Saturday, January 06, 2007

There Goes the Neighborhood

With some amusement we read Scoopy’s recent comments in The Villager. Lincoln Anderson’s gossipy column describes efforts that have been undertaken to reach representatives of the Trump SoHo project. Apparently Doris Diether, Chair of the Zoning Committee and Maria Derr, Chair of the Board, both from Community Board #2 have reportedly tried to reach a Mr. Schwartz of the Bayrock Group because the pile driving at the 45 story Hotel-Condo is “disruptive” and is affecting the Chelsea Vocational School’s students “ability to learn.”

Can’t you just see Trump meeting with Doris and Maria and saying, “for you two, anything.” Stop the construction boys! Move those bones out of there and let’s screw those suckers!

Of course, Trump SoHo, which is not in SoHo, actually could augur instead of pile-drive, but that would cost more money. You understand how that works right, build cheap and sell expensive? If you don’t give a shit about the neighborhood, or even its kids, who cares how you do it. The fact that your brain rattles as each piling is hammered doesn’t affect the Emir in Dubai, who’s financing this, or even Mr. Schwartz who sits in an office a few miles away. Not to mention the Donald, who is contemplating an expansion of his mega-apartment. No, only the residents, the school kids and surrounding commercial tenants have to pay the price for all of these indignities.

Then, we have the fact that Mayor Bloomberg , Speaker of the City Council Christine Quinn, City Planning and Commissioner Lancaster of the Buildings Department are not only rocking on their heels but seem to be whistling the theme song to “The Apprentice” as Downtown gets raped. With the 45 story Trump-Godzilla project underway, there’s not even a word about changing the archaic zoning that has allowed this and several other horrors to be built -- like the 17 story sliver hotel underway on Watts Street.

(The Watts Street hotel, by the way, is the site of perpetual monumental traffic jam. Activists could not even get D.O.T. to re-route the commuter buses to alleviate the melee. Now, in the infinite wisdom of Commissioner Lancaster and Mayor Bloomberg, we have a hotel on the same block to make things cozier.)

And, if the Chelsea Vocational school kids can’t learn, imagine the reporters at The Villager trying to think straight in their condo office right next door at 145 Avenue of the Americas through all of this pounding. They’re closer to it than the kids. And, they can’t even directly complain. I would imagine that the Condo Board manager Peter Moore’s decision to sell the building’s air rights to Trump (for an undisclosed sum) doesn’t seem like the best idea right now. Hold on to your typewriter Lincoln.

If you think Trump SoHo will destroy Hudson Square, wait until you hear this.

The Department of Sanitation is planning to construct three new garages in the Spring and Washington Streets area. The first will be a 427,000 square foot building located on a lot that is currently owned and used by UPS. This one is slated for recycling trucks, snow plows and salt spreaders and would be roughly 15 stories high. The Trump SoHo people would be able to admire it from their own 45 story monster.
The second building would be constructed to accommodate about 7000 tons of salt and calcium chloride used to melt snow.

And, then, the piece de résistance folks, is . . . ta da . . . (drum roll)

A new storage building to house more than 20,000 gallons of diesel oil, gasoline, ethanol, motor oil and waste oil. Yes, folks, a veritable bomb in the making! Now, doesn’t that just warm your heart?
Here we have, not two blocks away from Trump Godzilla, right smack dab in the middle of yuppie-gentrification-central –- Hudson Square: over 20,000 gallons of fuel and oil sitting in our midst.
Osama, where are you? Timothy, can you still hear us?

You might want to put in an appearance at the public meeting to put in your two cents.
Who knows, you might even meet the star of 'The Apprentice' (it doesn’t seem like this would be good for selling “Residential Condos”, oops, we mean “Condo hotel rooms” –- there’s no long term living there, it’s a hotel is it not?)
More than twenty-thousand gallons of fuel only a couple of blocks away, hmm. Oh, and that’s not to mention all of those new multi-million dollar condos that have just sprung up in the ‘hood.

The Friends of Hudson Square (currently discussing this issue with an environmental law attorney) is hosting a Public Scoping Meeting- they would love a big turn out.

Public Scoping Meeting Wednesday January 31, 2007
Kimmel Hall, New York University, 60 Washington Square South,
Rosenthal Pavilion, Tenth Floor, New York, NY, 7:30 to 9:30 pm.
Contact David Reck, President of Friends of Hudson Square for further information:

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