CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (October 2014)

I was pleased to meet Ann W. Schmidt, who’s studying journalism at NYU, to talk about Tribeca for a class for a class that she’s taking. And I was thrilled when she agreed to attend the CB1 Tribeca meeting in my stead. Here are her unofficial minutes. Thanks again, Ann!

Once again, Signe Nielsen presented the plans for the Bogardus Plaza, and this time the Friends of Bogardus brought a resolution to the committee. In the presentation, a slide addressed all of the problems that people mentioned at the last meeting, which included “property owner sidewalk liability,” “maintenance and operation of plaza,” and “aesthetics of the plaza,” which Nielsen, members of the Friends of Bogardus, and representatives of DOT explained. Signe also specifically addressed the issue of lighting and said that by using the same wattage in a different structure, there would be more lights in the plaza. The lights will be shorter and have covers on them, preventing light from disturbing the residents above. The members of the Friends of Bogardus also promised the community that they would decrease the number of events held in the plaza. Other additions to the plaza include: a historic clock that was donated and will be placed on the south end of the plaza, a recast plaque explaining the history of the garden, and lower fences than the current ones, which will be painted black. Vote: 9-1

The applicants for Gunbae returned to the committee meeting with plans of having only four karaoke rooms instead of seven and a consultant from Cerami, a company that assists with acoustical, audiovisual, and technology design. Tom Kaytt, the Cerami consultant, told the committee more specifically how the building would be designed so that neighbors wouldn’t hear the noise. There were still many questions on how, and since few to none of the renovations described have actually been done, the committee and neighbors were concerned. The applicant also did not bring an updated application or floor plan, which the committee had asked for. The committee voted on the stipulation that a revised and accurate application and floor plan be submitted to the committee before the full CB1 meeting on Oct 28. Vote: 6-2, with one recusal.

Three affiliates of Grazin’ Angus Acres and the Grazin’ diner explained their vision as a farm-to-table restaurant to the committee. It seems like this diner will be pretty much the same as their restaurant in Hudson. When the committee asked when they planned on closing times, Dan Gibson, the owner of Grazin’ Angus Acres, said the standard was fine and accepted the 12 a.m. and 1 a.m. closing times. He also said opening the diner isn’t about the liquor, it’s about the quality of the food they serve. Vote: 9-0

No changes. Vote: 9-0

Despite the fact that this item was marked on the online agenda as liquor licensing for 349 Greenwich, the discussion was on a sidewalk café at 329 Greenwich, which is Telepan Local. The café would include seven tables and eleven seats. The only concern from the committee was that there wasn’t enough room for waiters to serve customers with only a three-foot walkway that was partially taken up by a stair. Vote: 9-0

The applicant for the newsstand at the Southeast corner of Canal and Watts was in for controversy, despite the low amount of foot-traffic. Residents of 475 Greenwich, the only residential building in that area, raised concerns of congestion, liability, and traffic accidents to the committee that would become worse if the newsstand were to be approved. The building owner also complained that the property value would be decreased and would affect the businesses involved in the LED lab that is on the ground floor of the building. One of the committee members, who also lives at 475 Greenwich, drafted a resolution to oppose the newsstand, which had 4 votes in favor, 2 votes opposed, and 1 abstention.


1 Comment

  1. Ann missed the gem of the meeting (and a potential blockbuster expose that could make her reputation): one of the issues regarding the renovation of Bogardus is the ability of the residents of 1 Hudson to be able to load/unload vehicles nearby. When the stretch was originally “plaza”-d, the DOT put up “No Placard Parking” signs along Reade Street between W. Broadway and Hudson so that DOB wouldn’t use it as their permanent parking lot as they use so much of the rest of this part of Tribeca. The signs have been removed and the 1 Hudson residents asked the Committee to require the City to put them back. When the Committee members asked the DOT rep why they were removed and to replace them, the answer was the problem has to be studied because as part of the program to declutter traffic signs the DOT has discontinued the “No Placard Parking” designation city-wide.