Air Rights Transfer Application for St. Mark’s Office Tower Returns Tuesday

On Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission will review and possibly vote upon a revised application to allow an air rights transfer from the landmarked house at 4 St. Mark’s Place across the street to a planned new office tower at St.Mark’s Place and 3rd Avenue, increasing the tower’s size by 20%. Village Preservation opposes the plan, which would make the out-of-character office tower that much more out of place in the neighborhood, and further abet the spread of ‘Silicon Alley’ and ‘Midtown South’ into this part of the East Village and Greenwich Village, which the recent Tech Hub upzoning is already abetting. The lobbyist for the plan is Capalino+Co. – a firm noted for their prodigious fundraising for the Mayor, and their successful efforts to secure or avoid needed land use approvals, transforming this and other neighborhoods. 
Capalino+Co.’s impact on the East Village and Lower East Side.
Click image to enlarge

The slightly revised plan changes nothing about the basic problems with the application.  The public can submit written comments, but not testify on, the revised plan.

The proposed air rights transfer must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council.  As the first two are controlled by appointees of the Mayor, we expect them to likely approve the plan.  Which means the final decision will likely come down to the Council, which will defer to local Councilmember Carlina Rivera for their decision.

June 14, 2019