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Volume 73, Number 27 | November 05 - 11, 2003

Shape of things to come on Astor

Photo courtesy “Around Washington Square,” by Luther Harris
On Saturday, the cars in the open-air parking lot at Astor Pl., between Lafayette St. and Fourth Ave., had vanished. In their place was yellow “caution” tape ringing the lot, in preparation for Related Companies’ construction of a 21-story luxury condominium apartment building, designed by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. Cooper Union, which owns the land, has leased it to Related for 100 years.

Anna Sawaryn, of the Coalition to Save the East Village, said she happens to pass the spot every day and noticed the yellow tape up Saturday. Last year the Coalition filed a lawsuit, charging that Cooper Union illegally segmented the parking-lot site out of its large-scale development plans, but the lawsuit failed. “It will be twice as high as [Cooper Union’s] Foundation Building,” Sawaryn said of the new building.

Sawaryn noted that pedestrians had ripped down the yellow tape in sections. “People are still cutting through [the parking lot],” she said. “I think that’s what people will miss the most.”

David Wine, vice president of Related Residential Development, said, “We will be constructing a fence around the site in the next few days, preparing to start construction. The development has not changed from the one that went through the [approval] process earlier in the year.”


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