Chinatown group looks to curb development

August 24, 2010 10:00AM

A group of co-op boards and community organizations is set to release a rezoning proposal today that would limit the development of new hotels and luxury housing in Chinatown and the Lower East Side, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposal, by the Coalition to Protect Chinatown and the Lower East Side, includes a provision that would require new buildings to be on scale with the existing five- and six-story structures in the area and runs directly counter to one from real estate developers that seeks to loosen the regulations surrounding building in the area, with the goal of turning Canal Street into a haven for tall office and apartment buildings. According to Brian Paul, who helped lay out the community coalition plan, “this is the last immigrant neighborhood and last affordable area south of Central Park.” But on the other hand, “building up the area to create a critical mass of development is the only way to revitalize the physical fabric of the area and the job base, which is what Chinatown critically needs,” said Douglas Woodward, who represents the real estate developers. [WSJ]