You take your pants to the tailor. He tells you he’ll let out an inch. A week later he hands you back a floral moo-moo and tells you that’s what you wanted and he throws you out of the shop. What do you do? Go home with the moo-moo?
This analogy represents a very real and serious issue that’s affecting the entire Far West Village. Developers can get away with murder under the umbrella of ‘alterations’, ‘conversions’, and ‘preservations’ in a way that developers doing brand new buildings cannot. Any new building planned to be built must meet certain criteria in the zoning restrictions. The Far West Village’s various zones contain many rules and regulations.
The site at 150 Charles Street has a FAR (floor-to-area ratio) of 6.02 (which is large). The majority of the 6.02’s requirements were written to improve our quality of life and were designed to allow light and air to reach our narrow streets. These include set-backs from the sidewalks, open space and/or public amenities (i.e. the lovely Washington Commons Park at Washington St between Jane and Horatio). Other stipulations include having a “small footprint” (meaning buildings must not spread out, blocking light and air; they must have a narrow silhouette, etc.). The list goes on, all designed to improve the quality of life in one’s neighborhood.
When developers do ‘alterations’, ‘conversions’ or ‘preservations’, those stipulations can be circumvented. That is exactly what Witkoff has done.
Developer Witkoff took advantage of that loophole and is now building, at 150 Charles Street, the largest light-blocking ton of bricks to hit the Far West Village in nearly 100 years.
How dare Witkoff call this an ‘alteration’?!!!
JOIN OUR FIGHT! IT’S NOT TOO LATE!
Please watch our YouTube video, “The Rape of the West Village.”