Sperone Westwater Gallery Fails to Block Ian Schrager’s 25-Story Hotel on Chrystie Street

Posted on: December 2nd, 2013 at 5:11 am by

This image has been archived or removed.

215 Chrystie Street, soon to sprout 25-story building

Hotelier Ian Schrager and a stable of investors purchased the 215 Chrystie parcel last year for $50 million. Their plans for the project site include a 25-story condo-hotel situation, where the first eighteen floors are reserved for lodging, and the remainder for residential (i.e. condos).

Community opposition to the development found a strange bedfellow in the Sperone Westwater Gallery back in January. The Bowery newcomer, itself a contributor to expedited change in the vicinity, spearheaded the charge against Schrager’s 289-foot skyscraper at 215 Chrystie. The well-connected showroom sued to try and stop the hotel-condo from happening. (Its ulterior motive, of course, was preventing the blockage of light into its own gallery)

What the gallery and other Lower East Side advocates argued was that the Board of Standards and Appeals failed to properly assess the environmental impact of such a large construction. As we know all too well,the influx of such large developments strains the already tired neighborhood infrastructure. How many more hotels can we really squeeze into such a tiny space?

The results are in, though, and it’s not pretty. The plaintiffs were unsuccessful. Court documents reveal that judge Michael D. Stallman ultimately denied the petition, in part, because the proposed amendment to the original 1982 variance (for the then-approved 9-story building) was deemed “minor,” constituting a “Type II” action in which environmental review was not necessary. Moreover, said amendment did not “change any of the conditions of the 1982 Variance pertaining to height and setback authorized by the variance, and construction of the new building will not create noncompliance.” It was further noted that the 25-story height does not “appear incongruous with the surrounding neighborhood.” Seriously?

In the meantime, Schrager’s team filed fresh DOB permits in early November for excavation activities and “superstructure work” at this address. The paperwork and the zoning approval are still pending with the city, sitting on the desk of the plan examiner.

Any day now, change is coming to upper Chrystie Street; change that will cast more unwanted shadows on Sara D. Roosevelt Park.

Below is a copy of the final ruling, dated October 15:

215 Chrystie Ruling

Recent Stories

Cajun Quietly Comes to Hell Square with ‘Parish NYC’

Out of nowhere, this new Cajun spot for Hell Square. Parish debuted last month at 146 Orchard Street. The arrival of Parish (the word for “county” in Louisiana) comes on the heels of Butcher Bar, the Astoria-based barbecue bar that shuttered back in September after little more than a year. According to its mission statement […]

NYC Half Marathon Foists Thousands of Runners onto the Lower East Side Next Month

On your mark, get set … for thousands of marathoners on the proverbial doorstep. The New York City Half Marathon is less than a month out, and for the second year running, the Lower East Side is in the crosshairs. The race route shifted last year to include spanning the Manhattan Bridge, Canal Street, and […]

Bowery Demolition Site Hits Market for $26M

One year ago, side-by-side three-story tenements comprising 139-141 Bowery were quickly demolished. The narrative at the time was that of a mixed-use replacement tower to rise in its place. Instead, it’s been crickets for much of the interim. Now, the double-wide property – measuring 50-by-100 feet – is on the chopping block for a hefty […]

Did You Spend $22 at Tower Records on Valentine’s Day 1985?

Here’s a fun find. Local music ephemera from 1985. Bowery Boogie contributor Robert Carmona discovered this pristine receipt from Tower Records while working a residential construction job on East 3rd Street. Date of the archaic transaction is Valentine’s Day 1985, most likely at the store nearby on East 4th Street (RIP 2006). One item was […]

Lesbian Shopkeepers on Orchard Street Win Empire State Building’s Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest

Love is in the air! One Lower East Side couple will have their heads in the clouds this Valentine’s Day. Literally. Co-owners of home design store, Coming Soon on Orchard Street, Fabiana Faria and Helena Barquet were one of two couples to win the Empire State Building’s 25th annual “Valentine’s Day Wedding Contest.” Their 15-minute […]