Developers Plan to Raze Grove Press Building for Luxury Condos – Commercial Watcher
Developer based in India bSafal filed plans to develop 66 University Square in a luxury condominium, despite the residents’ refusal to declare the site a historic monument, Crain’s New York company reported.
The development decision was made on Tuesday, after bSafal filed plans with the Department of Buildings to build a 28-unit, 11-storey complex. The building will be 125 feet tall and total 66,000 square feet.
The company developed the building with the help of Argo Real Estate, which bought the site in 2019 for $ 30 million. At the time, the top three floors were abandoned, and the building was virtually inactive.
âFor the past 20 to 30 years, they were used by an audio institute that went bankrupt, and it was just an abandoned building. Ameesh Agarwal, the president of bSafal, declared Crain’s New York.
By taking over the abandoned building, Agarwal and the designer Richard nemeth promised to keep the style of the neighborhood architecture. Rather than building a skyscraper at odds with surrounding properties, Nemeth plans to renovate the old Bosquet Press house in something synchronous with Greenwich Village, developer said Crain’s.
Yet despite such assurances, a group of neighborhood activists Greenwich Village society for historical preservation launched a campaign to fight against development. The organization declared the district a historic district and a landmark of literary and civil milestones, highlighting the rich history of Grove Press.
Indeed, the prolific publisher has had a remarkable past, advancing in the fight against censorship and successfully inciting the courts to reverse commands on bans on censored authors like Henry Miller in his heyday.
While the publishing house won a neighborhood battle, the preservation of the village lost its own, failing to convince the city to mark the building.
Back in 2018, the Commission for the preservation of monuments assessed the area and later declared seven buildings as monuments, but not 66 University Place.
“In our careful assessment of 64-66 University Place, LPC staff did not find this 1958 building worth considering as an individual landmark,” a spokesperson for Landmarks said in a statement. . “And in our in-depth study of the large village preservation area that the agency asked to assess south of Union Square, we did not find it to reach the level of a historic district due to the variety of dates, styles, types and range of buildings, levels of integrity (integrity) and quality.
This decision resulted in frustration with current and past zoning laws.
âMore than five years ago, we asked the by Blasio the administration to change the zoning of this area to include affordable housing provisions for the new residential development â, Andre Berman, executive director of the Preservation of the Village, told Commercial Observer in an email. ” They refused. We also asked them to consider the designation of historic district for the region so that the many buildings of historical significance in this district linked to the political, social and artistic history of our city and our country are preserved. They also refused.
He added that BSafal’s new condominium will likely serve as investment property, or second or third homes for wealthy owners – “perfectly encapsulated[ing] the disappointment that were this mayor and this administration.
Anna Staropoli can be contacted at [email protected].