City Ignores Community Input, Plans to Move Ahead With Ultra-Tall High-Rise at 388 Hudson, and Still Won’t Guarantee Permanent Affordability

An illustration of the tall, setback tower the City anticipates a developer will build at 388 Hudson Street on City-owned land. The tower, currently visioned as possibly the tallest ever in Greenwich Village, may actually grow taller due to recent news that the site will be even further restricted. 

Last night the City’s Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development (HPD) reported back to the public on feedback it received regarding plans for development of the City-owned lot at 388 Hudson Street (at Clarkson Street). The upshot: they will ignore the overwhelming feedback they received regarding the need for a lower, squatter building that eliminated their tall setback tower, and won’t offer a true guarantee of permanent affordability for the development on precious public land. 

Even though HPD received nearly 2,000 letters from the public demanding these changes to their plans, they made clear they would ignore such sentiments and move ahead with their existing plans for a tall, setback tower on this site that may reach 355 ft. tall or higher — the tallest ever built in Greenwich Village. In fact, they indicated the tower may end up even taller than originally anticipated, as they may have 10 less feet on the south end of the site to work with than originally thought, pushing the bulk of the building up further into the sky. HPD’s “report” on public feedback consisted solely of the vastly smaller number of responses to their rigidly structured online “questionnaires” and participants in their tightly controlled “community visioning” workshops — which did not facilitate comments like these — rather than the nearly 2,000 people who used the email address they provided to communicate to them directly.

HPD is also still not offering any meaningful details on how it will ensure the development remains permanently affordable, offering only vaguely worded predictions that are similar to those for projects we’ve seen leave affordable housing programs over the years. HPD will soon be issuing requests for proposals to developers with their “report” attached to guide respondents, and selecting who will get to build on the site. The project will eventually require a rezoning that will go to the City Planning Commission and City Council, but at that stage making changes to the plan will be much more difficult — which is why we are demanding responses to these issues NOW.


January 11, 2024