There's a 'Don't Turn Our Neighborhood Into Silicon Alley' rally on Wednesday evening

As you may know, there are plans in the works to demolish the three-building assemblage on the northeast corner of Third Avenue and St. Mark’s Place for a 7-story office building.

In addition, new office and residential buildings are going up or in development on parts of Broadway below 14th Street and University Place … as well as the Moxy hotel on 11th Street. Not to mention Mayor de Blasio’s plan for a 20-plus-story tech hub on 14th Street at Irving Place.

On Wednesday evening, a coalition of community groups and preservationists are hosting a rally titled “Don’t Turn Our Neighborhood Into Silicon Alley” on St. Mark’s Place and Third Avenue.

The Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has background on the developments:

Why is this happening? Because this area is lacking in good zoning or landmark protections that allow this kind of demolition and inappropriate development, and the tech industry sees this neighborhood as the hot new area for expansion, extending “Silicon Alley” down from Union Square and up from Astor Place. And now the Mayor and developers want approvals from the City Council for a huge new “Tech Hub” on 14th Street that will accelerate all these trends.

We’re demanding zoning and landmark protections that would preserve historic buildings, keep new development in scale, protect the residential character of this area, and promote affordable housing. But the Mayor OPPOSES this plan …

GVSHP Executive Director Andrew Berman has an op-ed on the matter in the Gotham Gazette here.

Preservationists scored one victory along this corridor earlier this month when the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approved a proposal to landmark the circa-1866 cast-iron buildings at 827-831 Broadway between 12th Street and 13th Street. There was a proposal to build a 14-story office building on the site. The developers are now seeking to add a four-story addition to the existing structure.

The rally is Wednesday evening at 5:30 on Third Avenue and St. Mark’s Place.

Previously on EV Grieve:
Behold Civic Hall, the high-tech future of Union Square — and NYC

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