We are thrilled to report that today the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee voted down the application by a developer seeking to transfer air rights from the landmarked house at 4 St. Marks Place to 3 St. Marks Place (at 3rd Avenue), which would have increased by 20% the size of a planned office tower there. This more or less guarantees that the air rights transfer, which requires City Council approval, will not happen. Local Councilmember Carlina Rivera voted against the air rights transfer and urged her fellow Councilmembers to do the same. State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick had joined us in testifying against the application and urging its rejection, and Borough President Brewer had recommended its rejection earlier in the year. We extend our deepest gratitude to all those who opposed this application, and to the hundreds of you who wrote letters to city officials and showed up at multiple public hearings (in person and virtual) for your help in making this happen!
Of course we still have much work to do in protecting this neighborhood, where a nearly 200 year old house was demolished to make way for the planned office tower because it, like so much of the area, lacked landmark protections. Two years after Councilmember Rivera and the City Council’s approval of the Mayor’s 14th Street Tech Hub without promised neighborhood protections for the adjacent neighborhood, we are still seeing inappropriate development like this move ahead, and no additional protections added for the area. And two years after the Landmarks Preservation Commission met with Village Preservation and allies to promise to move forward with expanded landmark protections in the East Village, no further action has yet been taken.