By Nicole Breskin
MANHATTAN — The city on Tuesday approved a plan to replace a former meat processing plant in the Meatpacking District with a high-rise glass tower.
The Board of Standards and Appeals voted unanimously to give Romanoff Equities an exemption from zoning rules so that it can build the 10-story structure at 437 W. 13th St. Romanoff agreed beforehand to reduce the height of the building and scrapped plans to have part of it hang over High Line Park.
The Romonoff family has roots in the district going back more than 50 years. Their tower would house commercial and retail businesses.
"We're ecstatic," said Darryl Romanoff, the project's developer. "It's a happy day."
Romonoff said he was building an "iconic" structure that would be a "wonderful complement" to the neighborhood.
"We're very committed to the neighborhood," he said. "We came up with something the community is happy with."
But not everyone was happy, including neighborhood preservationists who wanted to maintain the low-scale and historic character of the Meatpacking District.
"It's a shame that rather than looking to preserve and redevelop a wonderful piece of the Meatpacking District's history, as so many others have, this developer is choosing to destroy it," said Andrew Berman, executive director for the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.
"[The] huge glass office towers and enormous big-box retail is not the future we want for the Meatpacking District."
The original site was home of a historic Art Deco building that was excluded from the Gansevoort Market Historic District, created in 2003, at the developer's request. It was part of the Gansevoort Market State and National Register Historic District, offering financial incentives and tax breaks for preservation, but the Romonoffs chose to raze the building and forgo the benefits.
James Carpenter Design Associates Inc. and GKV Architects, which also designed space at 7 World Trade Center, are architects on the project. It will get a new address: 860 Washington St.