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City Begins Review of Hudson Square Rezoning Proposal

By Andrea Swalec | August 21, 2012 6:56am
Trinity Real Estate has proposed zoning changes in Hudson Square that would turn the area above the entrance to the Holland Tunnel into a mixed-use neighborhood.
Trinity Real Estate has proposed zoning changes in Hudson Square that would turn the area above the entrance to the Holland Tunnel into a mixed-use neighborhood.
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DNAinfo/Andrea Swalec

LOWER MANHATTAN — The public review of Trinity Real Estate's plan to transform the former manufacturing district of Hudson Square into a mixed-use neighborhood kicked off Monday afternoon, when the City Planning Commission certified the company's application to rezone of the area. 

Zoning changes in the 18-block area roughly bounded by West Houston Street, Sixth Avenue, Canal Street and Greenwich Street would allow new residential use and increase the area's appeal to creative companies, Trinity president Jason Pizer said in a statement. 

"Adding complimentary residential, cultural and educational resources will strengthen the area's foundation as a flourishing, vibrant mixed-use neighborhood," he said. 

Hudson Square, which is home to companies ranging from MTV to WNYC and New York magazine, is currently zoned to only allow manufacturing or commercial use. There are currently no limits in the neighborhood on the maximum allowed height of buildings. 

Trinity's zoning proposal calls for maximum building heights of 320 feet on wide streets including Greenwich, Hudson and Varick streets, said Arthur Huh of the Department of City Planning's Manhattan office during a presentation on Trinity's plan. 

Huh also revealed new details about the towering residential building planned for the block shared by Duarte Square that was the site of an Occupy Wall Street protest in December 2011. Trinity's plan would allow the building on the vacant lot to reach up to 430 feet, Huh said. A 444-seat school is planned for its base. 

Affordable housing incentives that would apply to the rest of the rezoned area would not apply to this building on the block bordered by Sixth Avenue, Canal Street, Varick Street and Grand Street, Huh said. 

"[Trinity is] planning on building a school on that site, so it was felt that additional incentive was not needed there," he said. 

Community Board 2 chair David Gruber said he expects that the board will want to include a provision for affordable housing in the building, and that the board's review will likely focus on ensuring that plans for the quickly changing neighborhood include provisions for open space and affordable housing. 

Gruber said CB2 members and other residents of Manhattan's lower West Side are accustomed to the city's seven-month-long Uniform Public Land Use Review Procedure, or ULURP. 

"We're battle-tested," he said. "What other [community] board has done three major ULURPs in so little time?"

CB2 will review the plan at the first of several town hall meetings with Trinity on Thursday, Sept. 13. 

The board will issue an advisory vote on the plan, followed by an advisory vote by Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and votes by the City Planning Commission and City Council.