Out-of-Scale Hotel Developments in LES

180 ludlowIn 2008, the Department of City Planning adopted the East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning . The rezoning was the result of years of community collaboration between Community Board 3, neighborhood groups, residents, and elected officials. In short, the rezoning was designed to:

-Preserve the established neighborhood scale and character by establishing contextual zoning districts with height limits, and

-Provide modest opportunities for residential growth and incentives for affordable housing along the area’s widest streets well served by bus or subway lines.

A developer is currently seeking zoning variances for out-of-scale transient hotels at 180 Ludlow and 163 Orchard Street . The proposed variances fly in the face of a rezoning that so many in our community worked so hard to achieve. They would allow development greatly in excess of height limits wanted by our community. Additionally, the developer missed the November 2010 deadline for completing 180 Ludlow, and now seeks a two-year extension.

Please join the EVCC by writing a letter urging CB3 to respect the 2008 rezoning and deny the zoning variance. Click here for a sample letter.

Photo: 180 Ludlow, courtesy The Lo-Down

July 18th, 10:30am: Next NYU Hearing Challenging the Sexton Plan

111 Centre Street (btw. White and Leonard Streets), Room 574

EVCC, GVSHP, NYU faculty, and a broad range of neighborhood and preservation groups and individuals are suing to overturn the 2012 approvals of the 20-year NYU expansion plan. Tomorrow’s hearing will be a key milestone in that process. WE NEED YOU THERE TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT!

Opportunity at EVCC: Business Outreach Coordinator

The East Village Community Coalition works to recognize, support, and sustain the built and cultural character of the East Village. EVCC seeks a Business Outreach Coordinator to develop a new merchants association in the East Village. Hurricane Sandy exposed a need for local business organizing to respond to ongoing challenges and future events. The incumbent will bring energy and creativity to implement our business engagement strategy. The grant-funded part-time position is available immediately through June 2014.

Qualifications

Applicant must have a passion for NYC as a city of neighborhoods. Familiarity with the East Village is a plus. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication, proofreading skills, pay close attention to detail, be organized, and be a creative and independent worker. Basic computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and experience with social media including Facebook and Twitter among other platforms are essential. Interest in community organizing, community development, urban planning, historic preservation, small business, or marketing preferred. Experience in graphic design a plus.

Requirements

  • Assist in creating and developing the East Village merchants association
  • Maintain database of East Village businesses
  • Perform outreach to engage local business owners and organizations
  • Lead quarterly merchant meetings
  • Manage communications to and among merchant members
  • Conduct research and draft material about programs and incentives for small business owners
  • Facilitate holiday shopping event and produce gift guide
  • Update association website

Please forward your resume and cover letter by Friday, July 19th to director (at) evccnyc (dot) org.

Community Board 3 Passes Resolution on P.S. 64

CHARAS (old PS 64) 605 E 9th St – plans for community use

VOTE: Whereas, the former PS 64, also known as Charas-El Bohio, located at 605 E. 9th Street, is a beloved community building that has served the Lower East Side since it was built more than a hundred years ago; and

Whereas, for nearly 70 years it was a public school serving as both an educational and cultural center for immigrants first from eastern and southern Europe and then from Latin America; and

Whereas, in the mid-1970’s after New York City closed the school, community activists and artists took over the building to create a vibrant community center where local non-profit organizations and artists of all kinds could thrive; and

Whereas, over vehement community opposition Mayor Giuliani in 1999 sold the former PS 64 to a developer who then evicted the community center; and

Whereas, after an unprecedented community campaign, in 2006 the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission designated the Former PS 64 as a landmark recognizing both its physical and cultural distinction; and

Whereas, the developer who acquired the building from the city, and is now proposing to convert it to student housing, has shown gross negligence in the maintenance of the building, has been antagonistic toward the community, and completely unwilling to work constructively toward a solution to the impasse over the future of the building; and

Whereas, the current proposal for student housing does not meet the NYC Department of Buildings’ criteria for a dormitory under the community facility definition in the zoning ordinance because there is no long term lease for all of the facility with one or more accredited educational institution nor is there a restrictive declaration that the building will only be used as a dormitory;

Now therefore, Community Board 3 very strongly opposes the current proposal for conversion of the Former PS 64 to student housing;

And further, Community Board 3 strongly favors a proposal that would result in the building becoming a genuine community facility and cultural center consistent with the building’s history in our neighborhood.

Landmarks hears P.S. 64 on Tuesday, 3pm

The battle to reclaim old P.S. 64/ Charas for the East Village community continues. On Tuesday afternoon, the Landmarks Commission will vote on a series of changes to old P.S. 64/Charas/El Bohio. Approval from the LPC is required to move forward the owner’s plan for a 500-bed dormitory. We demand a better plan for old P.S. 64, one that serves the community.

Take action!

Sign the petition 

Speak out

Tuesday, May 7th, 3pm: Landmarks Preservation Commission
1 Centre Street, 9th floor

LPC will consider alterations to the front and and back courtyards, windows, and the roof.
Review the drawings. Delivery your testimony to the commissioners on Tuesday afternoon or submit written testimony to comments@lpc.nyc.gov. Read our sample letter.

Wednesday, May 8th, 6:30pm: Community Board 3 – Land Use Committee Meeting
56 Essex Street (Broome and Grand)

Plan for community use at former P.S. 64/ Charas

Wednesday, May 15th, 6pm: March from P.S. 64 to Cooper Union

Meet on 9th Street (Avenues B & C)

Return P.S. 64 to the Community

evcc images 007_smThe Department of Buildings is currently reviewing an application to convert former P.S. 64/ Charas into a 500-bed dormitory. The Cooper Union has entered into an agreement with the developer to take a portion of the building for student housing. We reject the proposal to use P.S 64 as a dorm.

COMMUNITY USE – NOT DORMS

Sign on to demand that the building be returned to the community!

Return PS64 to the Community

Respect our community. Respect this community treasure: Old P.S. 64

located at 605 East 9th Street.

Old P.S. 64, a designated New York City landmark, has a long and valued

history serving our community. This building could easily serve our

community again. Dormitory use of this building does not serve our

community. Cooper Union should not house  students in old P.S. 64.

We ask that old P.S. 64 be returned to use for our community.

Sign here

P .S. 64 Image Archive

Have photos of the building from the past twenty years? Email director.evccnyc@gmail.com to add them to our archive. Include the month, year, and name of photographer.

Read more about the history of P.S. 64 and our work to protect the building.

Kushner Companies attends CB3 Housing Committee – 4/17

A representative from Kushner Companies is scheduled to address the CB3 housing committee on Wednesday, April 17th at 6:30pm. Earlier this year, Kusher Companies purchased more than twenty East Village walk-up buildings from the infamous Ben Shaoul of Magnum Real Estate and Icon Realty. The acquisitions include 325 East 10th Street, which has been operating as an illegal hotel for three years.

Residents at 500 East 11th are taking Kushner Companies to court for the violations endured since February. Among the problems described in the filing are a lack fo heat and hot water, structural damage, lack of fire detectors, illegal work, and failure of the electronic key system which blocks egress. More information available: http://evgrieve.com/2013/04/reader-report-east-village-tenants.html

Join us on Wednesday evening at the Seward Park Extension Community Center, 56 Essex Street.

Join the team!

Take your passion for the East Village to next level! Help us advocate for livability and small, independent businesses. Opportunities are available in Business Outreach and in Community Planning.

The East Village Community Coalition works to recognize, support, and sustain the built and cultural character of the East Village. To apply, send your resume and cover letter by Friday, March 23rd to director.evccnyc@gmail.com.

Community Planning Intern

EVCC seeks an energetic intern to help develop community-driven commercial zoning and to engage residents and elected officials in the process. The incumbent will bring energy and creativity to implementing our business engagement strategy.

Qualifications
Applicant must have a passion for NYC as a city of neighborhoods. Familiarity with the East Village is a plus. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication, proofreading skills, pay close attention to detail, be organized, and be a creative and independent worker. Basic computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and experience with social media including Facebook and Twitter among other platforms are essential. Interest in community organizing, community development, urban planning, historic preservation, small business, or marketing preferred.

Requirements

  • Assist the director in developing a plan to implement formula retail zoning in the East Village
  • Assess and analyze existing zoning and existing conditions
  • Research zoning and legal precedents locally and in other US cities
  • Design proposal with all regulatory options and identify priorities
  • Develop presentations for the public, community partners, elected officials, and the Department of City Planning
  • Contribute to the creation of an education program on formula retail zoning

Business Outreach Intern

We seek an energetic intern to assist in the development of a new merchants association in the East Village. Hurricane Sandy exposed a need for local business organizing to respond to ongoing challenges and future events. The incumbent will bring energy and creativity to implementing our business engagement strategy.

Qualifications
Applicant must have a passion for NYC as a city of neighborhoods. Familiarity with the East Village is a plus. Candidates must have excellent written and oral communication, proofreading skills, pay close attention to detail, be organized, and be a creative and independent worker. Basic computer skills, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and experience with social media including Facebook and Twitter among other platforms are essential. Interest in community organizing, community development, urban planning, historic preservation, small business, or marketing preferred.

Requirements

  • Maintain database of East Village businesses
  • Perform outreach to engage local business owners in person and online
  • Aggregate resources for guide for business owners
  • Help facilitate events, as necessary
  • Coordinate the digital components to the annual Get Local! Shopping Guide
  • Track the distribution and use of the Get Local! Shopping Guide