demolition permits

Here is the text of the editorial from the NY Post concerning proposed modifications to the present Landmark laws…your comments and observations appreciated:

A chance to end NYC’s landmarks lunacy

Die-hard preservationists are frantically trying to thwart a City Council bill to bring some order and common sense to the city’s landmarking process.

For once, the bill is well thought out. It would streamline the way the city designates historic landmarks, allow for timely resolution of all designations and provide financial and other
protections for fiscally ailing owners of properties that get designated.

All in all, it provides the realistic balance between historic preservation and new development opportunities that are both necessary to preserve New York’s character.

The bill was prompted by reports that 95 proposed landmarks had been awaiting city action for more than five years — several decades, in some cases.

That puts owners in bureaucratic limbo, unable to renovate or sell their buildings, since it’s hard to get a mortgage on a property at risk of being landmarked.

The measure would put a one-year time limit on proposals to landmark an individual building, and two years for declaring an entire historic district. In fact, more than 80 percent of
landmarking decisions get made within those limits.

New to the bill since it was first proposed last year is this important change: Gone is the five-year moratorium on reconsidering properties that fail to win landmark status.

That means such properties can immediately be reconsidered — and prevents opponents from “running out the clock.”

The revised bill also removes a loophole that lets owners opposed to landmarking apply for demolition permits before their property is placed on the Landmarks Preservation Commission calendar.
Now such permits would be embargoed as soon as landmarking is proposed.

The measure also expands options to landmark for cultural — as opposed to purely architectural — historic significance.

Other provisions provide more transparency — one of many reasons sensible preservationists are supporting the revised bill.

And why the council should swiftly approve it.



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Bye-Bye Bowery: Three of the Oldest Historic Buildings on Bowery Due for Demolition

from Spoiled NYC

In the never ending story of historical buildings in New York City being demolished to pave the way for more of the same crap we already have too much of, three buildings on Bowery were prepared for demolition yesterday, one of which dates back to the 1700s.

It’s not a surprise to people who keep their finger on the pulse of NYC building developments, as the demolition permits were filed last May and sale of the properties has been mentioned here and there.

In the last year, these three properties have been sold twice making the first buyer a cool $2 million profit by flipping them to Emmut Properties for $47 million last month.

With cash like that at play, there’s little anyone can do to breakwater the change of tides.

Emmut Properties’ plans for the space are fundamentally self-defeating. They’re planning a hotel and condo development for the 44,000 square foot replacement.

Said replacement will be divided between 30,825 square feet of commercial hotel space and 13,859 square feet of residential space. Basically, they’ll end up with 64 hotel rooms and 21 apartments.

With more Manhattan apartment vacancies now than in ever in the last decade almost, nobody needs these units.

And any new hotel going up on Bowery is clearly aimed at grabbing money from tourists who want to experience the Lower East Side “vibe.”

This is an ill-conceived plan because one way the “vibe” is being destroyed is by knocking down historical buildings to build hotels for people to stay in… theoretically to look at historical buildings in the neighborhood.

But the catch is people staying in the hotel might not know what’s up. They’re likely to ask someone on the street, “Hey where can I find a historical building or some cool architecture?”

And the New Yorker is likely to respond, “Once upon a time, your hotel was a two hundred year-old butcher shop building, but the owners removed the historic structural characteristics so they could legally demolish the building and put in 64 hotel rooms for people like you to come here and ask me these questions.”…

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