VILLAGE PRESERVATION SAYS:
City Proposes Towering High-Rise, Tallest Ever in Greenwich Village, WITHOUT Permanent Affordability, at 388 Hudson Street—Just What We Don’t Need
By Village View Staff
On Tuesday night, September 12, city officials revealed their new plan for a proposed affordable housing development on city-owned land at 388 Hudson Street at Clarkson Street. Shockingly, in spite of feedback from the public to the contrary, they revealed plans for a tall, setback tower, rising far above all surrounding buildings and adjacent JJ Walker Park, for a minimum of 205 ft. and a maximum of 355 ft., the latter of which would make it by far the tallest tower ever built in Greenwich Village. Perhaps even more disturbingly, in response to questioning by Village Preservation, it was revealed that this giveaway of valuable public land, long promised to the community as a park, would only be guaranteed to remain affordable for 30 years.
In a final insult to the public, whose input was supposedly being solicited, city officials presented grossly distorted renderings of the proposed building, obscuring its size, height, and relationship to its surroundings, and then asked for public feedback based upon these intentionally distorted images.
This is absolutely unacceptable—city officials have failed to listen to feedback from the public and have planned a development that runs contrary to a lower, bulkier building that minimizes shadows and impacts on the adjacent JJ Walker Park and Greenwich Village Historic District, with Permanent Guaranteed affordability.
Community Board 2 has long sought the development of permanent affordable housing on this site—the 100 units originally proposed, or more (Village Preservation believes that a plan consistent with the parameters they have laid out could include approximately 200 units of affordable housing—double what was originally committed to here). But that must be within a building that minimizes shadows and impacts upon adjacent JJ Walker Park and the neighboring Greenwich Village Historic District, and that is respectful in scale and design to its surroundings and context. What the city is currently considering is not.
Time is running out. The city intends to move swiftly to issue requests for proposals to developers for the site based upon its current planning parameters, after which it will be MUCH harder to affect the design and scale of the building. We must tell city officials, including the mayor, HPD Commissioner, Borough President Mark Levine, City Council Member Erik Bottcher, and Community Board 2 that current plans are unacceptable, and that only a permanently affordable project that maximizes affordable housing while minimizing shadows and other visual impacts upon the adjacent JJ Walker Park and Greenwich Village Historic District is acceptable here.
Contact VillagePreservation.org to find out how you can help. This article was adapted from the Village Preservation Newsletter.
The city’s grossly distorted rendering presented at the “community visioning” meeting, and upon which feedback was solicited. From nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/services/388-hudson-rfp-workshop-presentation.pdf