CB2 to Hear Zoning Changes for Merchant’s House Adjacent Hotel

Posted on: May 9th, 2018 at 5:08 am by

The Merchant’s House Museum, the endangered 186-year-old city landmark on East Fourth Street, continues its fight against the threat of an eight-story hotel development at its doorstep.

Before the developers can proceed, though, there is a uniform review process that must happen. Only a change to the current zoning on the block would allow the new development to proceed. The Land Use subcommittee of Community Board 2 will hear the zoning text amendments at its meeting tonight. Ultimately, however, the decision to approve is made by City Council and the City Planning Commission.

To that end, the zoning change is unlikely without the backing of the local councilperson. In this case, Carlina Rivera, who appears skeptical.

“Until the caretakers of the Merchant’s House and its advocates are assured that adjacent construction will not affect this building, I cannot support the proposed development,” Councilwoman Carlina Rivera said in a statement last month.

Councilwoman Margaret Chin, Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer are also in opposition to the plans.

As previously reported, the hotel will rise on the site of a one-story brick warehouse at 27 East Fourth Street that currently acts as HQ for area food cart vendors. (The garage was built in 1945-46 by Herman Kron.) Then, as now, local preservationists are concerned about the impact this major construction will invariably have on structural integrity. This classic construction dates back to 1832, and is considered New York City’s only 19th century family home that is preserved intact. Engineering and architectural experts have reportedly warned that the fragile site could potentially suffer irreversible damage if the hotel moves forward.

The CB2 hearing is tonight, 6:30pm at Grace Church School, 86 4th Avenue.

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