Madison Equities proposes demolition of Jane Jacobs’ West Village Houses

Facing reduced options for warding off impending taxes hikes, the 1,000-person housing community is taking stock of their options

Nov.November 05, 2017 02:28 PM

Robert Gladstone CEO of Madison Equities, front; urbanist Jane Jacobs, back (Front photo by Studio Scrivo; back photo: New York World-Telegram and the Sun Newspaper Photograph Collection, Library of Congress)

UPDATED November 7, 2017 with statement from the West Village Houses’ board.

An offer on the West Village Houses by developer Madison Equities would tear down the complex’s 42 five-story buildings, designed by Jane Jacobs and Perkins + Will in the 1960s and 1970s, in order to build high-rise housing.

Madison Equities’ offer was made this fall and residents of the 420 units in the complex have been meeting to discuss it and West Village Houses’ board of directors have decided to solicit other offers before making a final decision, according to the Architect’s Newspaper. The developer would not comment on the details of the offer, while the board stated they did not solicit it.

The West Village House’s tax abatement expires in March of next year so the board and residents have been looking at how the community can stay affordable in the face of coming tax increases which the board qualified as “a financially untenable situation for many of our residents,” in a statement to The Real Deal.

However, many residents and preservationists familiar with the work of renowned urbanist Jacobs are horrified the proposal was made to begin with, and that it continues to be considered.

“We find ourselves horrified that such a proposal would be put forward,” one group of residents wrote in a statement to the Architect’s Newspaper. “We wonder why anyone would want to destroy the fruits of Jane Jacobs’ dream. We know that we have the greatest luxury of all, right here, right now; the luxury of living in the world Jane Jacobs imagined.”

The board views the consideration of Madison Equities’ proposal part of their legal duties, according to their statement: “We have a fiduciary responsibility to share that type of information with all shareholders, and our recent meetings have been a way for us to get feedback on what people think about the concepts put forth in the proposal.”

[The Architect’s Newspaper] — E.K. Hudson

Related Articles


All Falls Down: Kanye West’s “Star Wars”-themed affordable housing plan hits snag

California passes landmark rent control law

Inwood has stayed affordable for a remarkably long time. That could soon change. (Credit: Wikipedia)

Inwood braces for gentrification

Rent reform is propelling a new wave of New York and California investors to Miami (Credit: iStock)

Rent reform in New York, California propels new wave of multifamily investors to Miami

Philip Seymour Hoffman and 1 Sheridan Square (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)

Philip Seymour Hoffman’s old West Village pad sells for $2.57M

The Watchtower building at 25 Columbia Heights, CIM Group’s Shaul Kuba (right) and LIVWRK’s Asher Abehsera (Credit: Wikipedia, CIM Group, and LinkedIn)

JPMorgan leads $335M refi for CIM and LIVWRK’s Watchtower renovation

The construction giants catching a Windy City windfall

David Marx of MDG Real Estate and the site at 71-05 Parsons Boulevard in Queens (Credit: Google Images and iStock)

Here’s a weird one: David Marx plans towers at Queens site he bought from his own company