[Tech hub endering via RAL Development]
The proposed tech hub at the site of the now-former PC Richard complex on 14th Street at Irving Place is making its way through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. Back on Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer's office released her recommendation (see more on that below).
The application now moves to the City Planning Commission before a deciding vote by City Council later this year.
As previously reported, the 21-story building would house a digital skills training center, flex-office space for startups, market-rate office space and a food hall, among other things.
To make this happen, the site/area needs to be upzoned. This zoning change is of particular concern to some area residents and preservationists, who have stressed that the fabric of the neighborhood could be lost with a large number of out-of-context new developments south of Union Square along Broadway, University Place and Fourth Avenue.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has been leading the efforts behind a rezoning of the area to enforce some height restrictions and affordable housing requirements.
Now GVSHP officials have just learned that the city scheduled the next public hearing for tomorrow afternoon — without any actual public notice.
Here's an email via the GVSHP:
Last Friday, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer released her recommendation on the proposed 14th Street Tech Hub, as part of the required public approval process. Brewer initially pledged not to include the need for neighborhood protections to accompany Tech Hub as part of her recommendation, as GVSHP and many others have called for, calling them “unrelated.”
However, GVSHP worked hard to persuade the Borough President that the Tech Hub without neighborhood protections would accelerate rampant overdevelopment in the University Place, Broadway, and 3rd and 4th Avenue corridors, as did thousands of neighborhood residents who wrote or called her. Following this, Brewer issued her recommendation (read the PDF here) including mention of the potential impacts upon the adjacent Greenwich Village and East Village neighborhoods and the need for neighborhood protections, as GVSHP has proposed and called for.
Outrageously, directly following this, the City scheduled the sole City Planning Commission public hearing on this matter for this Wednesday, May 9 with virtually no public notification (as of this morning, the city’s own Land Use Tracking System had still not shown that the City Planning Commission hearing had even been scheduled). Adding insult to injury, this item is scheduled as the LAST item on a long agenda for the day, making it virtually impossible to say how late in the day this item will be heard.
DON'T LET THE MAYOR CUT YOU OUT OF THE PROCESS FOR DETERMINING THE FATE OF YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD!
You can read more here.
In late February, CB3 approved a land use application to create the tech hub. In doing so, CB3 also included an amendment in their resolution calling for zoning protection.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC
Speaking out against a 'Silicon Alley' in this neighborhood
P.C. Richard puts up the moving signs on 14th Street; more Tech Hub debate to come
Report: CB3 OKs proposal for Union Square tech hub; calls for zoning protections