Monday, November 30, 2020

Report: City drops plan for hotel special permit requirement south of Union Square

The de Blasio Administration has reportedly withdrawn its proposal to require special permits for new hotels in the area south of Union Square.

As The Real Deal reported on Nov. 20, "the city quietly withdrew an application to establish a 25-block area where any new hotel construction requires a special permit. The decision came at the urging of the City Council."

The City Planning Commission had approved the application prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 
The Hotel Special Permit plan was seen by elected officials as a way to provide protections for the surrounding neighborhood as a component of passing the upzoning for the tech hub (now Zero Irving pictured above on Saturday) on 14th Street at Irving Place back in 2018.

Critics of the plan had argued that the requirement of a special permit for hotels from Third Avenue to University Place would have little to no effect on the potential development that the tech hub might expedite.

Andrew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation, which led the opposition to the plan, released this statement last week:
"Though presented as such, this plan would never have provided any meaningful protections to the area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square, where historic and residential buildings are being destroyed to make way for soulless high-rises. Now that this deeply unpopular plan has been shelved, we urge Mayor de Blasio and Councilmember Carlina Rivera to truly address the need to protect this neighborhood, its history, and its character."
According to The Real Deal,  despite the withdrawal of this particular plan, the city remains committed to studying whether such a mandate would work citywide.

Previously on EV Grieve:


noble neolani said...

huge appluse and thanks to Andrew Berman and the people working within the Village Preservation organization.

Anonymous said...

Too many hotels, too much overdevelopment, they're ruining everything

Beacon, NY said...

Manhattan would be a better place if we have more green spaces in the likes of Bryant Park and less so of Union Square Park. So restaurants can offer outdoor dining in an area conducive to eating out versus the gritty sidewalks that you find in this pandemic. Also, the food kiosks are great too.

Anonymous said...

are they really calling it "Zero"? Ha ha

Scuba Diva said...

@Beacon, NY: Unfortunately, the main raison d'ĂȘtre for restaurants to exist is their liquor license; this allows them to stay afloat and atmosphere is secondary.