Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Landmarks Preservation Commission to hear air-rights transfer proposal today for 3 St. Mark's Place

This afternoon, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hear an application to transfer air rights from the landmarked Hamilton-Holly House at 4 St. Mark's Place to enable an increase in the size of a planned office building on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

This is the next step in the approval process for Real Estate Equities Corporation (REEC), the leaseholder of 3 St. Mark's Place.

Patch summarized the steps ahead for REEC in an article from February:

REEC is asking asking the Landmarks Preservation Commission to issue a report to the City Planning Commission to allow for 10-story building. If the LPC gives the greenlight, REEC would then apply for a special permit for around 8,300 square feet of air rights and modify part of the zoning resolution through a special permit.

Once in City Planning's hands, the special permit would snake through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), which is ultimately sent to City Council where the local councilmember, Carlina Rivera, would have a binding vote. Rivera has not yet weighed in, but her spokesman said the councilmember is listening to community feedback.

On Feb. 13, REEC reps appeared before CB3's Landmarks Committee, who voted 2-1 against the special permit. (You can read the recaps at Curbed ... Gothamist ... and Patch.)

On Feb. 26, the full CB3 board voted to oppose the proposed transfer of development rights — 8,386 square feet in total, per the meeting minutes.

REEC has already filed permits (last October) for an as-of-right five-story, 29,030-square-foot building on the corner. If the air rights deal is ultimately OK'd, then the Morris Adjimi-designed building at 3 St. Mark's Place would rise to 10 stories.

REEC picked up the 99-year leasehold for the properties — the prepped-for-demolition 1 St. Mark's Place, 3 St. Mark’s Place, 23 and 25-27 Third Ave. — for nearly $150 million in November 2017.

The LPC public hearing is expected to start today at 1:45 p.m. in the Municipal Building, 1 Centre St., 9th Floor North, public hearing room. Village Preservation is rallying opposition to the transfer. Read more from them at this link.

Updated 7:45 p.m.

Patch had a reporter at the hearing:

Landmarks sent REEC and the architect back to the drawing board recommending they lower the structure's first setback to better match St. Mark's street wall — though some commissioners were generally supportive of air rights transfer.

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

The lobbyists behind the air-rights transfer and zoning variance for 3 St. Mark's Place

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


cmarrtyy said...

I was wondering... if the developer gets the air rights for the northeast corner... will that set presidence for the high rise on the south east corner?

Anonymous said...

I think so. One precedent leads to the next to the next and then the whole city is one spread out midtown. I hope LPC says no on this, but am skeptical. Where is Carlina on this? Hope she is not supporting more and more offices around here.

Anonymous said...

All mayors of NY eventually succumb to the enticements of the real estate industry. If anyone tried to convince us that Mayor de Blasio, with his progressive roots would be any different they would certainly have a hard time proving the point. In what world of sanity does he look in the mirror each morning and think: "I should be President of the United States." My sense is that his capitulation to the real estate interests is to insure that his post mayoral years include opportunities to appear as a pundit on cable news. No doubt he sees these slights of hand as part of the necessity of a growing city (remember Rivington St.).

Carol from East 5th Street said...

I had high hopes for de Blasio but he is just like all the other NYC politicians whose pockets have been lined by REBNY. The only decent thing he has done for residents is kept the rent-stabilized rent increases to a minimum (the mayor appoints most of the rent stabilization board members).

Will said...

This proposal seems fine––it adds context to the Cooper dorm and gives the Hamilton-Holly House a guaranteed maintenance stream. I have no idea why people are getting so upset over it.

Anonymous said...

We are apposed to this because the real estate developers are slowly killing the sole of the area. Its only a matter of time before 40 story tall glass buildings will be all over the east village.

Anonymous said...

To Will: We are also opposed because this developer came in with a plan for a five story building, took on the preservation project and then used that to demand an additional 5 story allowance. It’s very disingenuous and an insult to the community that had already, with misgivings, approved 5 stories.

While the scale may be similar to the 3rd Ave buildings, it is not in keeping with the character of the St Marks Pl buildings. It destroys the whole context of St Marks Pl.

noble neolani said...


It's the opposite the proposed 5 story building would add context to all the other smaller, historical buildings around it. Your idea will only increase the size and height of every building in time to keep context with the newer larger buildings, that's how you kill a neighborhood but maybe that is where you are going with this.

Anonymous said...

1. The tenement next door could buy those same air rights 2. At least the two tiers mitigate the gross dorms to what’s adjacent and provides some consistent datums that don’t exist now. I’m so sick of people in the neighborhood wanting to save sentimental crap that is halfway falling down. All our tenement apartments are going to cave in one day and you’ll all still be on here trying to “preserve” the half eroded carcasses because Jimmy Hendrix pissed in the hallway once.