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West Soho Paradise Threatened by Sanitation

Judging by the emails rolling into the ol' Curbed inbox in the past 12 hours, we've got a hot controversy brewing that involves many of our favorite things: the Department of Sanitation, the lovely neighborhood known as West Soho, and of course, Donald Trump. To the emails:

1) "Curbed, It's been called to my attention that the area known to some as Hudson Square has some potential new neighbors. Not the Urban Glass House folks, but Garbage Trucks. There's a new proposal to take the UPS lot on Spring btwn West and Washington and turn the almost two acres into a 140-150 ft garage for the sanitation department. Also, the plans call from 1,000's of gallons of storage for fuel in this spot, as well as the spot right next to the Holland Tunnel."

2) "I suggest you look at this bombshell which has been dropped on the Hudson Square/West Soho/ North Tribeca residents. This is going to result in community resistance like you have NEVER seen before."

3) "Karma is a bitch. The department of sanitation is proposing a new 15 story building where one of the UPS lots is at Spring and Washington. There are also proposals to build buildings to house salt and diesel fuel. That's going to be real pretty to look at from Trump's new building."

The aerial image of the plan, above, comes from a massive draft scope document the city released last week about the proposal. (We might have added The Donald ourselves.)

First, the proposal goes by the melliflous name, "CONSOLIDATED SANITATION GARAGE FOR MANHATTAN DISTRICTS 1, 2 & 5." Nothing scary there, right? Now, the details:

1.1 Project Description

DSNY is proposing to construct and operate a new garage facility in lower Manhattan on a site generally bounded by Spring Street, Washington Street and West Street. The new garage would consolidate operations at the proposed site to provide better service to the local community districts, achieve an economy of scale, replace outdated facilities, and improve operational efficiencies. It would also enable DSNY to comply with its legal obligation to vacate the Gansevoort peninsula, 2 Bloomfield Street/427 Gansevoort Street, within the recently established Hudson River Park, which currently holds garages for Manhattan Districts 2 and 4, and which will in the future temporarily house up to two other Manhattan garage districts pending completion of new facilities but will at no time hold more than three Manhattan garage districts... The new multi-story garage (approximately 427,000 gross square feet of space) would be located on an 85,450 square foot- (sq ft-) site that is currently owned and used by the United Parcel Service (UPS) for truck trailer staging and parking (known as the Equipment Staging Lot) as part of their Manhattan South Facility operations... The overall UPS Package Distribution Facility operations would remain as they currently are. There would be no change in their existing operations. The number of UPS trucks, trailers, other vehicles and employees would remain at their present levels...

There would be a maximum of 128 pieces of DSNY equipment operating out of the new
garage. The total number of employees on a peak day over three shifts would be about 231 (including 191 sanitation workers). The peak number of employees working out of the new garage during any individual shift would be 108. The facility would operate 24 hours per day, 7 days per week.

DSNY truck and equipment access and egress to the DSNY garage would be via West Street and Washington Street. The configuration of West Street in this location allows for queuing of trucks and equipment, when needed. Vehicles exiting the garage at this point would turn north onto West Street. DSNY would also be able to enter and exit the new garage via Washington Street (one-way in a southerly direction) at the northern end of the site. DSNY employees would enter and access the garage from Washington Street at mid-block...

The DSNY salt storage facility (Block 600, Lot 29) would be located just north of the new garage for ready access to the vehicles and equipment. The covered facility would have a maximum storage capacity of 6,500 tons of salt. Loading operations would take place from the Washington Street side of the facility. There would be two aboveground storage tanks for liquid calcium chloride used to melt snow and ice...

3.4 Shadows

The 140- to 150-foot DSNY garage would create incremental shadows on the street and adjoining areas. An adverse shadow impact is considered to occur when the shadow from a proposed project falls on a publicly accessible open space, historic landscape or historic resource. Because the project site is located proximate to both a NYC Landmark building, the James Brown House located at 326 Spring Street, as well as the Hudson River Park and waterfront, a screening analysis will be performed to ascertain whether project-related shadows might reach either of these resources...

3.6 Urban Design/Visual Resources

The new garage would be constructed within the general building forms that have recently been constructed and are being built in this section of Manhattan. The uniform and high street wall would be compatible with the surrounding area built forms. The 140- to 150-foot high structure would not block views from publicly accessible locations. The garage would house the UPS trucks and semi-trailers that are regularly parked in the existing open, fenced parking lot...

There's lots more detail, but those are the parts that jump out to us on an initial read. Community opposition? Oh, expect it: written arguments on the draft scope proposal are due by February 12. One more pretty map of the scene:

So... uh, your thoughts?
· Draft Scoping Document: Sanitation Garage [, PDF]