UPDATE: The Landmarks Commission has issued the following statement about the lawsuit:
"After an extensive public process, a review of the record demonstrates that the Commission made a rational and reasoned decision that allows for change and evolution while preserving the most significant aspects of the Gansevoort Market Historic District. Contrary to Mr. Hiller's allegations, the Commission proudly remains the strongest force and voice for preservation in New York City. Since 2014, we have designated more than 3,500 buildings and sites in New York City and addressed a massive backlog of sites that had languished on LPC's calendar for 50 years."
The Gansevoort Street redevelopment plan is facing opposition yet again. This time, it’s in the form of a lawsuit. Advocacy group Save Gansevoort has filed a lawsuit against the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission and the developers behind the project, objecting to the scale of the development and claiming that the LPC is essentially pro-real estate developers, DNAinfo reports.
The plan to redevelop a block long stretch on Gansevoort Street between Greenwich Street and Washington Street was approved by the LPC in June this year. A previous iteration of the project, which is being developed by William Gottlieb Real Estate and Aurora Capital Partners, and designed by BKSK Architects was sent back to the drawing board in February by the commission.
"The City’s grant of permission to the Gansevoort developers is part of a larger trend, as revealed by the unprecedented line of decisions by City agencies under the current mayoral administration to authorize the privatization of landmark properties and other public assets." Michael Hiller, the lawyer for Save Gansevoort, said in a statement. "The Landmarks Preservation Commission has ceased to be a commission that engages in landmark preservation and, instead, has become a city agency dedicated to justifying decisions favorable to real estate developers."
Hiller specializes in landmarked properties and said that his case load had tripled since Bill de Blasio took office.
The proposal LPC approved in June will allow for taller buildings than the existing one and two-story structures and bring high-end retail, restaurants, and offices to the block-long stretch. Save Gansevoort had also expressed its disappointment at LPC's verdict back in June, and has now formally followed that up with a lawsuit.