Earlier this year, the City Council approved office use at Aurora’s Gansevoort site. In return, Aurora has signed several documents memorializing the deal negotiated with the community for various benefits. The documents include the following:
First, the existing restrictive declaration on the Gansevoort block (the south side of Gansevoort Street between Washington and Greenwich Streets) that had previously prohibited office use (use group 6B) has been amended to remove that prohibition. This new amendment can be found here. (The 2003 amendment, which was actually signed in 2013, can be found here; the 1998 amendment can be found here; and the original restrictive declaration can be found here.)
Second, a new restrictive declaration has been added to the Gansevoort block providing additional community protections and benefits. These include a prohibition on all music and amplified sound on the rooftop and terrace exteriors of the block, reasonable closing hours for those exteriors, a prohibition against height increases of any of the existing buildings, and a prohibition against more than 3 full liquor licenses (none of which could be in spaces adjacent to the exterior roofs/terraces) and 4 wine and beer licenses (all of which would be ancillary to some other use such as retail or office space). Importantly, the restrictive declaration also mandates the creation of 1775 sq/ft of essentially free basement space for non-profit arts or cultural organizations. The new restrictive declaration can be found here.
Third, a binding commitment letter between Aurora and City Council Speaker Corey Johnson’s office mandates the creation of 2000 sq/ft of rent-subsidized space for a non-profit arts organization and 2000 sq/ft of subsidized space for a non-profit Greenwich Village social service organization, both to be located within a complex of buildings surrounding 7-11 Weehawken Street. (There is also an option for a one-time cash grant to a non-profit social service organization in lieu of the 2000 sq/ft of subsidized social service space). No more than 50% of the combined community space provided at Weehawken and at Gansevoort Streets can be below grade. The binding commitment letter can be found here.
Save Gansevoort invested a great deal of time and effort to make this deal happen. We continue to believe that the decision by the Landmarks Preservation Commission to allow this development was profoundly misguided; however, given that unfortunate decision we believe this is the best possible outcome for the community. We are deeply grateful for all of the hard work by Community Board 2 and its chair Carter Booth, and by Council Speaker Corey Johnson and his chief of staff Erik Bottcher, that made these negotiations successful.