Volume 75, Number 23 | Oct. 26 - Nov. 01, 2005

Villager photo by Elisabeth Robert

Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff speaking at the G.V.C.C.C. breakfast last week.

Doctoroff: City must balance ‘stability and energy’

By Albert Amateau

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff boasted to a Greenwich Village Chelsea Chamber of Commerce gathering last week about the Bloomberg administration’s economic achievements so far and the administration’s goals for the next four years.

Saving the High Line — the derelict elevated railroad that stretches between Gansevoort and 33rd Streets above the west side of 10th Avenue — as part of the rezoning of West Chelsea, was an important initiative of the Bloomberg administration, Doctoroff told the G.V.C.C.C. Oct. 27 breakfast meeting.

“We saw an opportunity to do something special with it as part of the rezoning,” said Doctoroff, referring to the plan to convert the viaduct into an elevated park and integrate it into a neighborhood rezoned for housing and for the protection of the art gallery uses that over the past 15 years have proliferated in a declining warehouse district.

Doctoroff estimated that the West Chelsea plan would encourage the creation of 5,000 apartments, of which more than 25 percent would be permanently affordable under the city’s inclusionary zoning program.

He cited the new Far West Village downzoning, approved Sept. 26, and the pending two new historic district designations for the neighborhood as an example that the administration recognizes that some places need limits to potential growth. The city is committed to striking “a balance between stability and energy,” Doctoroff said. Nevertheless, he said the city still supports the extension of the No. 7 subway line across to 10th Avenue and down to the Javits Convention Center.

The redevelopment of Governors Island and a more active role for the city in the World Trade Center redevelopment were also among the points that Doctoroff made at the meeting.

He said later that the city-state Governors Island Preservation and Education Corporation would issue a request for proposals from developers in February. Doctoroff, a former investment banker, also recalled that Mayor Bloomberg has said that Larry Silverstein, owner of the World Trade Center site, should not have the final word on what gets built at the Trade Center site.

“There are times when private ownership has to defer to the needs of the community,” he said, referring to the Ground Zero site. The city wants to see the site redeveloped soon, with mixed uses on Greenwich Street. “We should get those buildings up now,” he said.

The deputy mayor said his efforts, which failed this summer to secure the 2012 Summer Olympics for New York City, were driven by the fact that the city is facing global competition for its economic leadership. “We’re at a critical juncture and we have to plan for the next 50 to 100 years,” he said.

The chamber breakfast was at P.J. Charlton, a restaurant at Greenwich and Charlton Streets owned by Phil Morquinho, a member of the chamber and of Community Board 2.

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