LESPI's Letter East Village Hotel Special Permit Proposal

November 20, 2019

Alysha Lewis-Coleman, Chair
Manhattan Community Board No. 3
59 East 4th Street
New York, NY 10003

Re: Proposed Union Square South Hotel Special Permit Requirement

Dear Chair Lewis-Coleman:

Lower East Side Preservation Initiative (LESPI) respectively requests that Community Board No. 3 vote against the City’s recent proposal to require Special Permits for hotel construction south of Union Square, without the landmarking and zoning protections necessary to maintain the area’s historic, architectural and residential character.

To help mitigate the effect of increased commercial development in the proposal’s zone - between approximately East 14th and East 9th Streets, and Third and Fifth Avenue - the City should:

- Create a new historic district to expand the East Village / Lower East Side Historic District to include St. Mark’s Place and the blocks to the north.
- Designate as an Individual Landmark the Greek Revival 88 East 10th Street, for its architectural character and cultural history as Willem de Kooning’s home and studio.
- Review the historic resources in the area that were identified by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) during the 2008 East Village Rezoning Environmental Impact Statement, as well as GVSHP’s, LESPI’s, EVCC’s, BAN’s and HDC’s inventory of historic East Village properties, which was presented to LPC earlier this year, for potential landmarking.

Additionally, in their letter dated November 12, 2019, GVSHP listed mistakes and oversights in the CEQR’s Environmental Assessment Statement that need to be addressed.

The special architectural, historic and residential character of this area of the East Village deserves special consideration and treatment. This is not reflected in the current proposal. These shortcomings should be addressed before the proposal is approved. Thank you.


Richard D. Moses


The Lower East Side Preservation Initiative is dedicated to preserving the historic streetscapes and buildings of the Lower East Side, including the East Village, Lower East Side below Houston Street, Bowery, Chinatown and Little Italy