June 2016 – Revised Plans Fail to Meet LPC’s Guidelines

The revised plans submitted by Aurora Capital for 46-74 Gansevoort Street fail to meet the conditions that the Landmarks Preservation Commission set forth during the February 9th, 2016 public meeting.  We strongly urge that LPC require the heights of the proposed buildings at 74 Gansevoort Street and 60-68 Gansevoort Street be further reduced, per the commissioners’ own instructions.

Additionally, we ask that the hearing be re-opened so that the public can address the flaws in this newly revised and highly controversial proposal.

Regarding 74 Gansevoort Street:

• The developer has ignored the commissioners’ directive that in addition to removing the penthouse, the height of this building should be significantly lowered.  The revised building (exclusive of the penthouse) is a mere 2 feet lower than the previous proposal.  The proposed building is still grossly out-of-scale and out-of-charcter with the rest of the block.
Commissioner Bland stated on February 9th that the height of this building exclusive of the penthouse should be reduced by one floor; Commissioners Gustafsson, Chapin, and Vauss said that they agreed with him.  Commissioner Shamir-Baron stated she wished to preserve the existing two-story facades.
• Chair Srinivasan stated that the height of 74 Gansevoort “should again be more characteristic of the loft buildings.” Summing up the responses of the commissioners at the end of the meeting, Chair Srinivasan stated that in addition to removing the penthouse, the developer should “restudy” the height and scale of this building, and concluded “I think you may want to sort of restudy its proportions as it relates to other loft buildings and come back to us with that.”
However, the developer attempts to justify this building’s size by referring to various WAREHOUSE buildings in the district, ignoring the commissioners’ directive that the height of this building should be considered in the context of the district’s LOFT buildings (which are in general considerably smaller than the warehouse structures).
The heights of the seven loft buildings in the district range from 38 feet to 73 feet; they average about 55 feet in height.  By contrast, the developer’s revised building at 74 Gansevoort Street is 82 feet tall  (97 feet tall when the large array of mechanicals is included). The proposed building at 74 Gansevoort Street should be lowered to about 55 feet in height (including cornice) so as to be comparable with the average loft building.
• Additionally, it should be noted that 7 individual records from the Department of Buildings show that the pre-existing tenements at this site were between 50 and 55 feet tall; the developer’s proposed building is thus nearly double the size of the previously existing structures.


Regarding 60-68 Gansevoort Street:

• The commissioners were clear that the new building at this site should be no higher than the previously existing tenements.  20 individual  DOB records show that the tenements at this location were between 50 and 55 feet tall.  However, the developer is now proposing a structure that would be 62 feet tall (70 feet tall including mechanicals).  The proposed new building at 60-68 Gansevoort should be lowered to a height of no more than 50-55 feet including cornice.
• Note that photos and the developer’s own diagrams show that the tenements at 54-46, 60-68, and 70-74 Gansevoort Street were all approximately the same height.  We have found a total of 30 individual DOB records for these buildings showing heights of between 50 and 55 feet.  A list of these records is attached; scans of the records can be viewed here


We are disappointed that LPC has arbitrarily reached back to an earlier stage in the district’s history to justify replacing existing low-rise market buildings with massive new construction.  Nonetheless, if the rationale is to return Gansevoort Street to its earlier tenement configuration, then the new buildings at 60-68 and 74 Gansevoort must conform to the size of their predecessors.


Scans of each of these records can be viewed here.

60-68 Gansevoort Street –
NB 627-1879                                                                    55′
ALT 2245-1916                                                               50′
ALT 2246-1916                                                               50′
Violation Notice 7232-1917                                    55′
Violation Notice 7231-1917                                    55′
Violation Notice 7259-1917                                    55′
Violation Notice 7233-1917                                    55′
Violation Notice 7230-1917                                    55′
Computation Application 108-1918                  50’0″
Computation Application 107-1918                  50’0″
Computation Application 106-1918                  50’0″
Computation Application 105-1918                  50’0″
Computation Application 109-1918                  50’0″
P&D 1189-1931                                                              55′
ALT 1833-1931                                                               55′
ALT 1991-1933                                                               55′
ALT 3386-1939                                                               52’0″
ALT 3388-1939                                                               52’0″
ALT 3389-1939                                                               52’0″
ALT 3385-1939                                                               52’0″
70-74 Gansevoort Street –
NB 626-1879                                                                  55′
ALT 304-1905*                                                              54’8″
Violation Notice 7235-1917                                   55′
Computation Application 110-1918                 50’0″
Computation Application 111-1918                 50’0″
Computation Application 112-1918                 50’0″
ALT 3384-1939                                                              52’0″
*the “3” is somewhat illegible; possibly this permit number is 604 or 804.
54-46 Gansevoort Street –
ALT 981-1893                                                              50′
ALT 1143-1920                                                            52′
ALT 1259-1927                                                            53’0″