Residents fight Alchemy over 300-foot Union Square tower

June 13, 2011 08:52AM

Union Square residents are getting serious about fighting a new Alchemy Construction mega-tower at 31 West 15th Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues, according to DNAinfo. With demolition begun at the site, residents are consulting with lawyers and lobbyists and filing complaints to halt construction of the 300-foot tower, which will spoil the quiet residential stretch, add traffic and obscure views, they claim. 

“It’s just a pretty catastrophic thing to have happen to a block,” said Risa Fisher, who lives across the street.

Developer Alchemy managed to secure an agreement for air rights from neighboring Xavier High School, allowing the tower to rise to 30 stories. In return, the school will be expanding into the new building’s lower floors.

Exact plans for the tower are not yet public because they have yet to be approved. The company submitted its plans to the city on Feb. 3., but they were rejected March 23, according to the Department of Buildings.

It’s been a long battle between residents and developers over the Union Square site. The residents unsuccessfully sued to stop the construction of a hotel on the site back in 2008.

“We are working on different game plans so [that] once we know exactly what the plans are, we’ll know what to,” said neighbor Allen Mohr, a member of the Lower Chelsea Alliance, which was formed to fight the project. [DNAinfo]