Rosie Mendez Calls on City Planning to Support “East Bowery Preservation Plan”

Posted on: February 7th, 2012 at 6:19 am by

The push to bestow zoning protections on the east side of the Bowery is gaining momentum.

Dormers Removed from 140 Bowery

At the forefront of the campaign these last few years, the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors continues the fight to safeguard our beloved thoroughfare. Unlike across the street, an area that falls within the confines Special Little Italy District, the east side has no such measures in place.  That’s why it’s built so much higher (i.e. Bowery Hotel, Sperone Westwater, New Museum, Wyndham Garden, etc.). The East Bowery Preservation Plan [PDF] aims to end the gold rush along this strip of land.

Councilmember Rosie Mendez, the sole opponent in the landmark overthrow of 135 Bowery, recently penned a letter to the Department of City Planning endorsing the proposal.

It reads:

I am writing to express my support for the East Bowery Preservation Plan proposed by the Bowery Alliance of Neighbors (BAN). I also ask that the Department of City Planning (DCP) conduct a study to evaluate a potential rezoning for the east side of the Bowery.

I greatly appreciated DCP’s work on the 2008 Lower East Side/East Village Rezoning. Specifically, I commend DCP’s willingness to meet with community stakeholders to develop and implement a viable plan that will not only preserve the Lower East Side’s distinct low-rise buildings, but also create opportunities for affordable housing development. As much of the Bowery is already preserved through the Little Italy Special District, the NoHo Historic District, and the Third Avenue Corridor Rezoning, a plan to preserve the east side is now necessary to ensure the historical integrity of the street and to protect the Bowery’s unique built form.

As you know, the Bowery is one of the city’s oldest historic districts and is a vital component of the culture and history of Lower Manhattan. At the same time, the lack of contextual zoning for the east side of Bowery has precipitated a wave of out-of-scale development which not only threatens the affordability of the area but changes the cultural, historical and architectural significance of the Bowery. The Bowery Preservation Plan maintains that any new developments in the area would be of a size and scale that would not interfere with the Bowery’s architectural integrity. The Plan calls for controlled, responsible development, including community facilities, while maintaining the low-rise character of the street and will promote the retention of mixed socio- economic populations, affordable housing, social services, & artists’ live/work spaces.

I echo Community Board 3 and my city, state, and federal colleagues in asking that DCP act expeditiously to conduct a study and implement a plan to preserve all of the Bowery.

Sincerely, Rosie Mendez

Recent Stories

47clinton-sold
Icon Realty Snaps Up 47 Clinton Street for $5M

Two weeks ago, Icon Realty Management made headlines after selling its massive holding at 50-62 Clinton Street for a record-setting $28 million. The transaction now paves the way for a new seven-story residential development. Yet while the real estate investment firm was busy closing the deal, it quietly made a purchase just across the pavement. […]

Photo: Boing Boing
First Two Volumes of Ed Piskor’s ‘Hip Hop Family Tree’ Now for Sale as Box Set

For the music heads out there who don’t already know, you absolutely must check out Ed Piskor’s fantastic “Hip Hop Family Tree” comic series. The weekly cartoons – exclusively published on Boing Boing – illustrate the birth of the art form in an easily consumable manner. If you haven’t been following, no biggie. There is […]

gaia-east-houston
Gaia Italian Cafe is Taking a Week-Long Break Starting Next Thursday

Fair warning that Gaia Italian Cafe is taking a brief recess on September 25. Eponymous owner Gaia Bagnasacco took to the company Facebook page to note that the beloved three-year-old restaurant will reopen a week later on October 2, and to thank patrons for the support. Gaia is certainly a neighborhood treasure, and fiercely protected […]

bowery-delancey-intersection-1
The DOT Not Seeing the Light with Traffic Signals at Bowery and Delancey

The city spent loads of taxpayer dollars the last few years trying to remedy the traffic situation at the intersection of Bowery and Delancey/Kenmare. Road crews keep digging up pavement, repainting the lanes, and beautifying the medians. To no avail. The bigger issue continually shrugged aside is fixing the sequence timing of the signals here. […]

preserve24-eviction
Serge Hoyda Successful in Evicting Preserve 24; Per Se Vet Dropped from Lawsuit

Last Friday, epic failure Preserve 24 (aka Aegis Holding Houston LLC) was officially evicted from 177 East Houston by court order. It has been closed and dormant since late June, and will not reopen under new management as one sign proclaims. The papers served by landlord Serge Hoyda are now taped to the front door. […]

  • Scotty G.

    The plan can’t address the issues that are illustrated in your photo of the WEST side of the Bowery, which is in fact in an area of zoning height restrictions but not under true design review or landmark protection.