alley' rally on Wednesday evening

As you may know, there are plans in the works to demolish the three-building assemblage on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place for a 7-story office building.

In addition, new office and residential buildings are going up or in development on parts of Broadway below 14th Street and University Place ... as well as the Moxy hotel on 11th Street. Not to mention Mayor de Blasio's plan for a 20-plus-story tech hub on 14th Street at Irving Place.

On Wednesday evening, a coalition of community groups and preservationists are hosting a rally titled "Don't Turn Our Neighborhood Into Silicon Alley" on St. Mark's Place and Third Avenue.

The Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has background on the developments:

Why is this happening? Because this area is lacking in good zoning or landmark protections that allow this kind of demolition and inappropriate development, and the tech industry sees this neighborhood as the hot new area for expansion, extending “Silicon Alley” down from Union Square and up from Astor Place. And now the Mayor and developers want approvals from the City Council for a huge new “Tech Hub” on 14th Street that will accelerate all these trends.

We’re demanding zoning and landmark protections that would preserve historic buildings, keep new development in scale, protect the residential character of this area, and promote affordable housing. But the Mayor OPPOSES this plan ...

GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman has an op-ed on the matter in the Gotham Gazette here.

Preservationists scored one victory along this corridor earlier this month when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved a proposal to landmark the circa-1866 cast-iron buildings at 827-831 Broadway between 12th Street and 13th Street. There was a proposal to build a 14-story office building on the site. The developers are now seeking to add a four-story addition to the existing structure.

The rally is Wednesday evening at 5:30 on Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC


Anonymous said...

Cb3 where are you?

Anonymous said...

So, who is allowing all this ?
What good are all these committees to us then ?

Neighbor said...

Seriously? So the NIMBYs don't want educated, high-paying jobs in their neighborhood that bring people who would support restaurants and stores. If these people had their way NYC would have the exact same problems SF is having with housing stock.

Anonymous said...

Let them build

Anonymous said...

Landmarking P.C. Richards and McDonalds? Is this some kind of ironic art piece?

Anonymous said...

There is nothing historically important about this block of buildings. Indeed they are an eyesore. I agree with Neighbor @8:45. Are we going to go back to the days when TS Park was a homeless shelter? Do we want the neighborhood filled with crusties? The preservationists are not going to undo the transformation of 770 Broadway nor will they succeed in tearing down the Astor Place Death Star.

Anonymous said...

Let's see.... what is more important? Staying on pace with the modern economy, generating jobs--including many high paying and middle income support jobs--bringing commerce to the area, and supporting people and bolstering the city's coffers... or placating some NIMBYs that can't see anything past their own nose because they like the look of certain buildings?

Sorry, supporting people is just way more important than architectural aesthetics. I like the look of the area too, but I'd swing the wrecking ball myself without a second of hesitation if it meant bringing thousands of good jobs.

Anonymous said...

Neighbor @ 8:45:
Brings jobs to the neighborhood? No, brings people with jobs to the neighborhood- recruited from colleges and other tech companies. No jobs for the people who live here without tech background, people who have lost jobs due to the gentrification, loss of stores, old time bars and restaurants.

Brings “college educated” people to support restaurants and stores? We’ve lost affordable restaurants and store fronts due to developers raising rents, not for lack of patrons- or goofy one-shot concepts that only appeal to a select few (tourists and college students with money to burn).

Where is the housing for the people who have lost their apartments to Toledano, Icon, the Moxie, etc?

There are plenty of other neighborhoods within a 15 minute Uber or Citibike ride for tech businesses and even areas with empty office spaces where it is already overbuilt.

Anonymous said...

Guess you are rich and famous !

nycguy said...

The CB2 Landmarks Committee will be hosting a public hearing THIS MONDAY where public attendance and comments are welcome regarding 827-831 Broadway's construction plans. There will also be a Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on 11/28.

Details on the 11/13 public hearing [subject to change] are:

LANDMARKS 2 Chenault Spence, Chair
Mon., 11/13 @ 6:30 PM- NYU Silver Building, 32 Waverly Place, Room 207
See this link for the most up to date information on the hearing:

Anonymous said...

Before the City starts anything new, they should finish what is already in play - like repairing the contractor damage to the Peter Cooper monument in Cooper Square. Or providing the waterside park as promised in Greenpoint.

Anonymous said...

Honestly don't know whose side I am on these days.

Anonymous said...

'Love the misuse of "NIMBY" here. NIMBY = Not In My Backyard. This corridor isn't in anyone's backyard and the development of it isn't perceived as something that would or could hurt property values, increase crime in the neighborhood etc.

Hey stupid @ 9:56am the neighborhood has been "full of crusties" for years and TSP was hardly a "homeless shelter." Go back to reading the New York Post, Trump Supporter.

That said, NYC is over. Time to move to small and medium-sized cities and create something new there. It's not happening here anymore.

rubygirl said...

I couldn’t have said it better. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'd guess that 3 of the first few "pro" posts are probably from the same person.

Anonymous said...

Those three buildings at the corner of St. Mark's and Bowery serve as a visual "gateway" to the irreplaceable neighborhood of the East Village. They signal a shift in the city fabric from glass-and-steel office buildings or postwar residences to an alternative civic space of small, non-franchise stores and businesses, a residential populace of mixed income, age and ethnic groups (compare to, say, Williamsburg with its monotonous age group), and a history of artists, musicians, poets and general dissenters. There is no other area like this in New York City, nor really in the entire United States. It is unique. By demolishing that "gateway," and replacing it with buildings similar to those in midtown, you erase that line and signify an incursion--the incursion of soulless capitalism into a valued civic neighborhood tied together with history, interests, architecture, art. The jobs to be found in this area may not seem as visible or valuable as those cherished by neoliberal CEOs, but they are sustaining and rich all the same, giving more back to the neighborhood than, say, Google, which has done *nothing* for 8th avenue in Chelsea besides give landlords the fantasy that they can kick out longtime retail tenants because they think 20-something techies are actually going to leave the delights of their offices and in-house perks to drop money at whatever overpriced franchise biz they dig up.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Anonymous 2:47PM for explaining it to the posters here who have no sense of "neighborhood."

No one is saying the McDonald's should be landmarked, only that the neighborhood should be preserved with zoning limits to distinguish it from midtown and in recognition of its history (going back to Peter Stuyvesant and before, as well as the artists, poets, musicians, etc. of more recent years).

No, we will never get back what was, nor will the EV every be again a cultural center, but that is no reason to completely obliterate an important part of New York City for the benefit of a few developers and city officials.

Anonymous said...

Gateway to what? An East Village that is a memory for some of us--and a memory that doesn't rely on those buildings but on people and places now gone except to those of us who lived through the experience. Quite frankly I plan to retire in 5-7 years and I need a healthy economy in the East Village when I come to sell my apartment. I am sure the coming changes will make the neighborhood even more desirable--and I hope to have a little extra change in my pocket to start my new life upstate New York. Since when do preservationists have the right to determine who shall or shall not open a business? I am with them for saving appropriate buildings that merit our attention as architecturally interesting, but this is an overreach. And yes for those who will denounce me--I have lived and worked in the East Village since 1972. I remember Theater Genesis, the Orchida, and all the places that you can name that made the EV my vibrant community.

Anonymous said...

@1:00 PM I'm not the original poster or a Trump supporter but, for a period of time, Tompkins Square was definitely a homeless encampment. The old band shell was a sea of sleeping bags and predatory bums were everywhere, dealing, partying, hassling passersby and even running a brothel out of a large cardboard box and tent. Now I didn't mind it that much except some of the bums started robbing too many people and there was going to be a showdown with the locals but the renovation kicked in with cops and the fence. I'm writing here as someone who lived, and lives, a half block away and walked through it to and from work every day before, during and after the craziest period.

The chances of the city going anywhere near back to that, in the fevered imagination of the original poster, are approaching zero. No doubt the poster is one of those who smells piss occasionally and snidely comments "The city's going to hell" while paying 11 bucks for a bottle of bro beer and blaming DeBlasio (I'm not a DeBlasio fan but please ...) to a bunch of overpaid white perma-children from Connecticut. The unique set of circumstances that created the abandoned housing and hands off policing of the 70s will never be recreated. Manhattan is the playground of the global wealthy, the aspiring Young Urban Professionals (need acronym) of the 21st century with a thin veneer of the New York Cities of previous eras provided by the locals still here, rent regulation, section 8 and some of the old buildings.

Which is back on topic. I'm not in favor of more ice cube tray buildings but Continental is a one story building housing a bankrupt bar and that one story building has been doomed since the Death Star cleared zoning. There's no real architectural argument for keeping these buildings other than nostalgia, and I certainly have that, and that whatever comes after will be Midtown-Boring (which I believe is an actual style taught in architecture school)

What would be great would be some sort of zoning law as to what is permitted in the street level retail. No more damn ATMs. The problem is the venues and affordable restaurants that any of us old timers miss wouldn't find the community support with this current era of flavorless suburbans who walk the neighborhood with their ear buds in like they are driving around the mall and live music is a hobby your friend from work has that you tolerate every now and then.

The ship already sailed on the 14th street corridor. Once the Palladium was gone, and yes I shop at Trader Joes, it was over.

Anonymous said...

1:00pm back. Well you, 4:43pm, sure sounded like one with your New York Post dogwhistles. A homeless encampment, right, but don't say it was a shelter because it was not. It was a place of last resort which was by and large law-abiding. People who lived there didn't want to be thrown out from bad behavior. They policied themselves. Yes, not all homeless people were/are violent junkies or mentally ill people. Proof was there was never a high-profile murder in that "shantytown" - name one.

TSP was not as bad as you think, and so what you lived a half a block away? I was in that area all the time during the highest murder years (1989-93) at all hours and it was not as violent as you make it out to be. In fact, it was more wild, quirky, nutty than anything else.

The park shutdowns in '88 and '91 were attempts at turning TSP into another Gramercy Park (private key only access) i.e. privatizing a public park so the immediate area becomes another rich people only enclave. Now there's no need for park shutdowns as the rich have taken over all over from the Bowery to Avenue C.

Anonymous said...

1:00pm Sorry sporty there was some crazy $hiz going on with the homeless in T Sq. Dudes living in the band shell stealing items and holding them for ransom. It was only cooler heads that kept that from getting ugly. Nasty bum fights. My tough as hell girlfriend was getting hassled constantly at the end even in daylight which was weird. It was nowhere near as flat out dangerous as before the hedges came down a few years earlier but need to correct your rose colored spin. You only think of that as quirky as you remember, assuming here, blocks that really were dangerous and violent when the herds of junkies were out at night. Reading posters here saying the park is getting "out of control!" because a couple of bums have been drinking by the skaters is really funny.

Name a high profile murder? Sure. First name Daniel. You're local so fill in the rest. No he wasn't living in the park. We all knew it was going down before the press. That was weird.

Accusing me of NY Post dog whistles is arrogant and childish. Come up with something better son. Yeah I still live here, ask around. As far as I know there was never a real move to make the park private access. Back that up if you can.

The neighborhood was far more interesting then, though I'd argue that culture in general was far more interesting then. Late 80s was a good balance between the off-the-map dark craziness of the 70s and early 80s and the safe 20 something theme park of the mid 90s. Now some youth are reporting that there are spots in Brooklyn and the Bronx that are cool but I'm not chasing that. We'll never see an atrium like the squat with the indoor tree house again.

Kudos to some of the local old timers for putting on shows. I don't like loud punk rock anymore at all but I sure get a kick out of walking past Flash and his usual suspects and watching the earbud people try to make sense of it while clutching their Starbucks and cellphones.

Anonymous said...

1:00pm back again. Hey 4:43pm you're overblowing the menance spunky. First off there weren't "herds of junkies" out at night. Second that park wasn't as violent as you make out to be. It's all hyperbole with you. I have no "rose colored spin." If anything people like you love to make out TSP and 1985-93 NYC in general like it was some Wild West when fact is the vast majority of murders back then were nowhere near the East Village which was again more of a wild, quirky, nutty place. I was ALL OVER the place at ALL HOURS and I never got fucked with once. You wanna bring up other blocks, uh, stick to the park. The park had its problems no doubt but it wasn't the warzone you make it out to be. And there were lots of events in the bandshell I'm sure you were thrilled with Giuliani removing so he could stifle freedom of speech.

Daniel Rakowitz the guy who served his victims up as stew to people in or outside TSP? Puh-leeze. That craziness wasn't endemic to or indicative of the park. He never murdered anyone in the park and if that's all you can come up with you lost this battle my man. Again name me ONE MURDER IN THE PARK. Not a nutjob who offered his victims up as stew there or along the fence.

Yo I'm not your "son" I'm probably your age or maybe within five years of your age. Ask around about who? You sound like a New York Post writer or letter to the editor. You denying that TSP was closed twice was a preliminary step to make the park private shows where your head was at then and now. The city wanted to make TSP private or at least for neighborhood residents only where only people who lived in inexpensive apartments could have access to it by key. If not that, the city wanted to stifle freedom of speech and drive out the homeless but offer no solution to the homelessness. It wasn't to "clean up the park" it was to make it a place for the shiny, happy people. Ask Chris Flash what was up with that, since you brought up his name. Btw I just missed being in the '88 riot and saw the beginnings of the '91 riot. Fuck that curfew shit, too.

chris flash said...

Those who think that the over-development of our community is a good thing compared to the bad old days around Tompkins Square Park are deluded.

After the infamous TSP Police Riot of August 6, 1988, the city retaliated by curfewing all city parks except for TSP, pushing the homeless to set up campsites there. This lasted only a few months, from the summer of 1989 through December of that year. I was there every day. The city and the media did their best to portray the park as out-of-control, unsanitary, unsafe and all, but I made a point of meeting with, hanging with and talking with the homeless in the park. They were all decent people who had become homeless due to various circumstances, not by choice. They came to the park because they felt unsafe in the city's shelters, where they'd been robbed, beaten and stabbed. My friends and I helped them wherever we could, from getting food from donors to defending them against raids by parks dept police ("PEPs") and the NYPD.

NOBODY wanted the homeless to camp out in the park, least of all the homeless -- they just wanted decent housing where they could live in safety. As the city was at that time in possession of thousands of buildings taken from landlords for failure to pay taxes, housing the homeless was totally viable. But, while they were in the park, we weren't going to allow them to be attacked or blamed for the city's failures. Any drug taking or fucking in the tents had NOTHING to do with anything. That park was SAFE -- the homeless fucked with NOBODY. They APPRECIATED the outpouring of community support.

When the city realized that their ploy of flooding the park with homeless in order to outrage the community was failing, they then closed the bathrooms, shut off water fountains and refused to remove garbage. The resulting "unsanitary" conditions gave the city its excuse to raid the encampments on an extremely cold day in December 1989. Many of the homeless retaliated by setting their tents and possessions on fire.

The community had countless skirmishes with riot kops over the following two years, including two big park riots again jump-started by kops in 1990 and 1991. After the May 27, 1991 riot, the park was closed for more than a year for "renovations" that were more about removing trees, adding driveways and lighting to make the park more police-able than about improvements for the community. Though the 1991 Memorial Day riot was cited as the reason for the park closure, we at The SHADOW discovered that contracts and plans had been prepared and executed several months earlier. They just needed another police riot to justify closing the park, during which time, they removed the band shell from where political activists gathered and bands played.

Though Dan Rakowitz had NOTHING to do with our struggles to defend our community, the story about him feeding body parts to the homeless in the park was a LIE created by kops in the ninth precinct. Yes, a woman was killed in a horrible murder in his apartment and then disembodied, but it is not clear as to how many people were involved and Rakowitz is not talking about it to this day. Kops simply used the murder to further demonize the homeless and their supporters.

From the 1980s through the present, we have been putting on rallies and shows in Tompkins Square Park because, in the face of rampant hyper-gentrification and corporatization that has displaced residents, killed venues and local businesses and sucked the soul out of our beloved city, we are STILL here. And Tompkins Square Park is STILL "our fucking park."

When the invasive species of monied transients who, like swarms of locusts, are finished laying waste to our community, contributing NOTHING in return, they will simply move on to a more fashionable area and repeat the process of consumption and shitting. I am looking forward to the day of reckoning when the entire system crashes and puts a stop to this cycle of community devastation.