The City Club and other civic groups testify against the revised tower proposed at 250 Water Street
The City Club and other civic groups testify against the revised tower proposed at 250 Water Street, in The Architect’s Newspaper, April 7, 2021.
Op-ed piece was written by Jeffrey Kroessler and published in The Wall Street Journal on April 10, 2021.
Last Saturday the WSJ published an op-ed by Ken Jackson of Columbia stating that because the essential characteristic of the city is change and growth, the Seaport project must go forward.
Today the Journal published my letter in rebuttal, with another letter defending preservation. Because there is a paywall, the final text follows:
Kenneth T. Jackson asks: “Does New York Still Want to Be the Capital of the World?,” (Cross Country, April 3). Dynamic change characterizes the city, not preservation, he claims, and blames the Landmarks Preservation Commission for blocking a proposal to build a residential tower in the South Street Seaport Historic District. But it’s a question of law. Is he suggesting that the agency shirk its charter-defined mandate? The property is a vacant lot, and has been since the district was designated in 1977. The LPC is legally bound to determine whether new construction is “appropriate,” and by no yardstick does this proposal fit that description. What could be built if the site wasn’t part of the district is irrelevant.
Is Prof. Jackson suggesting that the city ignore its own zoning regulation also? Because what the Howard Hughes Corp. has presented isn’t currently allowable. The zoning was changed during the Bloomberg administration in 2003 with the support of every elected official to bar development such as this. With this proposal, the owners are asking the city to ignore its own rules. By approving this application for a building that cannot legally be built, Landmarks is tacitly approving a request for a whopper of a zoning variance.
No one wants the South Street Seaport Museum to fail, but the city itself has starved the institution. Rather than hand the company development rights and then rely on it to write a check to the museum, the city could hand that asset to the museum directly, and tell the company to build as-of-right on the lot it purchased.
President, The City Club of New York
For Governors Island, the wrong way forward
Read Jeffrey A. Kroessler’s New York Daily News February 28, 2021 Op-Ed re: Governors Island here. Find an excerpt below:
When mayoral candidate Andrew Yang suggested that Governors Island would be a terrific place for a casino, the idea generated immediate scorn. What could be less appropriate for that public gem in the harbor? Yet today, a plan for massive development is swiftly advancing through the political process with barely a speed bump in its way.
We want to know: What happened to the grand public playground New Yorkers were promised?
Why Community Groups Can Never Win Against Developers: The ‘Dreikausen’ Paradox and Other Hurdles, and Suggestions for Change
Making a motion you cannot win is usually sanctionable—but here, it is actually required.
By John R Low-Beer September 18, 2019
Under current law, even the most meritorious legal challenge to property development faces insurmountable barriers once construction starts, because absent the most egregious wrongdoing, the courts will not order demolition of completed buildings, and current law makes it virtually impossible to obtain a preliminary injunction to halt construction. Read the rest of the article via New York Law Journal
By RYAN DEFFENBAUGH September 17, 2019
Void venting: Extell 66th St. skyscraper slammed at B.S.A. hearing
BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH August 7, 2019
During a Board of Standards and Appeals public hearing, opponents of the Extell skyscraper at 50 W. 66th St. challenged the building’s merits. Read article from The Villager
City Must Release Fort Greene Park Report, Court Rules
By Noah Manskar, Patch Staff May 1, 2019 6:50 pm ET | Updated May 1, 2019 7:01 pm ET
The city lost an appeal to keep a portion of a report on Fort Greene Park secret as the Parks Department pursues a major renovation there. Read article via Fort Greene-Clinton Hill Patch
Suit filed to block Extell’s Upper West Side skyscraper
The suit comes after the city recently approved reconfigured plans for the 775-foot-tall tower
Governor Cuomo Gives Hudson River Park $50 million
By Lincoln Anderson April 10, 2018
Showing he’s serious about fulfilling his pledge, made in his State of the State address earlier this year… read article via The Villager
Diller Island’s demise; Goes way of Westway
By Lincoln Anderson September 28, 2017
Before shockingly pulling out of the Pier55 plan two weeks ago, Barry Diller had already pumped more than $40 million into the ill-fated project, the media mogul confirmed to The Villager last week.
Read article in The Villager
ANDREW J. HAWKINS July 27, 2015 12:00 AM
The owners of the New York Mets planned to build a shopping mall in a parking area next to Citi Field. They expected resistance—there always is in New York—but not from the son of the architect who helped invent the shopping mall.
By DAVID W. DUNLAP AUG. 28, 2013
The City Club of New York has sharply criticized Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s rezoning plan for East Midtown. But in the newsroom, that’s called “burying the lead.
The real news is that there is still a City Club of New York.
Bloomberg’s Plan for Bigger East Midtown Towers Is ‘Zoning for Dollars,’ Group Says
By DAVID W. DUNLAP
AUG. 27, 2013