Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Concern over potential air-rights transfer for new office building on St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue

Updated 2/14: The CB3 committee reportedly voted down the air-rights transfer.

As I first reported, reps for Real Estate Equities Corporation (REEC) will appear before CB3's Landmarks Committee tomorrow night at 6:30 (Feb. 13) to discuss transferring the air rights from the landmarked — and under-renovation — Hamilton-Holly House across the street at 4 St. Mark's Place.

With these air rights and approved zoning variance, the Morris Adjimi-designed building REEC planned for the northeast corner of St. Mark's Place and Third Avenue would rise to 10 stories — twice the size of the original plans. (This link will take you to the PDF on the CB3 website with details on the proposal.)

Meanwhile, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation expressed its objections to the transfer and additional height of the building. According to a new post on the GVSHP website:

The planned 10-story, 175 ft. tall office tower is part of the growing wave of office development we are seeing in this area along 3rd and 4th Avenues and University Place and Broadway, spurred on by the growth of the expanding tech industry’s "Silicon Alley," and the recent approval by the City Council of the Mayor’s Tech Hub just a few blocks away on 14th Street.

The transfer of the air rights to increase the size of the planned tower ... is subject to the approval of various city agencies. We feel strongly that the city should not abet oversized and inappropriate office development in this area. The planned office tower displaces several long-time local businesses, as well as a nearly 200-year-old house.

Tomorrow's meeting is the beginning of the review process, which requires an application to the LPC followed by an application to the City Planning Commission for the special permit.

The CB3 Landmarks Committee meeting is open to the public (and is open to public comment). The meeting is at the JASA Green Residence, 200 E. Fifth St. at the Bowery.

The links below have more history about what has transpired on this corner...

Previously on EV Grieve:
Exclusive: After 40 years, punk rock mainstay Trash and Vaudeville is leaving St. Mark's Place

4 St. Mark's Place is for sale

More residential units and a 5th-floor addition in the works for landmarked 4 St. Mark's Place

You'll be back: Look at the renovated Hamilton-Holly House on St. Mark's Place

The Shake Shack effect? McDonald's on 3rd Avenue at St. Mark's Place has closed after 20 years

Report: NE corner of St. Mark's Place and 3rd Avenue will yield to a 7-story office building

Demolition permits filed for northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

End is nearing for the businesses on the northeast corner of 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

The Continental gets a 3-month reprieve

New building plans revealed for 3rd Avenue and St. Mark's Place

Developers of 3 St. Mark's Place are looking to double the size of their proposed office building at 3rd Avenue to 10 floors with air-rights deal


Anonymous said...

This sucks. That corner was the visual gateway to the East Village--the funky old building painted with stripes, etc., declared a welcome to a different sort of place--a place of artists, writers and musicians, who didn't lie down and automatically say "yes" to soulless conformity. New York City is a big place, but I've been wondering when the constant overdevelopment, erasure of history, evict-and-evokism (actually I don't think developers even bother to "evoke" anymore,), lack of aesthetic care and planning would finally get to a point where the city is actually not even itself anymore. I think we're getting to that point. Developers should beware that if they erase everything that actually made NYC what it was, people are not going to find the traffic, pollution, shitty infrastructure, lack of sun, nature, art or recreation worth it anymore. Why live in a NYC if you can live in a city that has the same exact glass-and-steel towers, same Target, same CVS, same Chick-fil-As, same everything, for cheaper? Part of me says, fuck it, build the ugly tower at the corner of St. Mark's because it may more accurately represent what the EV is becoming--a new gateway to a new desert of empty storefronts and greed and residents who seem to desire Appleby's and 7-11s more than bookstores and cafes and affordable restaurants and countercultural spaces and parks...

Anonymous said...

That "funky old building" is from the 1820/30's known as the Astor Place Hotel with lots of history. At least we need the 8foot sidewalk setback put back in place and a cleanup of the building itself!!!

Will said...

This proposal seems fine to me––it grants a dedicated stream of maintenance funding to a historic landmark and adds context to the NYU and Cooper dorms right next door. My concern is more that the GVSHP is angling to lop off 5 stories here for nothing in return.

Anonymous said...

Any ideas about how to pronounce REEC? Is it WRECK and/or WREAK???

Anonymous said...

The landmark was already restored, and is owned by deep pockets, so this is just a big money office tech grab that would further negatively pressure the residential neighborhood with yet more tech offices. They would be fine with their original 5 story filing.

noble neolani said...

"it grants a dedicated stream of maintenance funding to a historic landmark"

This is a scam by the developer, the new owners of the Hamilton building new it was landmarked and took the responsibility to maintain it. Citizens do not need private developers to provide maintenance money our historic buildings that's what our government and not for profits do, this is how we keep control over of neighborhoods and our city. Nothing is for free when you are making d deal with greedy developer, they will always get the better deal don't fall for it.

Anonymous said...

This is about neighborhood context and compliment! Not the NYU and Cooper Union tasteless monsters already imposed. Glad the Holly-Hamilton is cleaned up a bit yet the new owners are playing in this bait and switch game. This condo can carry itself as seen in the PDF for many years to come.

Anonymous said...

The world is being engineered to remove the human element to make way for the Generalized Sociopath, empowered by technology and debt. Everything makes more sense when you realize this is a Debt Society. This is how a Debt Society works.

Anonymous said...

@9:30am: You nailed it totally.

As for the Hamilton-Holly house, the people who now own it KNEW exactly what the deal was when they bought it.They did renovations that EXPANDED the space inside it, which presumably makes it more lucrative for them to own it. But now they want some developer's "stream" of income for support? NO, just no! Stand on your own, or if you made a bad business decision, then sell the Hamilton-Holly house to someone who knows what they're doing.

Anonymous said...

The entire situation is fucked. Our neighborhood has a soulless veneer. I think we all can agree to that. I long for the days of NYC when it felt sublime knowing you lived in the most fascinating place in the world, especially in the east village, which was this haven for creation and non-conformity not to mention the inclusivity from all walks of life. There was no semblance of suburbia or frat boy culture. In fact, there was nothing else like it really. Rents were still manageable and easer to find. Small businesses, bars, family owned restaurants, clubs, and stores actually existed and flourished. What do we do about it now? I am at a loss for words or action. I either have to relocate to another borough, another city or another country or just suck it up and face reality like a real middle aged man can and should.

RIP the old NYC. You were the perfect husband. You will be missed and forever adored. xo

Catze said...

this breaks my heart. i remember being 13 and being brought to this block and arriving there, feeling like.."wow my lifes about to change" the whoel village felt freeing and less lonely , but something about arriving at Saint marks place felt magical. now that there are two death stars,im not surprised theyve decided to full on destroy the place. mediocre restaurants and squads of drunks already made the street more of a food court than an experience..

Anonymous said...

Shouldn’t air rights belong to everyone? Shouldn’t these rights belong the people who breathe the air and need sunlight to live a healthy life? This is just another real estate scam designed to get around zoning laws, which themselves are supposed to protect us from overdevelopment. The gateway to the East Village will one day be a canyon of tall buildings with chain stores. Sad.