November 9, 2012
The Honorable Meenakshi Srinivasan, A.I.C.P., Chair
NYC Board of Standards and Appeals
40 Rector Street
New York, NY 10006-1705
RE: BSA No. 299-82-BZ: 2-26 Stanton Street, a/k/a 207-217 Chrystie Street
Dear Chair Srinivasan:
Lower East Side Preservation Initiative requests that the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals deny Cammeby International’s request to reinstate air/development rights that do not currently exist and to uphold the May 2, 2012 Department of Buildings denial of the application for a new building at the referenced address – a 200,000 square foot, 25-story, 300-foot tall hotel/condominium – due to the size and scale of the proposed building’s design. (This assessment is based on our review of an outline streetscape elevation and three-dimensional rendering titled “Impact Study Depicting Proposed Development, 2-26 Stanton Street a/k/a 207-17 Chrystie Street”).
Manhattan’s Lower East Side has tremendous local and national historic significance as a home to immigrants and a wellspring of American culture. For several years, the intensity and insensitivity of local real estate development have been threatening the area’s historic character, and as a result in 2008 the National Trust for Historic Preservation included the Lower East Side in its list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places. The proposed building would only exacerbate this situation considerably. It is completely out of scale and context with its neighbors, would visually detract from the area’s remaining historic streetscapes, and would cast long shadows over nearby streets and parkland. It should be rejected due to its significantly negative impact on the community’s urban environment and heritage.
We ask the BSA to require the applicants to produce an environmental impact study for the proposed building, and to not approve any application that is out of scale / character with the surrounding neighborhood.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Richard D. Moses
Cc: Susan Stetzer, Manhattan Community Board 3