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Pier 40 Repairs, Village Landmarking Added to Hudson Square Rezoning Plan

By Andrea Swalec | March 13, 2013 2:50pm

CITY HALL — Advocates for both Pier 40 and Village landmarking won concessions from developer Trinity Real Estate Wednesday, when the City Council announced new modifications to the controversial Hudson Square rezoning plan.

The Trinity plan has been updated to direct funds to Pier 40 to fix its crumbling roof and create new community recreation space at Sixth Avenue and Canal Street, councilman and zoning subcommittee chairman Mark Weprin said at a Council session Wednesday morning.

It was also announced the city agreed to vote on landmarking a portion of the proposed South Village Historic District by the end of the year as part of the amended plan.

The Council's land use committee, which reviewed the revised plan, approved the modifications in a 14-to-1 vote, in which Councilman Charles Barron was the lone dissenter.

Council Speaker Christine Quinn said negotiations between Trinity, elected officials and other stakeholders would strengthen the formerly industrial neighborhood expected to gain as many as 3,200 new residences if the rezoning is approved.

“The Hudson Square area in Manhattan’s west side has long been a largely under-regulated neighborhood, putting it at constant risk of change not supported by the community nor this Council,” she said in a statement.

Community Board 2 chairman David Gruber, who previously criticized the open space provisions of Trinity's plan, said he was "thrilled" with the "true win-win compromise."

"The Speaker's energy and dedication will result in a new indoor community open space facility," he said in a statement. "We are particularly overjoyed that the agreements secured today also will finally move the community board-advocated landmarking of the balance of the South Village  forward."

Trinity announced in January that it would donate $5.6 million to the city Parks Department to upgrade the aging Tony Dapolito Recreation Center in the West Village, but CB2 members said they wanted new rec space in Duarte Square, not just improvements on an existing space.

It was not immediately clear how much of the $5.6 million will be devoted to each project.

The Council also announced the Landmarks Preservation Commission had agreed to hear and vote on landmarking a portion of the proposed South Village Historic District by the end of the year, as the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation has requested.

The LPC will evaluate for potential landmarking the area roughly bound by West Fourth Street, LaGuardia Place, West Houston Street and Sixth Avenue.

GVSHP executive director Andrew Berman praised the announcement but said the southern portion of the requested landmarked district — roughly bound by West Houston Street, West Broadway, Sixth Avenue and Broome Street — is still at risk.

Trinity president Jason Pizer thanked elected officials for advancing the company's rezoning request.

"Today's positive action significantly advances the progress launched more than five years ago," he said in a statement.

Trinity's application with the new changes will be reviewed by the City Planning Commission and then return to City Council for a vote. Locals have until 5 p.m. on April 12 to submit comments to the Council.