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Council Member Defends ‘Tech Hub’ Vote in Wake of Heated Criticism

Rendering of the Union Square Tech Hub at 120 East 14th Street. (Courtesy of the Mayor’s Office).

As you may have heard, the city’s proposed (and controversial) $250 million, 21-story retail and tech center off of Union Square moved forward last week. Council Member Carlina Rivera was key to the City Council’s unanimous vote, as her district will be most severely impacted by the so-called “Tech Hub.” During last year’s election, Rivera had even campaigned in part on the tech center, proposed for the site of the former PC Richard & Son at 120 East 14th Street. In a previous hearing on it, Rivera had said that without additional zoning protections south of 14th Street for local tenants and assurances that the building would indeed serve low-income earners, immigrants and residents of color—including tuition scholarships for tech training—that her vote was “seriously in question.”

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Community Urges City Council to Reconsider Houston Street Upzoning

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

(Photo: Luisa Rollenhagen)

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.

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Despite Hail Mary Toss, There’ll Be No Digging For Bodies at Doomed Church

Nice one, guys. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Nice one, guys. (Photo: Daniel Maurer)

Scaffolding has gone up in front of Mary Help of Christians Church and demolition work has commenced at the rectory next door, but hey… at least the contractor’s logo is in keeping with the spirit of the place?

The small group of ex-parishioners who still pray the rosary in front of the 96-year-old church on East 12th Street are really going to have to hope for a miracle now: Bedford + Bowery has discovered that a few days ago, the Landmarks Preservation Commission rejected calls for an archaeological study to be conducted, making it all the more likely that Doug Steiner, who bought the property for $41 million back in November, will demolish it and replace it with an 80/20 mix of market-rate and affordable housing.
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