Now dubbed ‘Zero Irving,’ the contested Union Square tech hub releases new renderings

October 23, 2019

Renderings courtesy of RAL Development Services

The vision for a contested tech hub currently underway at 124 East 14th Street—the site of the former P.C. Richard & Son building—is coming into sharper focus. RAL Development Services released a new batch of renderings and rebranded the project with a new name, Zero Irving, presumably a nod to neighboring Irving Place. The 21-story building will include office space, a technology training center and incubator, co-working spaces, an event space, and a street-level food hall. The project broke ground over the summer and is slated for completion toward the end of 2020.

Zero Irving, 124 East 14th Street, Union Square, Union Square Tech Hub, GVSHP

Zero Irving, 124 East 14th Street, Union Square, Union Square Tech Hub, GVSHP

The top 13 floors of the 240,000-square-foot building will comprise 176,000 square feet of office space, including both market-rate offerings for “industry-leading tenants” and a portion set aside for “flexible office space” that will have fewer credit requirements and cater to growing companies.

Zero Irving’s lower floors will house the aforementioned digital skills training center, tech incubator, co-working spaces, event space, and food hall. The training center will span three floors and feature programming from Per Scholas, FEDCAP, CUNY, and Mouse. By having a training center, incubator, and offices in the same building, the project aims to create a “synergistic” exchange between the various areas, setting up a “talent pipeline” that helps training center graduates find employment with the companies upstairs. The project expects to create over 500 jobs for New Yorkers.

Commercial Observer recently reported on the growing number of tech hubs in the city, citing the 84,000-square-foot New Lab in the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Grand Central Tech, which recently rebranded as Company. Those projects, along with Zero Irving, have been supported by the EDC. “Tech hubs, in various forms, are critical pieces of the innovation ecosystem,” Ana Ariño, the chief strategy officer for the EDC, told Commercial Observer. “The startup community is essentially a network and it thrives when the ecosystem is strong.”

Zero Irving, 124 East 14th Street, Union Square, Union Square Tech Hub, GVSHP

As 6sqft previously reported, local preservationists have long been vocal against the project. Community organizations like the Cooper Square Committee and Village Preservation have advocated for the past year that any rezoning should come with protections for the adjacent neighborhood, which is largely residential.

“The Mayor’s Tech Hub upzoning was approved by the City Council over widespread community opposition, based upon the choice of a developer who insisted an upzoning was needed—other bidders did not ask for the controversial upzoning which has increased development pressure on the surrounding East Village and Greenwich Village neighborhoods, resulting in increasing demolition and out-of-scale new construction,” Andrew Berman, executive director of Village Preservation previously told us in an email. The organization recently called for creating a new historic district to protect 193 buildings in the area.

A recent release from the developers repeatedly claims Zero Irving is located in “Midtown South” where “newly constructed space” is rare among “mostly older or renovated building stock.”

“This is exactly what we said about this plan, and what we feared—it’s intended to transform our neighborhoods into Midtown South,” Berman told Curbed. “The zero in ‘ZERO IRVING’ represents what neighbors and the public got out of this deal, while those who donated generously to the Mayor reap 100 percent of the benefits.”


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