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Village buildings will fall to new hotel despite preservationists' efforts

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Neighborhood groups say the Landmarks Preservation Commission ignored their requests

Just yesterday, the developer Lightstone Group filed plans with the Department of Buildings to demolish five brick tenement buildings across the street from Webster Hall, between 112 and 120 East 11th Street. The late 19th-century buildings are slated to be replaced with a "millennial-focused" hotel, and the outcry from preservation-minded neighborhood residents was swift.

Now, DNAinfo reports that this June, preservationists asked the city to save the buildings, but their request for a hearing was ignored by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. They hoped the LPC would consider landmarking the block between Third and Fourth Avenues, which was a possibility the commission considered during a 2008 East Village rezoning.

The letter—which detailed the historic and cultural significance of Beaux Arts-style buildings constructed between 1887 and 1892—was signed by the Historic Districts Council, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative, the East Village Community Coalition, and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. They’re hoping for the buildings to at least get calendared for a vote, but the LPC has so far been unresponsive. Preservationist Andrew Berman called the demolitions "a loss for all New Yorkers."

Nothing has been approved for the site yet, but there have been rumblings that the buildings will be replaced by a 300-room hotel operated by Marriott’s millennial-focused brand, Moxy. (Moxy listed a property in "Manhattan/Greenwich (East 11th Street)" on its website, with a projected opening date of 2018.) It’ll be one of five hotels that Moxy plans to open in Manhattan in the next few years. According to DNAinfo, tenants have already vacated these five buildings and interior demolition is underway.