The Chelsea Preservation and Planning Committee voted unanimously to recommend approval for the Chelsea Market Expansion to the full community board if a long list of very specific changes to Jamestown's plans were made and other demands met, including the construction of 90,000 square feet of affordable housing. At the start of the Manhattan CB4 committee meeting last night to discuss the Chelsea Market Expansion, many of the approximately 50 people observing in the auditorium held up yellow fliers demanding "NO UPZONING! Stop Overdevelopment", and those signs remained held up for a surprisingly long time. After three-and-a-half hours of debate and discussion among committee members and a representative of Jamestown properties, however, the audience in the chairs had dwindled to less than a dozen and tired arms were noticeably lower. Finally, the committee cobbled together a unanimous vote that included a large number of specific requirements to hold.
Before voting, the committee assembled a long list of demands upon which their "yes" votes were contingent. Earlier in the meeting, it appeared as if a straight up-or-down vote with no contingent requirements would have passed just narrowly, or split the committee down the middle. A major point of contention was that there was no explicit public benefit to the community linked to the proposed upzoning required for the expansion of the Chelsea Market. A more pointed critique was that what public benefit Jamestown was offering was being monopolized by the High Line, which is set to receive more than $17 million if the expansion is approved.
Some of the things that CB4's Preservation and Planning Committee want in return for their approval of the Chelsea Market Expansion plan:
· 90,000 square feet (or equal to 27% of Jamestown's new construction) of affordable housing
· No hotel construction
· LEED Silver-level certification for new construction, at minimum
· Technology education and training labs and internships for local community members
· 60% of concourse-level vendors to remain food related
· The expansion of the Gansevoort Historic District and the designation of existing Chelsea Market buildings as landmarks
The next CB4 full board meeting will take place on June 6. After the vote, Jamestown Properties responded while it may not agree with all of the committee's recommendations, it will continue to seek input from the community board and other key stakeholders as it moves through the ULURP process.
· Chelsea Market Expansion coverage [Curbed]