Rendering via NYCEDC
In what may be shaping up to be one of New York City’s biggest preservation battles of the coming year, Mayor Bill de Blasio’s application Monday for a rezoning in order to move forward with a proposed tech hub at 124 East 14th Street in Union Square led neighborhood preservation and affordable housing groups to escalate cries of protest. Community organizations, including the Cooper Square Committee and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP), restated the urgent need for assurance that rezoning would come with protections for the adjacent residential neighborhood. Preservationists fear the creation of a new “Silicon Alley” near Union Square will bring rent hikes and more condo and office towers. The proposed tech center, which the mayor hopes will nurture budding entrepreneurs in the technology field and bring over 600 jobs to New Yorkers, is planned at the site of a P.C. Richard & Son store, in an area already filled with new developments with more on the way.