Keeping an eye on East Side

BY SARA ROMANOSKI  |  The East Village Community Coalition is a community, nonprofit organization that works to support and sustain the architectural and cultural character of the East Village.

COMMUNITY

E.V.C.C. traces its roots to the struggle over the former P.S. 64 / CHARAS building, at E. Ninth St. and Avenue B. E.V.C.C. along with other community groups, Community Board 3 and elected officials advocated for landmark designation for this building and its return as a community resource. The former school was designated a New York City landmark in 2006, but continues to sit unused.

Our community has many needs that this building could help serve. We have serious

concerns that a recent Department of Buildings filing applying to convert the building into a dormitory shows no sensitivity to these needs.

Last summer we testified in opposition to a proposal from Icon Realty to add a floor to each of four buildings at 329-335 E. Ninth St. While the proposal was unfortunately approved, we will continue to monitor development at these sites by a new owner, Kushner Companies.

Our raising an alarm led to a partial stop-work order at the former Cabrini Center Nursing Home building, when we were able to bring a neighbor’s images of precarious working conditions and the groundwork for what appeared to be an undisclosed seventh floor to the city’s attention.

In the past year, E.V.C.C. worked with neighbors and preservation groups in successfully advocating for two new New York City historic districts: the E. 10th St. Historic

District on the north side of Tompkins Square Park and the East Village / Lower East Side Historic District, located along the southern portion of Second Ave. and eastward to Tompkins Square Park on Sixth and Seventh Sts. The districts are a great complement to a 2008 contextual rezoning of much of the East Village and Lower Side, for which the E.V.C.C. was an early advocate.

Through our Get Local! shopping initiative, E.V.C.C. emphasizes the importance of local shopping in sustaining the local economy, creating a creative and unique environment, and keeping more money within our community. Our annual Get Local! Guide is a free resource to help businesses and shoppers support more than 400 independently operated retail stores. Copies of the sixth edition are can be downloaded at our Web site:

www.evccnyc.org and found at participating businesses.

E.V.C.C. is advocating for “formula retail zoning” that would require that stores be unique, and prohibit chain retailers from opening stores that follow the exact same formula as their other locations.

Volunteer with us! Whether you’re an expert or you want to meet your neighbors, join us in building community. Visit www.evccnyc.org or call 212-979-2344.

 

Romanoski is managing director, East Village Community Coalition

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