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Setting the Record Straight
on the Tech Hub Deal


There’s been a lot of misinformation promulgated about the recent ‘Tech Hub’ deal approved by the City Council and what it does or does not do, especially in terms of neighborhood protections.

To make it easy to understand, we created this chart (above), comparing side by side the protections we were fighting for (and which Councilmember Rivera promised to condition her support for the Tech Hub upon), and those that we got.

The simple upshot: the deal offers almost no neighborhood protections. But, according to Councilmember Rivera herself, it will “lead to acceleration in out of scale development for the surrounding residential neighborhood.”

It's also important to note that the developers got 100% of the commercial upzoning they sought for this incredibly valuable piece of public land. And that all of the public benefits in the planned Tech Hub – the job and skills training, the start-up space – could have been built on-site without the large commercial upzoning granted, which will increase the development pressure upon the surrounding Greenwich Village and East Village neighborhoods.


(l.) What a Tech Hub with all the public benefits and no commercial upzoning could have looked like, and (r.) the much larger version with 40% of the space dedicated to market-rate for-profit commercial space, resulting from the commercial upzoning approved by the City Council, which we are getting.


Find out more about the details of the plan and why it was such a bad deal for the East Village and Greenwich Village in our op-ed in The LoDown and The Villager:

Tech Hub Approval Is A Bad Deal for Neighborhood
Reeling from Overdevelopment

Last week the City Council, following the lead of local City Councilmember Carlina Rivera, approved Mayor de Blasio’s large commercial upzoning for a piece of city-owned land on 14th Street for construction of a 23-story “Tech Hub.”  Even though Councilmember Rivera promised that she would not support such a deal without comprehensive zoning or landmark protections for the surrounding Greenwich Village and East Village neighborhoods, that’s exactly what happened. Now, unfortunately, the vote and the resulting development will increase the pressure on the surrounding neighborhood for more out-of-scale and out-of-character development, such as the 300+ ft. tall condos and office towers and 300+ room hotels, proliferating now in the area between Union Square and Astor Place.

There’s been a lot of misinformation promulgated about the Council vote and what it means. The articles linked below list some of the common questions that have been raised, and provide some cold hard facts, including:

Didn't the deal include the zoning protections people were asking for? Not even remotely. The ‘protections’ included in the Tech Hub deal are a fraction of a fraction of what the community was fighting for, and what Councilmember Rivera committed, in writing, to condition her support upon – and that’s being generous. We called for comprehensive zoning protections for the University Place, Broadway, and Third and Fourth Avenue corridors with reasonable height limits for new development where none currently exist, prohibitions on large commercial developments like hotels and office buildings in predominantly residential areas, and the addition or reinforcement of incentives for including or preserving affordable housing as part of any new development.  We got none of these.

Read the full piece here or here.












Next: 8/22/18

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Home : Advocacy : University Place-Broadway Rezoning/Bowlmor Tower : Latest News : 8/17/18

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