By the numbers: Union Square’s building blitz

Developers pour cash into Manhattan’s Silicon Alley as preservationists push back

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From the June issue: Union Square — an already thriving slice of Manhattan — is getting an injection of new development. And the area, which gets an estimated 344,000 people passing through on a typical weekday, is also becoming significantly pricier. A slew of new projects, including Billy Macklowe’s 52-unit condo tower at 21 East 12th Street, are poised to change the office and residential mix in the area, which real estate players say extends a half mile in each direction from the park. Those projects come as the city is also investing big in the area. In February, the de Blasio administration unveiled renderings of its proposed Union Square Tech Hub, a 258,000-square-foot building that, if approved, would replace the P.C. Richard & Son building in a high-profile 14th Street location on the south edge of the square. Meanwhile, in 2014, IBM’s Watson Center moved into 51 Astor Place a few blocks south of Union Square, further cementing the neighborhood’s Silicon Alley status. But not everyone is happy with this investment and development rally. Preservationists are getting louder, and City Council member Rosie Mendez, who represents the area, is calling for a “contextual rezoning,” telling one news outlet that residents are “under great pressure by developers.”