As part of the Hudson Square rezoning proposal - highlighted in color - about $3 million dollars will be allocated to fix the roof at nearby Pier 40 which is estimated to cost $30 million in total. Support for a residential housing plan at Pier 40 recently dried up.
The Hudson Square rezoning is being proposed by Trinity Real Estate, a non-profit real estate division of the Trinity Church, which owns 40 percent of the built space in Hudson Square. (Courtesy Trinity Real Estate)
Manhattan's Hudson Square neighborhood took a step closer to getting a face-lift Wednesday as the City Council modified a plan to rezone the area, according to an article in the Wall Street Journal.
The modifications, approved by the council's land-use committee and zoning subcommittee, allow for about 130 new affordable-housing units and include measures to preserve a proposed historic area. The plan will now go back to the City Planning Commission and a full council vote is expected later this month.
A rezoning of Hudson Square would mark a new chapter for the sleepy neighborhood bounded by Canal and Houston streets, and Sixth Avenue and the Hudson River. Although it is surrounded by pricey neighborhoods, Hudson Square doesn't offer much housing stock or shopping options. That hurts the foot traffic in the historically industrial neighborhood on nights and weekends.
The rezoning was proposed by Trinity Real Estate, which controls 40% of the property in Hudson Square.
"Today's positive action significantly advances the process launched more than five years ago, and we look forward to the rezoning's final consideration by the full Council," Trinity President Jason Pizer said in a statement.
But some local advocates are alarmed about what the rezoning would mean for neighboring areas. "There has been tremendous development pressure on the area," said Andrew Berman, president of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, which is pushing for landmark designation for South Village, located south of Washington Square Park and east of Hudson Square. "This rezoning is increasing the development pressure dramatically."
On Wednesday, the City Council said it had secured a commitment from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to vote on giving landmark status to a portion of South Village by the end of the year.
Mr. Berman called that news "positive" but said, "On the downside…they have not committed to vote on the other part."
A Landmarks Preservation Commission spokeswoman said that the commission sees the proposed historic district as a "priority for this year." The other portion, located south of Houston Street, "requires extensive further study," she said.
The modifications also include about $3 million to fix the roof at Pier 40, the largest in Hudson River Park. The total cost of the project is $30 million.
Madelyn Wils, chief executive of the Hudson River Park Trust, said the Trust was "grateful" to have been included in the plan.
The Wall Street Journal - March 13, 2013 - By Anjali Athavaley
Holy Trinity! City Council Committees Give Hudson Square Rezoning Stamp of Approval New York Observer - March13, 2013 - By Kim Velsey