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NY Post
New York Post
21 Oct 2023


NextImg:Village residents seething over multiple skyscraper proposals

Villagers are up in arms over a city-led scheme to construct a soaring affordable housing tower on Hudson Street — one of three massive structures critics fear will soon overshadow the historically low-rise area.

The city Department of Housing Preservation and Development on Sept. 12 unveiled four potential renderings of a building that could rise up to 355 feet at the city-owned lot at 388 Hudson Street between Clarkson and West Houston streets — making it the tallest building in Greenwich Village.

Two blocks west, excavation is underway to make room for two even taller developments — one, a 223-foot-tall structure at 570 Washington Street and next door, a 419-foot-tall building at 80 Clarkson Street — as parts of a $1.25 billion super-luxury residential complex with views of Pier 40. 

The City Department of Housing Preservation and Development unveiled four potential renderings of a building to go in the city-owned lot at 388 Hudson Street.
NYC Office of Neighborhood Stratagies
HPD said they’re in the early stages of developing the public site, which can be a years-long process.
Helayne Seidman

“The last thing [New York City] needs is more towers, be they in Greenwich village or anywhere else,” said Lynn Ellsworth, coordinator of the Alliance for a Humanscale City, a non-profit that opposes out of scale development.

Neighbors of the Hudson Street lot welcomed the prospect of affordable housing but jeered the project as simply too big for the quaint neighborhood. 

“Our primary concern is that it’s way too tall and out of proportion for the community,” said 78-year-old Mary Ann Arisman, who’s lived in the nabe for 36 years.

“It can be a good size building, but this tall tower aspect that the city seems to be pushing is kind of crazy for that site,” added 50-year Village resident Richard Blodgett, 80.

Locals welcomed the prospect of affordable housing but said the structure was simply too big for the quaint neighborhood.
Helayne Seidman

The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation called the plan “unacceptable,” and lamented that the proposed tallness of the structure would cast shadows on the adjacent J.J. Walker Park, as well as several blocks of the Village’s Historic District. 

But West Village resident Sam Deutshe, who has lived in the area since March, cheered HPD’s proposal. 

“I mean, life has a lot of trade-offs, and I sympathize with somebody who doesn’t want a shadow for a little bit of the year — but from my perspective, this is the perfect place to build affordable housing,” said Deutshe, 27.

The number of units the proposed 35-story tower will contain remains unclear — but all will be affordable, with rents figured out by a calculation of the area median income, the city said.

Zeckendorf Development, Atlas Capital Group and the Baupost Group have teamed up to develop the lot, which is located in a primarily commercial area and an ‘as-of-right’ zone.
J.C. Rice

Ultimately, Community Board 2, Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, the City Planning Commission, the City Council and the mayor will have to sign off on the final plan for the project.

Councilman Erik Bottcher, who represents the neighborhood, has vowed to “fully support” the project — which should hold plenty of weight. The full Council typically backs the wishes of the council member whose neighborhood is affected when deciding on land-use issues.

Midtown-based SLCE Architects, the owner of the projected 19-story, 176-unit Washington Street and 37-story, 133-unit Clarkson Street towers, has reportedly vowed to keep 30% of the project’s apartments affordable, while the rest will be priced around $5,000 per square foot — which translates to $3.5 million for a 700-square-foot studio.

Zeckendorf Development, Atlas Capital Group and the Baupost Group have teamed up to develop the lot, which is located in a primarily commercial area and an ‘as-of-right’ zone.

Two blocks away will be two even taller developments — one, a 223-foot-tall structure at 570 Washington Street and another, a 419-foot-tall building at 80 Clarkson Street.
Helayne Seidman

An as-of-right development complies with all applicable zoning regulations and does not require any discretion­ary action by the City Planning Commission or Board of Standards and Appeals. Most developments and enlargements in the city are as-of-right.

Applications to begin construction on the Washington Street and Clarkson Street towers have yet to be completed by the owner, a Department of Buildings spokesperson said.

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