Thursday, June 28, 2018

City Planning Commission OKs tech hub for Union Square

[Tech hub endering via RAL Development]

The City Planning Commission unanimously voted yesterday in favor of the City's proposal to create a tech hub on 14th Street.

This was the latest stop in the approval process tour — the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). In March, CB3 voted in favor of a resolution supporting site specific rezoning and a special permit to allow the development, which, as Curbed noted yesterday, is now officially known as the Union Square Tech Training Center.

The project next heads to City Council for a vote that would allow for the 21-floor building to rise on the current site of the now-former PC Richard complex on 14th Street at Irving Place.

Plans for the 240,000-square-foot Tech Training Center include educational facilities, with scholarships "to make the tech industry more accessible to a wide range of New Yorkers." The building would also include space for fledgling companies as well as market-rate offices "to attract established, industry-leading corporations to the ecosystem," per a release from the city's Economic Development Corporation (EDC), which is lobbying for the tech hub. (Read more from them here.)

And the EDC released this new video on the Tech Training Center yesterday...

This zoning change concerns some area residents and preservationists, who fear a massive overdevelopment south of Union Square along Broadway, University Place and Fourth Avenue. While CB3 did vote for the tech hub, they also included an amendment in their resolution calling for zoning protection.

And as Patch noted yesterday:

[I]t is worth noting that newly elected Councilwoman Carlina Rivera expressed support for the tech hub during her campaign – only if the city agrees to the rezoning.

As the local councilmember, Rivera has a large say in the outcome of the project.

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

Preservationists: City schedules next public hearing on tech hub without any public notice


Anonymous said...

Sounds like this tech hub will be as much as a vocational school as it will be a small business exchange center. This is a good thing.

Gojira said...

Who's surprised?

Not me!

sophocles said...

They are referring to it as a Tech Training Center, but only 3 of the 21 floors (15%) are specifically for training. Tech training is the feel-good sales pitch, we'll have to see what the reality is for the neighborhood for entire tall building. I hope its better than my expectations.

Anonymous said...

Tech these days is: bring a laptop, grab a coffee, sit down, look intense, check email.

This'll be a lot like Civic Hall -- but on a grander scale.

Anonymous said...

IMO, the training center is just a sop to the "community" to make it sound like they're doing something for us. In point of fact, both Google and FB have enormous offices down here, and could be offering training if they could be bothered to be good "neighbors".

I think this building & its "business" tenants will be the permanent downgrading of this neighborhood to one that is oriented primarily to teenagers & early 20-somethings. Beer, cheap pizza, hanging-out on the street, etc. (Yeah, I'm a cranky ol' buzzard; don't even bother mentioning it.)