Last week, Greenwich Village and Meatpacking District residents protested at the Community Board 2 landmarks committee hearing against new development plans for Gansevoort Street between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street. Because the disputed area is in the Gansevoort Market Historic District, the proposal for both luxury retail and commercial spaces must go through CB2 and the Landmarks Preservation Commission. However, the community is fighting to preserve the authenticity of the neighborhood.
Developers argue that “this block is about change, variety and adaptive reuse,” noting that the Gansevoort Street facade has changed since the 1950s and is no longer considered historic. Additionally, the district lacks consistency with the look and feel of the Greenwich Village Historic District. The plan will be considered as “a combination of preservation and new construction.”
Executive Director of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation Andrew Berman had strong criticism for the plan noting, “This proposal is absolutely, fundamentally wrong. This is not change, it’s obliteration…it destroys the reason of why we got this area landmarked.” Locals protested that new plans looked too generic and reminiscent of too many other buildings in the USA.
As the meeting drew to a close, it appeared as though no one in the crowd supported the plan. Residents of the area plan to attend the upcoming hearing on October 27th with the Landmarks Preservation Commission when final design decisions will be made.