Report: Proposed tech hub appears 'in question' without zoning protections

A number of organizations and local residents both for and against the proposed tech hub on 14th Street made their case earlier today during an hours-long public hearing in front of a City Council subcommittee.

You can find nice recaps at The Lo-DownCurbed … and amNY.

There’s support for the hub’s training facility that would provide skills to local low-income residents. However, some local residents and preservation groups have called for a larger rezoning of the area to ensure that the proposed 21-story Union Square Tech Training Center doesn’t prompt massive development on Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue that would potentially displace tenants and small businesses.

District 2 City Council member Carlina Rivera holds the crucial vote for the zoning changes to make the project a go at the site of the former PC Richard complex on 14th Street at Irving Place. During her election campaign last year she indicated that she’d sign off on the tech hub only if the city agreed to downzone the surrounding area.

As the Lo-Down reported, Rivera said in her introductory remarks that she considers it part of her mission to create good jobs for residents in her district. However: “the vision for this area must include protections from continued out-of-scale and financially out-of-reach development.”

And later…

The final City Council vote will be later this summer.

Updated 7/11

RAL Development Services, who’s partnering with the city on the project, released this statement after yesterday’s hearing:

We’re pleased to continue through the ULURP process with the broad support of the community and elected officials. We are committed to making the 124 East 14th Street Tech Training Center a reality; an innovative and inclusive project that will stimulate local business growth and community interaction, and promote the next generation of companies, not for profit organizations, and industries. We will continue to work with community representatives and local officials in making sure the project responds to the community’s needs and look forward to the Tech Training Center’s addition to the iconic Lower Manhattan area.

Image via @GVSHP

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

Speaking out against a ‘Silicon Alley’ in this neighborhood

P.C. Richard puts up the moving signs on 14th Street; more Tech Hub debate to come

Preservationists: City schedules next public hearing on tech hub without any public notice

City Council’s lone public hearing on the 14th Street tech hub is tomorrow

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