Preservationists are pulling out the stops in their attempt to halt the demolition of five historic East Village buildings across from Webster Hall. The buildings are slated for demolition to make way for a Moxy Hotel, a Marriott subsidiary that brands itself as a hotel for millennials.
On Wednesday, protestors returned to the East 11th Street block to rail against a contractor tapped by developer Lightstone Group for asbestos abatement at the site. DNAinfo has learned that the company, New York Insulation, “has a history of failing to pay its workers fair wages” owing to documents on file with the New York State Department of Labor, “which has banned the contractor from bidding on public projects through May 8, 2020 after it pleaded guilty to wage fraud.”
Protestors and local officials alike crowded in front of the buildings at 112-120 East 11th Street on Wednesday to call attention to the contractor’s allegedly unsafe asbestos removal practices. Senator Brad Hoylman, in attendance, was there to lambaste the plan in all, calling it a “bad deal.”
"First of all, they're going to demolish neighborhood character. Secondly, they're going to demolish five historic buildings. Third, they're going to demolish good-paying union jobs, and fourth they're going to demolish New York's commitment to organized labor through this project," Hoylman said.
In June, preservationists appealed to the Landmarks Preservation Commission to create a historic district on the block that would protect the prewar buildings. The commission turned down the appeal, as they overpassed creating a historic district in the area in 2008.
Lightstone Group filed demolition plans with the Department of Buildings in August, but the DOB has yet to issue the developer permits.