Christine Quinn Secretly Uncomfortable With Chelsea Market Expansion
Daniel Edward Rosen March 12, 2012, 10:54 a.m.
As Jamestown Properties continues to lobby its altered plans to add office and hotel space to the Chelsea Market, Council Speaker Christine Quinn is secretly reluctant to give her backing to the embattled plan.
But the developer appears ready to make concessions to its proposal, including scrapping its plans for the 90,000 square foot boutique hotel and building additional office space in its stead, Crain’s New York Business reports. That still may not be enough for Ms. Quinn to stand up against a fierce community opposition to the proposal.
“Chris has taken the temperature of the community on this,” one insider told Crain’s New York Business. “There’s not enough in it for her to simply go against them.”
Jamestown Properties’ plans to build additions to Chelsea Market that will add 240,000 square feet of Class A office space on the 10th Avenue side of the market while adding the hotel has faced prickly opposition from Community Board 4 and local community groups.
One such criticism is that Jamestown Properties stands to benefit more from the development than those who live in the nabe would. Should the deal go through, Jamestown Properties would give $17 million to the High Line for improvements and, in exchange, the developer would receive a special zoning variance allowing it to build the eight-story glass office tower.
Critics of the proposal say the developer could offer other concessions to the neighborhood, like donating money for affordable housing and other parks in the Chelsea area.
Save Chelsea, perhaps the most vocal opponent of the Chelsea Market expansion plan, along with Chelsea Now and The Villager have all urged Ms. Quinn and Mayor Mike Bloomberg to put the kibosh on the proposal.