Friday, August 15, 2008

How DCP works

Since some people still claim the EV is being downzoned, here's a telling story about DCP:

DCP's original plan allowed 120 feet on Houston, Delancey, D. Some of us in the neighborhood objected that too much upscale money would spill into the neighborhood from so much market-rate development running through it.

So the CB asked the 120 feet be reduced to 100 feet (it's in CB3's "11 points" proposal to DCP). In return, CB3 offered 150 feet on Chrystie.


DCP promptly added the 150 feet on Chrystie (145 ft to fit their designations) but rejected the reduction on Houston, Delancey and D.

I asked DCP why. "We liked the Chrystie Street idea."
What about the reduction? "We don't like to do that at DCP."

They fleeced the CB, who should probably have known better than offer negotiating chips to the house.

This is characteristic of the entire rezoning. DCP turns community will to its own intentions. The only downzonings in this plan are the three blocks south of Tompkins Square, which Michael Rosen asked for, and the C6-1 area south of Houston. Everything else is upzoned.

Of course, we are losing the community facility bonus which allowed huge towers in the residential East Village. That's a downzoning, no?

Not quite. If there were money in community facilities, don't you think you'd be seeing them sprouting up all over the EV the way hotels are sprouting up all over the C6-1 zones on 3rd Avenue, the Bowery and around Orchard and Lodlow? If there were big bucks in a colossally huge 6.5 FAR community facility don't you think some Ratner or Scarano or Extell would have made an irresistible offer to the Archdiocese and the nuns at Mary Help of Christians, a huge lot with immense development potential, as time runs out on current zoning? I wouldn't be surprised if the Archdiocese is waiting for the rezoning to sell Mary Help of Christians. They'll be able to offer a full 4 FAR without having to include doctors' offices.

All the threatened dormitories in the EV have been intended for rental or condo conversion. Don't forget that Singer wanted to convert his phony dorm into condos or rentals. Same with the NY Law dorm. The only genuine community facility threat in the neighborhood, astutely pointed out by Aaron Sosnick, was at St. Brigid's. That was the Archdiocese intending church-type work more economically viable than sustaining a small parish; it was not the big cash-in on residential speculation that Mary Help of Christians will probably be.

The community facility bonus is bad, no question about it, but it is obviously not as dangerous as has been advertised. You can tell that by just looking. But everyone is so wrapped in their political biases or their personal reputations that they don't look or they can't see.

The EV is twice as large as the hotel area where 10 hotels have risen in the last five years. In the EV, twice the size, yet only one real community facility threat and one phony threat.

Current zoning is far, far from perfect -- there are real threats to the neighborhood here -- but the rezoning is 53.9% worse.

What part of "53.9% more development" is unclear?

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