CB5 divided over landmarking of Flatiron buildings

One of the buildings up for landmarking debate, 16 West 18th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

One of the buildings up for landmarking debate, 16 West 18th Street (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

A developer’s plan to demolish two buildings near Union Square and replace them with towers was recently shot down by Community Board 5. However, the board’s landmarks committee was split on whether or not the two buildings are historically significant enough to be protected under preservation laws. The committee discussed the plan at a meeting on May 31 to a packed room of community members and business owners who wanted to learn more about the proposal to demolish the two small buildings at 16 West 18th Street and 21 West 17th Street and replace them with apartment towers.

Real estate developer C.A. White has plans to tear down the two buildings and build 11- and 13-story buildings in their place. In comparison to the current buildings, the proposed apartment towers are much taller but the project’s architect Morris Adjmi said at the meeting that the firm didn’t max out the space allowed, keeping the proposed buildings level with those around them. The community board’s role in the process is only advisory and the Landmarks Preservation Commission will make the final decision on whether or not the buildings can be demolished.

Residents and committee members who opposed the demolition pointed to the overall character of the neighborhood as one of the main reasons to preserve the building, especially related to the “saw tooth” nature of the structures, because the current buildings are shorter than those around them and the developer’s proposal would mean leveling the buildings out.

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When you’re battling an abusive grifter in court

Mar31 Peter Cooper sign

Peter Cooper Village (Photo by Sabina Mollot)

 

By Sabina Mollot

On March 31, Town & Village ran the article, “When your roommate’s an abusive grifter,” detailing one Peter Cooper Village man’s struggle getting a non-rent paying roommate, who also brought his three children to live in the apartment part time against the tenant of record’s wishes, out of his life.

At the time, the roommate had been living in the apartment for about a year, while also doing things like swiping the other man’s mail, singing loudly during the wee hours of the night and making constant accusations of harassment against the primary tenant, “Neal.”

We recently caught up with Neal (not his real name), about the status of his attempt to get an eviction in court. Previously, Neal said he was told by his attorney it probably wouldn’t be long before the roommate, “Jason,” was evicted. However, Jason’s still there and has been able to delay the court case by arguing he couldn’t lose his home because he suffered from bipolar disorder. This was after an another argument he’d made, that he needed more time due to a trip he was planning, had fallen flat. The judge had asked Jason if he had his plane tickets already and Jason admitted he didn’t.

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