The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted on Tuesday to designate The Strand bookstore as an individual landmark, despite opposition from the store’s owner and local community members. Nancy Bass Wyden, who owns the Strand building, did not support designation because she worried that restrictions placed on landmarked buildings would prevent timely construction or renovation of the store in the future. While more than 11,000 people signed a petition opposing the designation, according to Wyden’s attorney, the commission voted unanimously in favor of landmarking. “Although this is not the outcome we hoped for, we’ll continue to serve our customers as we have done robustly for 92 years,” the Strand wrote in a tweet Tuesday.
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Rendering via NYCEDC
The city’s plans to create a tech hub at 124 East 14th Street near Union Square have been embroiled in a preservation battle since they were first announced. 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. As the Daily News reported, Village Preservation recently criticized the city for its lack of transparency in the development process, while claiming that it gave out a “sweetheart deal” based on political alliances and campaign donations.
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The New York Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) has filed permits to construct a 22-floor tech hub at 114 East 14th Street near Union Square, CityRealty reports. Officially known as the Union Square Tech Training Center, the 254,000-square-foot, $250 million, facility has big plans to ramp up NYC’s high-tech firepower: In addition to affordable office space for startups, market-rate office space for tech companies, and a retail and market area run by Urbanspace, the nonprofit Civic Hall will be running a new digital skills training center at the midblock site once occupied by a PC Richard & Son electronics store.
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, Wed, September 26, 2018
The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) on Tuesday voted to calendar seven buildings on Broadway in Union Square, marking the first step to designating them as landmarks. The buildings sit adjacent to the tech hub, a 21-story tech training center planned for 124 East 14th Street and approved by the City Council last month. With the hub’s approval, the area was upzoned without landmark protections, allowing for about 85,000 square feet of office space and 16,500 more square feet between Civic Hall, step-up space and the workforce development hub.
Rendering via NYCEDC
The New York City Council voted Wednesday to approve plans to build a new tech hub on city-owned land at 124 East 14th Street near Union Square. As Crain’s reported, last Thursday the building received the go-ahead from the zoning subcommittee that was reviewing the development of the 21-story building that supporters expect will be a resource for the “tech-for-good” community and provide jobs for lower-income workers. The project is being developed jointly by the city’s Economic Development Corp. and developer RAL Development Service; it is expected to open in 2020. 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.
Not everyone is excited, however
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.
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An “oversized Silicon Alley” is what some are calling Mayor de Blasio’s plan to transform Union Square and its southern stretches into the city’s next tech hub. The main component so far is the massive Union Square Tech Hub proposed to replace the P.C. Richard & Son building on East 14th Street, but Councilwoman Rosie Mendez and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation are advocating that, in exchange for the building, the city rezone the surrounding blocks to prevent an influx of out-of-scale development. Despite their oppositions, CetraRuddy has revealed on their site two environmentally friendly proposals for the site at 799 Broadway, the former home of the St. Denis Hotel at the southwest corner of East 11th Street. Spotted by CityRealty, the 240-foot, 17-story office building would be the first catering to the Mayor’s tech dreams, though the renderings are merely conceptual at this point.
All the renderings and details ahead