City Will Allow Landlords to Convert Lower Manhattan Public Spaces to Retail

Posted On Wed, June 22, 2016 By

Posted On Wed, June 22, 2016 By In Financial District, Policy, Urban Design

6sqft recently covered the controversial proposal by the Alliance for Downtown New York (ADNY), the Department of City Planning (DCP), and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), to change zoning laws to allow property owners in the Water Street Subdistrict of lower Manhattan–at One New York Plaza, for example–to bring in retail tenants like restaurants and clothing stores in exchange for making improvements and upgrades to the public plazas and arcades adjacent to their buildings. Crains reports that the City Council passed a bill Tuesday that would allow the Financial District landlords to convert the public corridors in front of 20 buildings in the Water Street corridor to retail shops.

The public corridors, which cover ten blocks, were created when the Water Street buildings that abut them were built. Building developers agreed to create the public arcades and walkways in exchange for more buildable square footage.

Water Street POPS, Alliance for Downtown New York, Jessica Lappin, Financial District, Water Street Arcade, Community Board 1, MAS, Zoning Proposal, Department of City Planning, Water Street Subdistrict, Rudin Management Co., RXR Realty, Brookfield Property Partners, Gale Brewer,
The current One New York Plaza.

The organizations supporting the bill have said that the public areas are underutilized, and in the words of Councilwoman Margaret Chin, D-Manhattan, are “just not working” in today’s lower Manhattan, when the mix of residents and business users would actually welcome retail establishments like cafes and dry cleaners. Business Improvement District president Jessica Lappin said the plan “will help bring a more vibrant Water Street to life.”

Water Street POPS, Alliance for Downtown New York, Jessica Lappin, Financial District, Water Street Arcade, Community Board 1, MAS, Zoning Proposal, Department of City Planning, Water Street Subdistrict, Rudin Management Co., RXR Realty, Brookfield Property Partners, Gale Brewer,
The proposed One New York Plaza with retail.

Critics of the proposal, such as the urban advocacy group the Municipal Art Society, say the ability to host profitable retail shops unfairly benefits the district’s property owners, who have already benefitted by being able to build taller skyscrapers–and takes away the public spaces that were supposed to be a permanent gift. The removal of public space to benefit developers, they say, sets a dangerous precedent.

6sqft recently mentioned another example of privately owned public spaces (POPS) not fulfilling their potential though developers used them to snag more building space: The gardens at Trump Tower are barely visible to the public, and the building’s atrium, which is only allowed to be closed four times a year, has been closed to the public whenever Donald Trump has a press conference at the building.

[Via Crains]

RELATED:

Tags : , , , , , ,

Neighborhoods : Financial District

MOST RECENT ARTICLES

  • Department of Health says it’s okay to eat Gowanus Canal fish in moderation and kayak in the water

    Department of Health says it’s okay to eat Gowanus Canal fish in moderation and kayak in the water

    The real estate community has been looking closely at Gowanus as of late thanks to rezoning plans that will likely ...
  • Ding uses your smartphone to revolutionize the doorbell

    Ding uses your smartphone to revolutionize the doorbell

    While smart home technology includes everything from turning on the heat to monitoring air quality, the simple job of a doorbell ...
  • City transit workers reach deal with MTA over wage increases

    City transit workers reach deal with MTA over wage increases

    After the Transport Workers Union and the MTA failed to reach a deal on Sunday night, the contracts for 44,000 ...
  • Tour Trump’s childhood home before it goes to auction tonight; Ambassador Grill interiors landmarked

    Tour Trump’s childhood home before it goes to auction tonight; Ambassador Grill interiors landmarked

    Seven places to go in NYC to hibernate from Inauguration Day. [Untapped] Donald Trump’s childhood home in Jamaica Estates, Queens is ...
  • UWS one bedroom asking $3,950/month is loaded with prewar charm

    UWS one bedroom asking $3,950/month is loaded with prewar charm

    In this Upper West Side cooperative at 245 West 74th Street, you can rent an apartment that embodies all that ...
  • CNN’s Don Lemon sells Harlem condo for small profit

    CNN’s Don Lemon sells Harlem condo for small profit

    Emmy Award-winning CNN news anchor Don Lemon picked up a somewhat modest condo a little over two years ago in Harlem‘s 2280FDB ...
  • A look back at the lost Grand Centrals of the late 19th century

    A look back at the lost Grand Centrals of the late 19th century

    Grand Central Station in the early 1900s Historic photos of the original Penn Station are almost as common as images ...
  • 128 tall buildings were constructed in 2016, a world record

    128 tall buildings were constructed in 2016, a world record

    Click here to enlarge infographic We’ve just been looking at the amazing growth of the skyscraper in its early years, ...
  • Trump to name New York developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth to oversee new infrastructure council

    Trump to name New York developers Richard LeFrak and Steven Roth to oversee new infrastructure council

    President-elect Donald Trump has previously outlined his $1 trillion infrastructure plan not just as a means to repair and build ...
  • $8.8M 20-room limestone Park Slope mansion was built in 1905 for a furniture tycoon

    $8.8M 20-room limestone Park Slope mansion was built in 1905 for a furniture tycoon

    Even in the land of many mansions otherwise known as north Park Slope, 106 Eighth Avenue is, as the listing ...
  • Helen Hayes’ former Nyack home asks $719K

    Helen Hayes’ former Nyack home asks $719K

    Helen Hayes‘ acting career spanned nearly 80 years, earning her the nickname “First Lady of American Theatre” and garnering her distinctions ...
  • TBD Architecture designs Tetris-like artist studios for an Upstate couple

    TBD Architecture designs Tetris-like artist studios for an Upstate couple

    TBD Architecture + Design Studio took on the challenge of designing two conjoined artist studios for a couple on the same property ...

SIGN UP FOR OUR NEWSLETTERS

Thank you, your sign-up request was successful!
This email address is already subscribed, thank you!
Please provide a valid email address.
Please complete the CAPTCHA.
Oops. Something went wrong. Please try again later.