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178 Bleecker Street Update

In early January, the Department of Buildings (DOB) announced its intention to revoke approvals it had granted for an 8-story building at 178 Bleecker Street (btw. MacDougal and Sullivan Streets). GVSHP contended the new building would violate ‘Sliver Law’ protections limiting such new construction to no more than 60 feet in height, and had urged the Department to revoke the approvals. We had also contended that the applicant’s claim that the existing building was already more than 60 feet tall and was thus exempted from the Silver Law was false, and had urged DOB not to accept this claim. After initially accepting the developer’s claim, DOB has now rejected it.

The proposed building would be totally out-of-scale for the row of nearly identical 1861 houses it is within on Bleecker Street, in the heart of the area GVSHP and others are seeking landmark protections for as a “South Village Historic District.” The proposed 8-story building would also totally overshadow the adjacent diminutive MacDougal Sullivan Gardens Historic District, with its 3-story 1840s houses and distinctive communal garden. 

The developer has been given fifteen days to respond to the DOB’s notice, and is apparently meeting with the Department to answer its objections. GVSHP has written to the DOB Commissioner thanking him for currently upholding the Sliver Law protections and urging him to hold firm on this point even as the developer continues to seek the requested permits for the site. GVSHP is also continuing to urge the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) to move forward with consideration of this and the entire remaining area of our proposed South Village Historic District as soon as possible, so that ultimately this site and the rest of the neighborhood gain landmark protections which would prevent these sorts of inappropriate demolitions and proposed new developments. Borough President Scott Stringer, State Senator Tom Duane, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick have all joined GVSHP in calling upon the LPC to move ahead with consideration of landmark protections for this area as soon as possible, and we are hopeful that the rest of our elected officials will do the same.


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