East Houston street is currently a hotbed of development, as any casual stroll down the street will reveal. Endless scaffolding, boarded-up properties, fences, and signs announcing new things to come line the sidewalks of lots previously occupied by local shops, community facilities, and residential buildings. Although a 2008 rezoning was implemented, ostensibly to preserve the existing buildings and the affordable housing that many of them contained, developers who bought up a sliver of land at 255 East Houston Street may get a special rezoning through of their own.
Albert Trummer of Apothéke has finally opened his new bar on Avenue C, having dropped the rather hilarious working title of Mixers & Elixirs in favor of Sanatorium, a name that’s true to both the bar’s Habsburgian decor (surgeon’s lamps, anatomy-driven artwork, even an X-Ray lightbox) and its Dionysian philosophy on wellness.
Last night council members Margaret Chin and Rosie Mendez visited Community Board 3 to face the music and explain their votes on the mayor’s affordable housing and rezoning plan, which was approved by the City Council in March. The plan will allow developers to build higher in rezoned neighborhoods, but require them to include at least 25 percent affordable housing in all new buildings.
Embattled developer Samy Mahfar wants the city to rezone a stretch of East Houston Street so that a restaurant can open inside of a building he plans to put up there. The problem: a daycare was previously at the address, and members of Community Board 3 think the booze-soaked Lower East Side could use another doctor’s office instead of more liquor. That became readily apparent at a meeting of the board’s zoning committee Wednesday night.
Mahfar plans to erect a 13-story building at 255 East Houston Street, which is part of a 2008 zoning that prohibits commercial uses in the area. He’s requesting a rezoning that would map a commercial overlay in what’s currently a residential district, along two and a half blocks on the south side of East Houston Street between Norfolk Street and the midblock between Clinton Street and Attorney Street. That would make the proposed 13-story building at 255 East Houston Street mixed use.
The abundance of bars and nightclubs on the Lower East Side and the East Village is a perpetual source of grousing at Community Board 3 meetings. Sure, we all love a good neighborhood spot, but it’s not so cool to wake up to puke on your doorstep– or to watch your favorite taco joint go under as soon as the landlord realizes he can make big bucks with a cocktail bar instead.
The city’s move to activate the abandoned trolley terminal under Delancey got off to a rocky start last month. The space has long been discussed as the ideal location for the Lowline‘s subterranean park and some felt the city was moving full steam ahead, without involving the community enough (an ongoing issue for the project).