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John Slattery Slams City for Moving Forward With SoHo Garbage Facility

By DNAinfo Staff on May 10, 2010 4:45pm  | Updated on May 11, 2010 7:27am

John Slattery is mad about a Sanitation Department facility in his TriBeCa neighborhood.
John Slattery is mad about a Sanitation Department facility in his TriBeCa neighborhood.
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Bryan Bedder/Getty Image

By Nicole Breskin

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

SOHO — Actor John Slattery should be on top of the world this week with the opening of his first superhero flick, "Iron Man 2," but instead he's down in the dumps as the city steamrolls past community objections to build a huge sanitation facility in his SoHo neighborhood.

The city’s deadline to submit bids for the construction of the $280 million, three-district sanitation garage and salt shed at the corner of Spring and Washington streets is Tuesday. The 150-foot tall building would acts as a transfer station and house more than 60 garbage trucks. 

Slatterywho is best known for his role as Roger Sterling in AMC’s “Mad Men” and who plays the father of Robert Downey Jr.'s character Tony Stark in "Iron Man 2" — said he realizes the real world does not have the same happy endings as on the silver screen.

The Velvet Underground's Lou Reed was one of a group of celebrities who supported Hudson Rise, an alternative to a city-proposed sanitation garage.
The Velvet Underground's Lou Reed was one of a group of celebrities who supported Hudson Rise, an alternative to a city-proposed sanitation garage.
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DNAinfo / Heather Grossmann

“That’s the fairytale,” Slattery said of life in the movies. “This is as real as you get. New York City is one of the great cities of the world. I don’t understand how you take that precious waterfront space and put this thing in it.”

The actor has vociferously opposed the city’s plans for nearly a year with the help of neighborhood residents, including James Gandolfini of "The Sopranos" and legendary musician Lou Reed.

The actor and advocates worked with local architect Stas Zakrzewski to formulate an alternate plan, Hudson Rise, which they say is cheaper, more environmentally friendly and eases the burden on the community by only taking in two districts worth of garbage.

When the city moved ahead with their own plans anyway, Slattery and community activists filed a lawsuit. The judge rejected the case, but community leaders pledged they would appeal the decision.

Now, it seems, time has run out.

“The lawsuit is over. It’s a lost cause,” said David Reck, who was behind the lawsuit and is president of downtown advocacy group Friends of Hudson Square. “I wish it wasn’t but it is. They’re going to steamroll over us and they don’t care.”

Slattery hopes he can work to find a way out, but points a finger at the Bloomberg administration for its unwillingness to budge on the issue.

The site of the proposed multi-district sanitation garage.
The site of the proposed multi-district sanitation garage.
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DNAinfo/Heather Grossmann

“I thought Bloomberg was smarter than that,” he said. “In the face of a more reasonable solution, they’re saying, we’ve got a handshake, we’re going ahead with it, and I think [City Council Speaker] Christine Quinn is just doing the mayor’s bidding. It’s a shame.”

Mayoral spokesman Jason Post would not comment on the issue.

A spokeswoman for Quinn said, “The speaker’s office has ensured that every alternative site proposed for the District 5 sanitation garage was explored.

“In spite of this unprecedented year-long effort, the concept suggested by the project’s opponents has proven to be unworkable."

The Department of Sanitation wouldn’t comment on how many companies had submitted bids, but said the plans were going ahead.

Bids are due at 11 a.m. on Tuesday.