In the News: Original Architect Objects to the Water Street Arcade Plan

Water Street arcades••• “In the second [City] Council hearing on the Downtown Alliance’s increasingly controversial plan to rezone Water St. so building owners can fill in their public arcades with profitable retail, opponents found an ally in one of the architects who actually designed many of the covered walkways decades ago. Richard Roth Jr., who as a principal at Emery Roth & Sons designed 10 of the buildings that are set to be rezoned, added his objections to the proposal to privatize the public spaces during a hearing by the Council’s Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises on May 17. […] ‘I think this proposal is a giveaway—the buildings get extra space and the community gets nothing for it,’ Roth told Downtown Express by phone after the hearing. ‘It’s just wrong.'” […] The proposal will now come back for discussion at least twice more, to be considered by the Land Use Committee and then the full City Council, which has to vote on it by mid-June.”

••• Architect Maya Lin persuaded the Community Board 1 Landmarks Committee that her revised design for the mansion at 11 Hubert belonged in the neighborhood; next up, the Landmarks Preservation Commission on June 21. “Its floor plans call for 11 bathrooms, five bedrooms (including two guest rooms), a dog room, separate prep and catering kitchens, wine closet and two bars, screening room, his-and-her studies, fully landscaped courtyard, 5,000-square-foot sports and fitness center in the basement, and a garage.” Why on earth would anyone need 11 bathrooms? —Tribeca Trib

••• Two longtime tenants at the North Cove Marina are unhappy with the change in management: “Docking at North Cove now costs them twice as much as before the handover, forcing both of them to shave two months off their sailing season, during which they offer locals and tourists cruises up and down the Hudson and out into the bay. And since the boat owners can only broker leases in yearly increments, there’s nothing to prevent Brookfield and the BPCA from charging even higher fees in the coming years.” —Downtown Express

••• An update on 45 and 51 Park Place in the New York Post: “The developer of the failed Ground Zero Mosque has nailed down ‘Sharia-compliant financing’ for a new, luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum on the same site, he and his banking partners said Wednesday. The $174 million dollar project features a three-story Islamic cultural museum at 51 Park Place and 48 high-end residential condos in a 43-story tower at 45 Park Place [….] The ‘Sharia-compliant’ financing means the deal complies with complex Islamic laws that govern lending and borrowing, including a prohibition against accepting interest or fees for loans.” The project “will include a 2,821 square-foot public plaza, green space and a retail shop.”

••• “Police arrested more than a dozen ticket sellers in what officials said was a crackdown on vendors who prey on tourists by offering fake tickets to the Statue of Liberty. The vendors, some on parole for serious crimes, told tourists they were getting tickets to boats that stopped at the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, though the tickets were actually for ferries that circled New York Harbor without stopping, the police said.” —New York Times

••• FiDi residents are hopeful that the sidewalk shed might finally come down off 45 John—and solve the homeless problem there. Quote of the week comes from resident Andrea Kanter: “They’re putting out signs that read, ‘Want to see two bums f—? $20,’ and ‘Want to see a bum eat s—? $20.’ I’m a businesswoman. I’m all for entrepreneurial behavior, but let’s do it in good taste.” —Downtown Express

••• “Madison Equities and Pizzarotti Group filed a new building application yesterday to construct a 1,115-foot supertall skyscraper at 45 Broad Street in the heart of the Financial District. When finished, reportedly in 2018 (good luck with that), the tower will be the second tallest building in lower Manhattan after 1 WTC, and the sixth tallest in the city.” —6sqft



  1. I would have thought the original architect of those atrocities down on Water Street would be hiding from publicity, living under an assumed name, etc. – not broadcasting the fact of his identity.

    • i see how you would think that but my experience is that these things get built because the developer always gets their way. i give the architect credit for sticking his neck out by opposing this ridiculous giveaway.