The Real Deal New York

NYC’s biggest development foes

Meet some of the city’s most visible preservationists

July 27, 2015 09:09AM

Gale Brewer and Andrew Berman

Gale Brewer and Andrew Berman

While ever-taller, ever-faster new development in New York City seems to be par for the course these days, a crop of powerful anti-development voices work behind the scenes to slow things down.

The city’s biggest development foes include Michael Gruen, the attorney who led the charge to stop the Willets West shopping mall based on the argument that it was to be built on public parkland.

Ray Sloane, president of the Cobble Hill Association in Brooklyn, is a leader in the fight against the redevelopment of Long Island College Hospital, according to Crain’s. He once proposed bottling Gowanus Canal water for officials who wanted to build housing along its polluted shores.

Andrew Berman, leader of the Greenwich Village Historic Preservation Society, championed the opposition to NYU’s expansion in the neighborhood, but lost his court battle last month.

And on the government side, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer is a natural ally of the preservation movement.

At a time when Mayor Bill de Blasio’s top priorities include building vast numbers of affordable housing units and upzoning neighborhoods to allow taller towers, preservation is a particularly hot topic. [Crain’s] — Tess Hofmann