The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission approved a block-long historic district on East 10th Street at an emergency public hearing and vote today. The creation of the historic district follows developer Benjamin Shaoul’s Magnum Real Estate Group’s application in December to add a rooftop addition to a townhouse at 315 East 10th Street, which Magnum purchased late last year. The newly designated area extends from avenues A to B along the south side of 10th Street.
“We moved as quickly as we could, and today was the earliest possible day we could hold the hearing and vote based on the amount of research needed to complete the report and justify the designation,” said Elisabeth de Bourbon, director of communications for the LPC. But because the permit was grandfathered in, Shaoul will be allowed to proceed with the plans at 315 East 10th Street.
“A DOB permit was issued prior to the Landmarks Commission’s vote today,” said Commission Chairman Robert Tierney told The Real Deal. “Nonetheless, I believe the [proposed] work will not compromise the integrity of the district.”
De Bourbon added that Shaoul’s lawyer contacted the LPC to say his client plans to meet the commission to discuss suggestions for the design of the one-story addition and is “willing to work with LPC staff as they move ahead on their grandfathered permit.”
The rushed vote was in response to outcry from community groups, such as the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, after Shaoul, who that group called a “notorious East Village developer,” filed the application to build another floor at 315 East 10th Street.
“We hope today’s vote is the beginning of the reversal of years of degradation and compromise of the East Village’s character and integrity by inappropriate demolition and development,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, in a statement.
Another rooftop addition of Magnum’s, at an East 6th Street building, was the subject of three years of controversy before the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals rejected the request for a variance in December, according to published reports.
The East 10th Street Historic District is only the second historic district in the East Village, and the first designated since 1969, according to the Greenwich Village Society’s statement.
A second, larger historic district in the East Village, slated to be called the East Village/Lower East Side District, is also currently under consideration by the LPC.
Magnum could be reached for comment. — Guelda Voien