The Real Deal New York

Landlords face off with preservationists in NoMad

Residents hope to extend historic district; developers wary it could freeze growth in the area
March 31, 2015 10:10AM

Community Board 5 will decide whether or not to extend the Madison Square North Historic District.

Currently, the borders of the district are 25th and 29th streets and Sixth and Madison avenues. Under a new proposal in front of the board, the district would be extended north to 34th Street And From Broadway to Park Avenue South, according to the Wall Street Journal.

While residents of the area aim to preserve the history from the 1920s in the neighborhood, developers and real estate executives claim that redrawing the lines of the historic district would freeze growth in the neighborhood, according to the newspaper.

“They are demolishing some of these great buildings and they are building sliver, modern, ugly things that they turn into cheap hotels immediately,” Mario Messina, a resident in favor of expanding the historic district, told the newspaper.

Property owners in the area maintain that the influx of new hotels to the area is a zoning issue that should be tackled by the City Planning Commission.

“If we are restricted with bureaucratic red tape in the form of a broad-brush landmarking of an area,” Farrell Virga, chief executive of Meringoff Properties and a member of the Madison Square North Property Owners Coalition, told the newspaper, “you could stymie development in that area that is both residential and commercial.”

The new historic district would include Tin Pan Alley — a row of Brownstones Located On West 28th Street between Broadway and Sixth Avenue — as well as 18 pre-Civil War rowhouses, 12 historic hotels and dozens of loft buildings and office buildings from the early 20th century. [WSJ] — Claire Moses