Zoning

Two Bridges Developers Respond to New Lawsuit Against the City

Posted March 25, 2019 at 5:04 am

Friday morning, a coalition of concerned neighbors and grassroots organizations under the umbrella Lower East Side Organized Neighbors, filed a lawsuit against the city in State Supreme Court to halt the construction of three new skyscrapers along the Two Bridges waterfront. The ultimate goal is preventing a wall of glass and implementing the decade-old, grassroots Chinatown Working […]

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Neighborhood Group Sues the City to Stop New Towers in Two Bridges

Posted March 22, 2019 at 5:00 am

Three months after first leveling the threats, the Lower East Side Organized Neighbors (LESON) has filed a lawsuit to stop four new towers (as part of three developments) from sprouting on the Two Bridges waterfront. The community organization partnered with the Asian American Legal Defense Fund to take the fight to the city. LESON has […]

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Chaotic SoHo/NoHo Rezoning Meeting Leaves Locals Guessing

Last modified February 8, 2019 at 10:36 am

Department of City Planning, Councilwoman Chin, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer together just launched a plan to examine the unique zoning of SoHo and NoHo neighborhoods. Be afraid; real estate speculation can’t be too far behind. The official mission statement of this politically-charged endeavor expresses how the process is meant to “examine key land […]

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CB3 Votes to Co-Sponsor Controversial Rezoning of LES Waterfront in Bid to Thwart Supertall Development

Posted October 19, 2017 at 5:01 am

Thanks to a confluence of election year politics and incessant grassroots organizing, development along the Lower East Side waterfront is firmly in the spotlight. It’s a rare moment when the voice of the people is being heard, albeit barely. There is definitely traction, but a race against the clock is afoot. Nevertheless, Community Board 3 […]

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Spring Street Developer Attempts Override of Special Little Italy District Zoning with Courtyard Addition

Posted May 30, 2017 at 5:00 am

One developer in the heart of Little Italy remains committed to overriding the special zoning district for commercial gain. Concerned neighbors are likewise rallied in opposition. Developer Joseph Brunner purchased 55-57 Spring Street in July 2015 for $15.5 million (from Marolda Properties, sued by the state for tenant harassment). Residents and retail were affected much the […]

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Mahfar Alleges CB3 Conflict of Interest over Zoning Change Denial 

Last modified March 16, 2018 at 11:57 pm

Three months ago, the City Council declined the five-years-in-the-making proposal to rezone the two-and-a-half block stretch of East Houston with a commercial overlay (i.e. “C2-5 commercial overlay in an existing R8A contextual district”). He’s still fighting for it. Mahfar (aka SMA Equities) – hated around these parts – is betting on a technicality to somehow overturn […]

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Mahfar Just Finished Leveling 255 East Houston for New 13-Story Luxury Building

Last modified March 16, 2018 at 11:55 pm

SMA Equities (aka Samy Mahfar) is well on the way to erecting its twelve-story phallus on the border of Alphabet City. Yep, 255 East Houston is officially a goner. The derelict building with its faded facade, and prior service to the community, was reduced to dust within the last several weeks. Now its just another […]

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Samy Mahfar Bails on Controversial East Houston Rezoning Proposal

Posted September 8, 2016 at 5:04 am

Samy Mahfar now tastes defeat at the hands of City Council. The much-maligned landlord had sought a zoning change that would benefit his in-progress development at 255 East Houston Street. But before the scheduled City Council vote on Tuesday by the zoning and franchises subcommittee, Mahfar tendered a letter of withdrawal to City Planning Director […]

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City Council Mulling Mahfar’s Controversial East Houston Rezoning Bid After City Planning Approval

Last modified March 16, 2018 at 11:50 pm

Samy Mahfar will stop at nothing until his dream of rezoning part of East Houston Street is realized. It’s a selfish play to ensure bars or restaurants are permitted in his forthcoming luxury development at 255 East Houston (aka 171 Suffolk). Nothing new, really. Mahfar’s associates twice pitched Community Board 3 to install a commercial […]

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City Council Approves Controversial Citywide Rezoning Overhaul

Posted March 23, 2016 at 10:11 am

City Council yesterday approved the widest reaching zoning changes to the Five Boroughs in decades. The legislative body passed the two controversial anchor-weights of Mayor de Blasio’s affordable housing initiative (“Housing New York”) – Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) and Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH). His goal is to create 200,000 units of affordable housing […]

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