More affordable housing, and no stadium linkge
The Hudson Yards rezoning approved by the City Councils Land-Use Committee on Monday represents definite improvements in its provisions for affordable housing and, significantly, severs links between the West Sides redevelopment and the contentious, proposed West Side stadium that would be future home to the football Jets and potentially the 2012 Olympics.
The rezoning encourages creation of 3,500 affordable apartments. This represents an increase from 16 percent of the estimated 13,600 apartments that would be created to likely closer to 25 percent of the total. With programs for creating affordable housing becoming increasingly scarce, insuring the opportunity to build so many new units is truly laudable.
The other major change in the rezoning as approved by the Council committee is that it breaks all connections between the West Sides redevelopment and the stadium. Critics of the stadium plan charge that the West Sides redevelopment, as well as the Javits Convention Center expansion, are being used to piggyback the stadium project, the building of which they say is the Bloomberg administrations true goal. However, the Council committees action insures that revenues generated from the Hudson Yards redevelopment wont be funneled to the stadium project an an extended No. 7 subway line wont even be permitted to have an exit to the stadium.
The Council committees modifications follow the work of local Democrats in the State Assembly, notably Speaker Sheldon Silver, to insure that funding for the Javits expansion isnt fungible to the stadium project.
In short, opponents of the stadium are sending a clear message to Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff that their trophy the stadium is not what they want, and that they will use all means to block it from being built.
We agree. The Hudson Yards rezoning should not be used to assist the stadium project in any way or to hide the fact that the stadium is the administrations real objective.
Field of Dreams
Tobi Bergman told The Villager on Tuesday that he had stepped down as president of Pier Park and Playground Association, or P3. He e-mailed a few sentences, modestly suggested to note it in Scoopys Notebook. Dont make a big deal out of it, he said. However, Bergman deserves tremendous praise for all his work over the past decade fighting to get new sports fields for Greenwich Villages youth. The Village, like most of Downtown, is seriously deprived in terms of park space, much less sports fields.
Basically, Bergman has been a man on a mission. During the Pier 40 redevelopment process last year, he even flew to France and Los Angeles to work on designs with the development groups architects. Although no developer was ultimately picked to overhaul the 14-acre W. Houston St. pier, a gigantic new sports field is about to open in its courtyard. Thanks to Bergman and those he worked with, generations of Village kids will now have more places to play ball and enjoy sports.