CB1 Tribeca Committee: The Unofficial Minutes (April 2016)

The new Chipotle on Broadway between Canal and Walker aspires to serve margaritas till 10 p.m. seven days a week. The committee was concerned that the plastic cups might inspire patrons to take their drinks to go, but it got over it. Of note: The Chipotle rep said what I always assumed: “The amount of margaritas we sell is almost nothing.” Vote: 4-0.

Same as last year: JCP wants to construct a sukkah on Duane (between Church and W. Broadway). I’m pretty sure the rep said it’s from Oct. 14 to 21, but the agenda says Oct. 14-16. Vote: 4-0.

Same as last year: Chabad of Tribeca is throwing a block party on Reade (between Church and Broadway) on Sunday, Sept. 18. The party is 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., with a few hours of set-up and breakdown before and after. Vote: 4-0.

Same as last year: The Church Street School for Music and Art is throwing a block party on Warren (between W. Broadway and Greenwich) on Sunday, May 22. Vote: 3-0 (with one recusal).

City zoning allows developers a certain number of parking spaces, and they understandably often want more. The limestone fortress under construction at 70 Vestry (12 stories; 47 units; along West Street between Desbrosses and Vestry) is allowed nine spaces, but the developer, Related Companies, would like 33 more for a total of 42—all of which would be for residents only. One issue is that the creation of 70 Vestry itself entailed the destruction of three publicly accessible parking garages, and the City Planning Commission—which is seeking CB1’s advice on the matter—takes into consideration the general situation for parking in the area. It aims for a 20% ratio of parking to residents in a one-third-mile radius from a project under consideration; in the past 10 years, there has been a 24% decrease. (Parking lots and garages are going the way of the dodo, if you haven’t noticed, and no politician dares to clean up the placards-for-city-employees mess.) The second issue is that the value of those spaces is probably around $30 million, and members of the committee did indeed wonder what the neighborhood—which 70 Vestry benefits from being in—is getting for it. (Nothing.) At one point, the consultant for CB1 appeared to be pushing the committee to accept a resolution he had drafted in support of the increase; when committee members dug in about some sort of compensation, however, he said that they could instead add a line recommending that the applicants consider a community benefit. (Anything more of a quid pro quo would be a problem.) It was exceedingly rich, by the way, when Related’s lawyer said that the company has always been a “friend to the community”; that will be news, if they can hear it, to the people who live near the noise pollution happening right now at Tribeca Tower’s illegal boiler vent, which renders a publicly accessible plaza unusable and destroys quality of life for residents.

Also worth noting: the traffic pattern for the building. Cars will enter off of Desbrosses; the building’s main entrance will be inside the courtyard; cars will then exit onto Vestry. (The garage is one of those automated ones.) It’s a very considerate plan for residents, because the cars won’t pass by their windows. UPDATE 4/15: I walked by the model last night; the driveway is a porte cochère entering into a courtyard, as you can see below.

70 Vestry70 Vestry model70 Vestry model2UPDATE: THE FLEA
The new building on Thomas (below) is “61% done,” with the first production in the new space set for April of 2017. Also, the organization wants local community groups to use its indoor/outdoor spaces in mornings. Contact carolo@theflea.org.

The five-year Worth Street Reconstruction plan, which was delayed after the crane accident a couple of months ago, will now start May 2. Residents along the western stretch of Worth had requested a reprieve, since there was other recent construction there (and then of course there was the accident), so work will kick off on the two blocks between Church and Lafayette. That segment should take 18 months; first they’ll do the south side, then the north (or vice versa), so those two blocks of Worth will go one-way for a while. It’s not clear whether the construction will then proceed eastward or head back west to the blocks between Hudson and Church. Either way, the work includes all intersections (at Church, Broadway, etc.), so you can expect traffic to be royally messed up—and honky—for a long time. The final slide below includes contact info for the project’s community liaison, Liz Baptiste. Call or email her to get periodic updates via email.

Worth Street Reconstruction slide1 at CB1 April2016 Worth Street Reconstruction slide2 at CB1 April2016 Worth Street Reconstruction slide3 at CB1 April2016 Worth Street Reconstruction slide4 at CB1 April2016LIQUOR-LICENSE APPLICATION: BUDDHA BAR (62 THOMAS)
Recapped here.

Since we had hit the 2.5-hour mark, and my pug was at home with barely controllable diarrhea (what, you didn’t ask?), I left before this and the following items were discussed. I can’t imagine Wichcraft had any opposition for this spot.

“We reached a very tentative agreement but we have to appear in front of the full community board in two weeks,” reports Two Hands co-owner Giles Russell. I imagined they faced resistance because that part of Church is before Sixth Ave. splits off, and there’s no other existing outdoor café along the stretch.

The application is for Beach (between Collister and Greenwich)—a strange spot, no? especially on a weekday, when tunnel traffic dumps out onto Beach?—on Wednesday, Oct. 5. I’ve emailed Transportation Alternatives to see if it’ll share the details.

The Five Boro Bike Tour is Sunday, May 1, and according to the website, “the start line is at Franklin St. and Church St., with entrance points for each of the four start waves running south along Church to Battery Park.” So the question is which side streets around Church are also closed that morning. I’ve reached out to organizer Bike New York for the details. UPDATE 4/15: Here’s what they said; it’s not tremendously helpful (which side streets?)

Due to street closures, traffic flow will be impacted. 32,000 cyclists will ride through the following streets, which will be closed to vehicular traffic, between the hours of 4:30 AM and 11:00 AM:

The Start formation, at Church Street and Franklin Street, will begin at 4:30 AM and clear by 10:30 AM. Riders will line up on the following streets during this time.

—Church Street and Trinity Place between Battery Place and Canal Street
—Washington St between Morris St and Battery Place

The Tour will travel north from Franklin Street starting at 7:30 AM and the following streets in Lower Manhattan will be closed between the hours of 6:30 AM and 11:00 AM.

—Avenue of the Americas (6th Ave) Between Franklin St and Central Park South.

Please Note: Streets immediately adjacent to the TD Five Boro Bike Tour starting area and route may be closed, and crossings of the Tour route will be limited and subject to delays.

CB1 allows a certain numbers of street fairs to fundraise for its own activities. This one is on Warren (between Broadway and Church) on Thursday, July 14. And I am wholly opposed to it for selfish reasons.



  1. When you speak to Bike NY, can you ask if they are going to minimize unnecessary noise early in the morning, unlike last year? Thanks

    • Unnecessary noise last year included constant chatter over bullhorns, as well as loud, amplified music.

      It would also be nice if they do a better job removing their cardboard and other debris from the vicinity of Church Street this year than they did last year.

  2. It’s not just bullhorns. It’s those absurd speakers set up every few feet along Church St with inane chatter like “Here come 3 riders from Minnesota.” No one cares. Start the race, then shut up! People live here. Many of us work late, even on weekends. And please, don’t play the National Anthem at the start of each leg! If they must play it at stupid-thirty in the morning, do it once. And since the roads are opened only for the bikes, stop riding on the sidewalk. (Can you tell this bike ride frustrates me every year? Ok. Rant over.)