3 St. Marks Place Past Campaign Updates

Look At All We’ve Accomplished!

With an increasing flood of awful proposals coming out of City Hall in the dying days of the de Blasio Administration, it’s easy to forget all we’ve accomplished together over the years: earning landmark and zoning protections for our neighborhoods, saving historic landmarks from demolition, stopping destructive development proposals, and stopping or improving terrible plans by the City or developers.  

That’s why we’ve created a new and improved Accomplishments StoryMap, showing all that you — our members and supporters — have enabled us to do over the years. You’ll see everything from huge landmark or zoning protections covering hundreds of buildings to tiny houses saved from demolition and small but critical restoration projects. 

April 30, 2021

Victory!: 3 St. Marks Place Air Rights Transfer Defeated

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!

Our group at the City Planning Commission in March.

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.

TO HELP:

October 14, 2020

Hearing for St. Marks Office Tower Air Rights Transfer This Thursday — WRITE TODAY

The proposed St. Mark’s Place office tower.

The final public hearing on the application to allow an air rights transfer to increase the allowable size of a planned office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place (3rd Avenue) by 20% will take place this Thursday, September 24th at 10 am before the City Council’s Zoning Subcommittee in Virtual Room 3.Click here for information on testifying at the hearing.

In spite of overwhelming public opposition, in late August the City Planning Commission (consisting of appointees of the Mayor, the five borough presidents, and the Public Advocate) voted unanimously to approve the air rights transfer, adding thousands of square feet to the planned boutique tech office tower at this corner, long dubbed “the Gateway to the East Village.”

But all is far from lostThe air rights transfer cannot take place unless it also receives City Council approval. We and hundreds of our members have been reaching out to the City Council for months, urging them to reject this proposal.  And in March, local Councilmember Carlina Rivera stated her opposition to the plan at the City Planning Commission hearing.  If she maintains this position, and the rest of the Council follows her lead (the usual protocol on local land use items like this), the air rights transfer will be rejected.

Our group at the City Planning Commission in March.

A tech office tower on this corner is already woefully out-of-place; allowing it to grow 20% larger than zoning normally allows only adds insult to injury.  Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger picture of the City encouraging large-scale development – tech office buildings, hotels, and condo high-rises – in this predominantly residential, low-to-mid-rise area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square. The 14th Street Tech Hub and its upzoning, approved by the Mayor and City Council in 2018 without promised neighborhood protections, is exacerbating this problem.

TO HELP:

September 22, 2020

9/15 St. Mark’s Place Air Rights Hearing Postponed, Likely 9/24

The proposed St. Mark’s Place office tower.

The final public hearing on the application to allow an air rights transfer to increase the allowable size of a planned office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place (3rd Avenue) by 20% originally schedule for Tuesday, September 15th, has been postponed, and will now likely be September 24th. This gives us more time to get a strong message to City Councilmembers to REJECT this wrongheaded plan!

In spite of overwhelming public opposition, in late August the City Planning Commission (consisting of appointees of the Mayor, the five borough presidents, and the Public Advocate) voted unanimously to approve the air rights transfer, adding thousands of square feet to the planned boutique tech office tower at this corner, long dubbed “the Gateway to the East Village.”

But all is far from lostThe air rights transfer cannot take place unless it also receives City Council approval. We and hundreds of our members have been reaching out to the City Council for months, urging them to reject this proposal.  And in March, local Councilmember Carlina Rivera stated her opposition to the plan at the City Planning Commission hearing.  If she maintains this position, and the rest of the Council follows her lead (the usual protocol on local land use items like this), the air rights transfer will be rejected.

Our group at the City Planning Commission in March.

A tech office tower on this corner is already woefully out-of-place; allowing it to grow 20% larger than zoning normally allows only adds insult to injury.  Unfortunately, this is part of a bigger picture of the City encouraging large-scale development – tech office buildings, hotels, and condo high-rises – in this predominantly residential, low-to-mid-rise area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square. The 14th Street Tech Hub and its upzoning, approved by the Mayor and City Council in 2018 without promised neighborhood protections, is exacerbating this problem.

TO HELP:

September 8, 2020

Final (virtual) Hearing on St. Mark’s Place Office Tower Air Rights Transfer Sept. 15 at City Council

The proposed St. Mark’s Place office tower.

The final public hearing on the application to allow an air rights transfer to increase the allowable size of a planned office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place (3rd Avenue) by 20% will be on Tuesday, September 15.  In spite of overwhelming public opposition, in late August the City Planning Commission (consisting of appointees of the Mayor, the five borough presidents, and the Public Advocate) voted unanimously to approve the air rights transfer, adding thousands of square feet to the planned boutique tech office tower at this corner, long dubbed “the Gateway to the East Village.”

But all is far from lost. The air rights transfer cannot take place unless it also receives City Council approval. We and hundreds of our members have been reaching out to the City Council for months, urging them to reject this proposal.  And in March, local Councilmember Carlina Rivera stated her opposition to the plan at the City Planning Commission hearing.  If she maintains this position, and the rest of the Council follows her lead (the usual protocol on local land use items like this), the air rights transfer will be rejected.

Our group at the City Planning Commission in March.

A tech office tower on this corner is already woefully out-of-place; allowing it to grow 20% larger than zoning normally allows only adds insult to injury.  Unfortunately this is part of a bigger picture of the City encouraging large-scale development – tech office buildings, hotels, and condo high-rises – in this predominantly residential, low-to-mid-rise area of Greenwich Village and the East Village south of Union Square.  The 14th Street Tech Hub and its upzoning, approved by the Mayor and City Council in 2018 without promised neighborhood protections, is exacerbating this problem.

TO HELP:

September 3, 2020

Air Rights Transfer for Tech Office Tower on St. Mark’s Place May Be Sunk!

The proposed St. Mark’s Place office tower.
 On Wednesday, Village Preservation and our members and supporters turned out in force at the NYC City Planning Commission public hearing to oppose the application for an air rights transfer at 3 St. Mark’s Place that would allow a planned office building to grow 20% larger than zoning allows (read our testimony here). From the beginning of this process, we have opposed this application, which would only accelerate the inappropriate transformation of this area into an extension of ‘Midtown South’ and Silicon Alley, which recent actions by the Mayor and City Council have encouraged

We were pleased to be joined in our opposition by Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick, who had previously opposed the application, and by City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, who for the first time stated her opposition to the application (read the joint testimony here).  
Our group at the City Planning Commission. 
Councilmember Rivera’s testimony is particularly significant because the next and final stop for this application is the City Council, where opposition by her would more or less doom the application. We are cautiously optimistic that her public opposition at the City Planning Commission means she will vote this down at the City Council, and urge her colleagues to follow her lead (City Councilmembers traditionally defer to the local Councilmember on local land use items such as these).  Read coverage in GothamistThe Village SunAMNY/The Villager, and EVGrieve

TO HELP: Thank Councilmember Rivera For Her Opposition to the St. Mark’s Place Air Rights Transfer and Urge Her to Vote It Down At The City Council – CLICK HERE Urge Other City Officials to Vote No on the St. Mark’s Place Air Rights Transfer – CLICK HERE The City Planning Commission will vote on this application in the next few weeks; as it is controlled by the Mayor, we expected the Commission to approve it. The application will then go to the City Council for public hearings and a vote; we will let you know when those have been scheduled. For more info, see gvshp.org/3stmarks
March 7, 2020

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer Comes Out in Opposition to St. Mark’s Office Tower Air Rights Transfer

We’re very pleased to report that last week Borough President Gale Brewer issued her recommendation urging denial of the air rights transfer for 3 St. Mark’s Place by the City Planning Commission and the City Council – read it here. The Borough President, along with State Senator Brad Hoylman and State Assemblymember Deborah Glick, had opposed the air rights transfer at an earlier stage of the process when it went before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Thank you to everyone who wrote the Borough President and turned out for public hearings on this matter.This gives us good momentum going into the City Planning Commission hearing. While we expect the Commission – dominated by Mayoral appointees – to approve the transfer, it will still ultimately need City Council approval, where Councilmembers will largely defer to local Councilmember Carlina Rivera on the matter.To help, click here to send a letter to Councilmember Rivera and all the members of the City Council urging them to reject the proposal (same letter linked in item above).

Previous: 2/25/20

March 2, 2020

St. Mark’s Place Tech Office Tower Air Rights Transfer Public Hearing this Wed. at approx. 11am

Proposed tech office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place, which would increase in size by 20% if the air rights transfer is approved.
Join us this Wednesday, March 4 for the City Planning Commission public hearing on the application to transfer air rights to allow a planned office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place to grow 20% larger than zoning allows.  We oppose the plan because we do not want to see an even larger tech-related office tower rising at the “gateway to the East Village.” This project has already resulted in the demolition of a nearly 200 year old house containing residential units. The replacement of low-rise, historic, and often residential buildings in this area south of Union Square by high-rise office towers is part of the city’s plan for this area in the wake of the approval last year of the Mayor’s 14th Street “Tech Hub
Village Preservation speaking out against the proposed air rights transfer at Community Board 3 hearing in December (c/o thevillagesun.com)
While we have gotten the local Community Board to unanimously reject this application twice, if approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council, the air rights transfer will be granted.  Ultimately we expect this to come down to Councilmember Carlina Rivera; she has not yet stated a position on the application.

TO HELP: 
Write City Officials Urging Them to Oppose the Air Rights Transfer for 3 St. Mark’s Place – CLICK HERE
 and Come to the City Planning Commission public hearing in the basement concourse of 120 Broadway (betw. Cedar & Pine Streets; when you enter the building from Broadway, take the stairs on the left down) next Wednesday, March 4. Arrive at approx. 11am (this is the last item on the agenda, so the exact time this will begin is unclear — check our twitter feed at www.twitter.com/gvshp for day-of updates on timing). You can come to testify (use the sample letter here as the basis for your 3 min. max. testimony) or just hold up a sign we’ll provide and show support. 

March 2, 2020

First City Hearing on Air Rights Transfer for St. Mark’s Place Tech Office Tower Next Wed., March 4, approx. 11am

Proposed tech office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place which would increase in size by 20% if the air rights transfer is approved.
Join us on Wednesday, March 4 for the City Planning Commission public hearing on the application to transfer air rights to allow a planned office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place to grow 20% larger than zoning allows.  We oppose the plan because we do not want to see an even larger tech-related office tower rising at the “gateway to the East Village.” This project has already resulted in the demolition of a nearly 200 year old house containing residential units. The replacement of low-rise, historic, and often residential buildings in this area south of Union Square by high-rise office towers is part of the city’s plan for this area in the wake of the approval last year of the Mayor’s 14th Street “Tech Hub.” 
Village Preservation speaking out against the proposed air rights transfer at Community Board 3 hearing in December (c/o thevillagesun.com)
While we have gotten the local Community Board to unanimously reject this application twice, if approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council, the air rights transfer will be granted.  Ultimately we expect this to come down to Councilmember Carlina Rivera; she has not yet stated a position on the application.

TO HELP:
Write City Officials Urging Them to Oppose the Air Rights Transfer for 3 St. Mark’s Place – CLICK HERE
 and

Come to the City Planning Commission public hearing in the basement concourse of 120 Broadway (betw. Cedar & Pine Streets; when you enter the building from Broadway, take the stairs on the left down) next Wednesday, March 4.  Arrive at approx. 11 am (this is the last item on the agenda, so the exact time this will begin is unclear — check our twitter feed at www.twitter.com/gvshp for day-of updates on timing).  You can come to testify (use the sample letter here as the basis for your 3 min. max. testimony) or just hold up a sign we’ll provide and show support. 
February 25, 2020

St. Mark’s Place Air Rights Gets Full Community Board Rejection, Also Heads To Borough President

(l.) Proposed Tech office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place; (r.) 4 St. Mark’s Place
On Thursday the full Community Board 3 voted unanimously to reject the proposed air rights transfer for a planned new office tower at 3 St. Marks Place (at 3rd Avenue) which would increase the size of the planned development by 20% beyond what zoning allows. We oppose the plan because we do not want to see an even larger tech-related office tower rising at this location. This project has already resulted in the demolition of a nearly 200 year old house containing residential units. The replacement of low-rise, historic, and often residential buildings in this area south of Union Square by high-rise office towers is part of the city’s plan for this area in the wake of the approval last year of the Mayor’s 14th Street “Tech Hub.”

The proposal now goes to Borough President Gale Brewer for her recommendation; the Borough President spoke out against the proposed air rights transfer at an earlier stage of the application, as did State Senator Brad Hoylman and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. We hope she will maintain her opposition.

After the Borough President’s vote, there will be hearings at the City Planning Commission and City Council (not yet scheduled).  Ultimately the decision about whether or not the air rights transfer is approved will likely come down to Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

TO HELP: 
Click here or button above to write Borough President Brewer About the Hotel Special Permit Proposal and the St. Marks Place Air Rights Transfer

December 21, 2019

Hearing on St. Mark’s Place Office Tower Air Rights Transfer Wed. 12/11 at 6:30pm

(l.) Proposed Tech office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place; (r.) 4 St. Mark’s Place
Please join us in OPPOSING an application to make a planned tech office tower at 3 St. Mark’s Place (at 3rd Avenue) 20% larger than zoning allows by transferring air rights from a nearby landmarked house at 4 St. Mark’s Place. The hearing will be at Community Board #3’s Land Use Committee on Wednesday, December 11th starting at 6:30pm at the Meltzer Senior Center, 94 East 1st Street between Avenue A and 1st Avenue

This is the second stage of this application; the first stage, seeking approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, was opposed by Village Preservation, multiple community groups, Community Board 3, Borough President Gale Brewer, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick. Because it was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, it now must be approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council. We expect the City Planning Commission to approve it, which means approval will come down to the local City Councilmember, whom the City Council will defer to on local land use issues like these: Councilmember Carlina Rivera.

We oppose the plan because we do not want to see an even larger tech-related office tower rising at this location. This project has already resulted in the demolition of a nearly 200 year old house containing residential units. The replacement of low-rise, historic, and often residential buildings in this area south of Union Square by high-rise office towers is part of the city’s plan for this area in the wake of the approval last year of the Mayor’s 14th Street “Tech Hub,” with the support of Councilmember Carlina Rivera. 
To Help:
Tell City Officials To Reject The Proposed Air Rights Transfer for the St. Mark’s Place Office Tower – CLICK HERE to send letter

December 4, 2019

St. Mark’s Place Air Rights Transfer Gets Landmarks OK, Still Faces Many Hurdles

St. Mark’s Place & 3rd Avenue currently (l.), and proposed (r.).
As expected, on Tuesday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the 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%. One Commissioner spoke out strongly against the plan, and voted against it (read more here). Village Preservation strongly 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
 In addition to Village Preservation, Community Board #3 has unanimously opposed the plan, Assemblymember Deborah Glick and State Senator Brad Hoylman have testified against it, and now Borough President Gale Brewer has also stated her opposition to the air rights transfer. The application next goes to the City Planning Commission, which is controlled by the Mayor, and which is also expected to approve it.  However, it must then be approved by the City Council, which will follow the lead of local Councilmember Carlina Rivera in deciding whether or not to allow it. We have reached out to Councilmember Rivera about our opposition, and she has received hundreds of letters urging her to oppose it. 

Send a letter to Councilmember Rivera urging her to join community groups, her fellow elected officials, and the Community Board in opposing the St. Mark’s Place air rights transfer – CLICK HERE
June 20, 2019