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Plan to Rebuild Historic Gansevoort Street Outrages Neighbors

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The developer duo that wants to remake a stretch of Gansevoort Street between Ninth Avenue and Washington Street into high-end retail, offices, and eateries presented their plan to the Meatpacking District community last night. Aurora Capital Partners, a partnership between Aurora Capital Associates and Neil Bender of William Gottlieb Real Estate, plan on demolishing some of the landmarked structures within the Gansevoort Market Historic District and erecting some new buildings that reach up to eight stories on a block where two-story buildings are the norm. "I think Gansevoort Street has been a blight for the community," James Epstein of Aurora Capital Associates said at the meeting, reported by The Villager. According to the developers' plans, the fix for that blight is bringing in retailers like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes alongside the new Pastis restaurant and maybe a SoulCycle (because of course.) The community, also of course, is largely not happy about this.

Aurora, with the help of BKSK Architects, wants to reshape the south side of Gansevoort Street into three development lots. The first section, at 46-50 Gansevoort Street includes a two-story building that will get spruced up with a restored brick facade. The two-story building at 50 Gansevoort, currently home to nightclub The Griffin, will be razed and replaced with a three-story, 45-foot tall building.

The second lot currently houses Gansevoort Market, but will become the new home of acclaimed eatery Pastis, which got the boot from a property around the corner at 9-19 Ninth Avenue.

Plans for the third lot at 60-74 Gansevoort Street get a bit more complicated. Aurora wants to add a three-story topper to the buildings at 60-68, with a set-back additional fourth floor. The one-story building at 70-74 Gansevoort Street will be razed and replaced with a six-story building with a two-story setback that will stand 111 feet.

Of course, all of these changes are contingent on the Landmarks Preservation Commission's approval of the project, being that the whole swath of street is within a designated historic district. The Villager also points out that because of a restrictive declaration on the property, residential use is prohibited.

Neighborhood residents are unsurprisingly up-in-arms over the plan. The Greenwich Village Society For Historic Preservation has sent the LPC a letter (PDF!) preempting and rallying against the developers' upcoming presentation. For some, the issue comes down to light and air. "You're blocking off the right to light. You're blocking the views." Horatio Street resident Charles Portelli opined of the development to The Villager. On the other hand, other long-time neighborhood residents welcomed the proposal, sort of. "I like what they've done in terms of trying to tier the buildings," 46-year neighborhood resident Vincent Inconiglios told The Villager. "I think the reality is that this is not the Meatpacking District any longer."
· Gasps Over Gansevoort Plan As Developer Calls Historic Street Blighted [The Villager]
· Developers Collude to Remake Huge Swath of Gansevoort Street [Curbed]