The Landmarks Preservation Commission intends to introduce next month a new extension for the South Village Historic District, appeasing preservationists and possibly paving the way for a planned mixed-use complex nearby at 550 Washington Street.
Developers Westbrook Partners and Atlas Capital Group need City Council approval for the 1.7 million-square-foot development they have planned at the site of St. John’s Terminal, across from Pier 40 on the Hudson River. The proposed five-building complex will include over 1,500 apartments, a hotel and 400,000 square feet of retail space.
For the plan to move forward, the developers need the vote of the local representative, Corey Johnson, who made the landmarking of the South Village Historic District a condition to giving his blessing.
“If we are to approve the 550 Washington St. application, the city must also extend landmark protections to the historic blocks south of Houston Street,” said Johnson during testimony before the City Planning Commission.
The rezoning needed for the St. John’s Center has the support of the Hudson River Park Trust and the de Blasio administration. Of the project’s 1,500 apartments, 25 percent will be enrolled in the city’s affordable housing program, and the City Planning Commission recently approved a $100 million sale of air rights to the developers.
But this move doesn’t guarantee Johnson’s vote. Johnson has also asked for a transportation study and wants to prohibit the Hudson River Park Trust from selling any more of its unused development rights to sites within Community District 2.
This will be the third phase of landmarking for the South Village Historic District. A roughly four-block area south of 4th Street and east of Sixth Avenue was first designated as landmarked in 2010. The area was then extended in 2013 west of Sixth Avenue, and could now be extended further south of West Houston Street. [Crain’s] — Chava Gourarie