Earlier this month, it called the president’s petition after refusing to dismiss the New York Attorney General’s fraud case against Donald Trump. “frivolousJudge Arthur F. Engolon made a quieter decision that sparked more heated repercussions within Manhattan’s liberal ecosystem. The matter before the State Supreme Court Judge technically concerns the fate of a vacant lot on Water His Street, which is within the bounds of the South Street Seaport Historic District, and all the restrictions that such designation implies. I have. Despite the ubiquitous urgency of the city’s housing crisis, the 50,000-square-foot lot has historically remained a landmark parking lot for decades.
In 2018, the mood changed when Texas real estate firm Howard Hughes Corporation purchased land with the intention of building a 26-story apartment complex that includes commercial space. The project was supported by city officials, but still required approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The commission that heard the case two years ago did not side with the local opposition in a highly unusual reorganization of the traditional sympathies. Instead, it approved a future building 324 feet tall.
The building at 250 Water Street is much taller than any other in the compact historic district, and its precise boundaries make sense to conservationists, but it also makes the Seaport the financial district’s active consumer. It is not at all obvious to the ordinary flaneur experienced as an extension of socialism. From last month, it became possible to “immerse yourself in the world of Golden Girls” at the pop-up restaurant. golden girls kitchen.
Walking around the neighborhood, it can be hard to understand the objections to a half-size venture. Confused glass skyscraper Part of a luxury beachfront condominium — Seaport Residences — just off Maiden Lane but outside the district. Similarly, the Water Street project is about 500 feet shorter than Frank Gehry’s. 8 Spruce Street Two highly visible blocks away, this building gives the Lower Manhattan skyline the impression of a steel-grey towel in the process of wringing it dry.
In contrast, the rendering of 250 Water Street has a modern red-brick feel to it that’s less inconsistent with Seaport’s 200-year-old tenement. Unfazed, three neighborhood groups that had come together to form the Seaport Coalition sued the commission over the ruling. Judge Engoron ruled in favor of the project, which had already begun excavation.
The developer plans to appeal this decision, but it provides a particularly disturbing example of the challenges of economically integrating New York’s affluent neighborhoods, even after a successful campaign to repartition Soho. The Water Street site proposal includes 270 rental apartments, at least 70 of which remain affordable for those earning an average of 40% of the area’s median income.
Mixed-income developments typically set a higher income threshold in areas where real estate is very expensive. In this example, her annual income for a family of four is $45,000, which is less than two parents would bring home if they worked full-time at $15 an hour minimum wage jobs. . There are conceivable means of public transportation and highly regarded public schools including Peckslip across the street.
Among the many ironies highlighting the struggle over development, Seaport Union — groups concerned about poisons and widespread disruption to students were already fortunate enough to attend the private Blue School in Peck Slip or adjoining — calling themselves Children First. From the same short-sighted perspective, another founding body of the Coalition consists of residents of the Southbridge Tower adjacent to the site, built as subsidized co-op housing through the Mitchell Lama Program in the 1960s. but Privatized 9 years agoallowing owners to sell their apartments at market prices.
Opponents argued, and Judge Engoron strongly concurred in his seven-page ruling, that the Landmarks Commission, an independent body charged with preserving architecturally and historically significant buildings, was responsible for the developer’s Allegedly, he trampled on his authority when engaging with the developer over the pledge.Millions of dollars towards founding Seaport Museumwas established in 1967 as a place to commemorate the city’s maritime history.
The judge saw this as a reward even though he acknowledged that it was done “for the commendable purpose of funding the museum.” But the practice of extracting citizen benefits from private enterprise has been the default setting for ambitious development for the past two decades. Gehry’s building in Spruce houses the public elementary and middle school. When it was completed, Wan Clinton, a luxury condominium on the edge of Brooklyn Heights, handed over a modernized branch of the local public library.
The implication is that the Commission behaved as a political entity when it was not entitled to it – especially with an increasing interest in naming landmarks for cultural rather than aesthetic currency. It overlooks the extent to which the Commission has always been preoccupied with politics. When we decided to grant breakthrough status, it went like this: 50th building Out of 33,000 nominations by the Commission over the past half century, it won an award that means more than what it looks like.last month’s commission Giving Julius groundbreaking status, Another of its importance to the LGBTQ community, Village Bar recognizes the building just west of Prospect Park as an individual landmark, citing it as the largest and oldest archive repository of materials related to lesbian life in the country. honored
Opponents of the Water Street project have repeatedly noted that a series of proposals submitted in the 1980s, 90s, and early 2000s were all rejected by the Landmarks Commission. But the argument that the Commission should be bound by precedent ignores the changed reality of an increasingly marginalized housing market that has escalated into a humanitarian emergency. People slept in homeless shelters in the city every night. That’s more than six times her population in 1983. How do you weigh that against the view from the Brooklyn Bridge?