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Ad Agency Finally Wins TriBeCa Locals' Support in Bid to Serve Booze

TRIBECA — High-end ad agency Spring Studios finally won local support to serve alcohol at its massive TriBeCa production space, after a third appearance before Community Board 1 members Wednesday night.

The London-based company —  which is in the midst of transforming the Verizon Building at 50 Varick St. into a glamorous, multi-level advertising center with a rooftop — spent nearly two hours persuading locals, once again, that company's focus was on the business and being a respectful neighbor, not having huge, wild parties that would run late into the night.

A liquor license, executives said, would allow Spring Studios to serve alcohol in their dining area, as well as during events and parties for the high-profile clientele.

Company representative David Hemphill, who brought along a security expert and several engineers, detailed plans to handle security for events, increased traffic and rooftop noise and parties — a major sticking point that’s led neighbor and banking bigwig Richard Handler to file suit, claiming the proposed rooftop event space would mar his view from his $24 million penthouse nearby.

As part of the overhauled liquor license proposal, Spring Studios said the company would only allow 300 guests on the roof for events, despite its 650-person capacity.

The company also agreed to limit the number of evening rooftop soirees, which will end by 11 p.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on weeknights, to about 30 a year. And those roof parties, which won’t play any music, would stop serving alcohol about an hour before the final close, to make sure 11 p.m. and 10 p.m. are a “hard close.”

“No one is going to stick around if alcohol isn’t being served,” Hemphill said. The latest events held inside would end by midnight, Hemphill added.

Despite some continued concerns from surrounding residents, several neighbors praised Spring Studios for their extended outreach to the community.

The company — which will take up four floors of the overhauled building, with several studios for photo shoots and digital editing, a 60-person theater and a gallery — had several long meetings with CB1 members and locals to hash out the details presented on Wednesday.

"They've really been more than reasonable with the community," said CB1 member Adam Malitz. "I think its time we get on with this," he added, echoing the sentiments of many in the room.

CB1’s Tribeca Committee eventually voted 6 in favor of the advisory approval for a liquor license, with 2 opposed and 1 abstention.

CB1's full board will vote on the license later this month, and then it will go to the State Liquor Authority for final approval.