The Real Deal New York

Developers scale back Stuyvesant Post Office project

New plans call for 9 stories and 130 apartments
March 17, 2017 08:39AM

Richard Kessler and a rendering of 432-438 West 14th Street

Developers of a proposed 12-story building at the site of the old Peter Stuyvesant Post Office in the East Village have given the controversial mixed-use project a haircut.

Following community backlash, Benenson Capital Partners and the Mack Real Estate Group are looking to build a scaled-back nine-story building at 432-438 West 14th Street, according to documents filed with the Board of Standards and Appeals. That’s just one story higher than what’s allowed under the current zoning.

The new proposal calls for 130 apartments, including 26 that would be below market rate, DNAinfo reported. Under the earlier plan, the 12-story building would have held 155 units, 31 below the market rate.

While hundreds of community members reportedly wrote letters opposing the project, which they said would stick out like a sore thumb in the low-rise neighborhood, the developers said the taller building would have made up for unanticipated costs associated with the project, including high levels of groundwater and weak soil. They pointed to taller buildings in Stuyvesant Town as a precedent for their project.

That argument, however, “shows how little these developers know about this neighborhood,” Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told DNAinfo. “They should play by the same rules as everyone else, and their development should abide by the contextual zoning.”

The developers initially planned a smaller project when they first announced plans in 2014. But they increased the size last year. [DNAinfo] — E.B. Solomont