From the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Save Chelsea, Chelsea Council of Block Associations, The Chelsea-Village Partnership, and the Chelsea Reform Democratic Club:
The new owners of Chelsea Market are seeking a zoning change to allow them to build a very large office building atop the 10th Avenue end of the complex, and a very large hotel on the 9th Avenue end. Currently they cannot build more upon this already very densely-developed site, and this will only happen if they convince the Borough President, the City Planning Commission, and the City Council to change the zoning regulations for their block to allow them to build (for images of the proposed additions to Chelsea Market, see here.
The Chelsea Market complex, built in stages from the late 19th through the early 20th centuries as a factory for Nabisco, is a stunningly successful example of adaptive re-use, which respected the history of these buildings while giving them new life. This new plan would undo that respectful relationship, as these huge new additions would literally loom over the historic buildings as well as the nearby High Line park.
Additionally, the surrounding West Chelsea and Meatpacking District neighborhoods have developed tremendously in recent years; in the case of West Chelsea, this is because the City upzoned the neighborhood in 2005 to encourage the tremendous amount of development seen around there now. This part of Chelsea and the Meatpacking District do NOT need a further upzoning that would add traffic and shadows, ruin a historic complex, and further tip the balance of this neighborhood towards commercialization and overly-dense, large-scale development.
I am strongly opposed to the plan to rezone Chelsea Market in order to allow the addition of hundreds of thousands of additional square feet of space, including two large new towers at the 9th and 10th Avenue ends of the complex. I strongly urge you to oppose this plan as well.
Chelsea Market is an historic and iconic complex, listed on the NY State and National Registers of Historic Places. The proposed rezoning would allow the complex to be entirely disfigured, and ruin its integrity. As it stands now, Chelsea Market is not only an incredibly vital economic engine for the West Side, but a well-preserved link to the commercial and industrial past of our city. Please don’t allow this to be ruined.
The revised plans for the proposed towers would not only destroy the historic character and architecture of Chelsea Market, but they would loom over and shadow the High Line park. Additionally, the large increase in commercial square footage would also generate significant extra traffic in the area, which is already struggling with a surge in traffic from other recent development. The Chelsea market complex is quite large and densely built already; the idea that it needs to be larger is simply lacking in credibility.
The Chelsea Market complex is an anchor for this neighborhood, a shining example of respectful adaptive re-use, and a recognized as a landmark of our city. Please do not allow an unnecessary rezoning to ruin this singularly successful model.