Shortly after the City Council approved developer Jamestown Property‘s 300,000-square-foot expansion of the gourmet destination Chelsea Market last September, council speaker Christine Quinn ensured that 75 percent of the current ground floor retail space would stay devoted to food vendors.
Locals are wary. The council’s Land Use Committee almost simultaneously signed a legal agreement with vaguer specifications, DNAInfo reports today. That document protected just 60 percent of ground floor space as retail-oriented, with no reference to the allotment for food shops. In a letter to Ms. Quinn’s office, members of the Council of Chelsea Block Associations, Save Chelsea and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation wrote:
“If Jamestown or a successor decided to close down 40 percent of the concourse to retail use and fill the remaining 60 percent with chain clothing stores or other non-food related retail uses, there would be no recourse to prevent them from doing so, and no rescission of the lucrative upzoning granted to them.”