Thursday, June 20, 2019

Report: LPC approves transfer of air rights across St. Mark's Place

[The proposed 3 St. Mark's Place as seen from Astor Place]

As expected on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved developer Real Estate Equities Corporation's (REEC) plan to transfer air rights from the landmarked Hamilton-Holly House at 4 St. Mark's Place to add square footage to their office building coming to the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark's Place.

As previously reported, REEC wants to buy $4 million in air rights from the landmarked Hamilton-Holly House at 4 St. Mark's Place. According to terms of the deal, 5 percent of the $4 million — $200,000 — would go to maintaining No. 4, whose history includes being home to Alexander Hamilton's son and Trash & Vaudeville. The circa-1831 building was recently privy to a full gut renovation over the course of two years.

[4 St. Mark's Place as seen in January]

Here's Curbed with coverage from Tuesday:

LPC commissioners had reservations about the proposal, but ultimately relented and gave it the green light to ensure the continued maintenance of the Hamilton-Holly House.

“This is an important building to get right and I think it’s a tradeoff that we’re talking about,” said Frederick Bland, LPC vice chair, during the Tuesday vote. “We’re going to have that building, so let’s have the building with the landmark.”

Commissioners didn’t have say over the design of the building because it isn’t within a historic district; instead, they were tasked with reviewing restoration plans for the landmark and determining how “harmonious” a specific sliver of the new building created out of the air rights exchange is with the Hamilton-Holly House.

Gothamist was also at the meeting, and pointed out the opposition to this plan:

All told, the commission said it had received 390 emails campaigning against the project.

Despite that, of the 11 commissioners, only one voted against the transfer of air rights. Among the conditions that must be met for the city to grant the air rights is that the project must have a “harmonious relationship” with the landmarked site.

“I just can’t seem to wrap my head around this,” said Michael Goldblum, the commissioner who voted against the application. “The historical context of the landmark was a continuous row of three-to-four story buildings. That is the context in which this landmark has been seen for decades, at the very least.”

Goldblum added that he could not see how a building of this scale “could be deemed as a positive enhancement to the landmark.”

Up next: The project now moves before the City Planning Commission as part of the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. City Council will have the final say.

Even if the LPC had rejected the plan, REEC's office building with ground-floor retail would still happen — only without the extra square footage from the air-rights deal.

Previously on EV Grieve:
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

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

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

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

Final demolition phase for 1 St. Mark's Place; more questions about lobbyists attached to project


noble neolani said...

First off only $200,000 of the $4,000,000 goes to the future maintenance of the Hamilton Holly house and the city pockets the rest I assume? The new game in town will be developers building over scale turds like this one next to historical buildings in historical neighborhoods now that this scam has worked like a charm.

dwg said...

Remember- De blasio is a developer first. It's all about profit, people are a secondary issue.

Gojira said...

Gee, what a surprise. Whoda thunk something like this could happen?!?

cmarrtyy said...

The beat goes on, the beat goes on
Drums keep pounding a rhythm to the brain
La de da de de, la de da de da

The EV was once the rage, uh huh
History has turned the page, uh huh
One party rule's the current thing, uh huh
Real Estate development's our latest thing,
uh huh
Air-Rights Rivera's vote the crushing thing...
La de da de de, la de da de da...

Anonymous said...

What nonsense. Hamilton-Holly House was purchased for $10M by a developer in 2016. The developer just got a 40% discount on the purchase price. And money to "maintain" the property? Like this is a charity? The owner is legally obligated by landmark laws to maintain it. So, REEC can build higher and make more money on the lot they own, the Hamilton-Holly House purchaser gets a big discount, does the community benefit from this gift of money?

Anonymous said...

None of these new buildings are intended to benefit the community, of course. None of them will be lived in by sub-millionaires for decades.

But if you wanna address the housing crisis you have to build up. Or let the evil developers build up and hope those units become affordable eventually.

Or maybe we'll get President Warren and 80 Democratic Senators and they can just build a shit-ton of quality public housing on 57th Street after seizing those mechanical void buildings using eminent domain?

Anonymous said...

Eminent domain requires property owners to be compensated. Property is not seized- it is purchased. There is no such thing as 'quality' public housing. There will be no President Warren or 80 Democratic senators. Spending is controlled by the House of Representatives. Federal law prohibits spending on construction of new public housing. Sorry for the dose of reality.

Anonymous said...

We all knew it would happen because our Mayor and other elected officials don't care. Hmmm....when was the last time we saw Mayor Blase in the EV?