1. Preserve the character on the east side of the Bowery.
The Bowery has a rich, diverse, unique history and has always had an important role in the City of New York. Its history should be respected and preserved. The Bowery is surrounded by a convergence of low-rise, low-density communities that are protected by zoning.
The City has recognized the historic significance of the Bowery by protecting the west side of the Bowery in the Special Little Italy District and the NoHo Historic District. The East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning protects the area just east of the Bowery. However, the east side of the Bowery, itself, has been left out of all these rezonings.
The east side of the Bowery should be rezoned to ensure that it is relative to the rest of the community--the Special Little Italy District, the NoHo Historic District, and East Village/Lower East Side. If the Bowery is not rezoned, the result will be a wall of out-of-scale, luxury development that will negatively impact these districts and undermine the goals of protective zoning in the area.
2. Protect commercial districts by not upzoning this area.
The low-rise, affordable character of the Bowery will be destroyed if this area is upzoned. The east side of the Bowery is already becoming gentrified with a growing number of massive, out-of-character boutique hotels and upscale designer shops. Upzoning will encourage more luxury housing and more upscale commercial establishments, displacing the Bowery restaurant supply, lighting and jewelry commercial Districts.
3. Create permanent affordable housing to protect Bowery residents.
New York City has always been home to residents of diverse income levels. There are many low-income residents who live on the Bowery in single-occupancy hotels and tenements. These residents should be protected from harassment and displacement. In addition, permanent affordable housing should be created to insure that people of diverse income levels continue to call the Bowery home.
4. Allow for new development that will not overshadow and destroy the character of the community.
The Bowery, which is a wide avenue, lends itself to growth and development. The proposed plan, which sets a height cap of 85 feet, allows for some development on the east side of the Bowery. This will ensure that the area remains commercially viable and, at the same time, will compliment and not overshadow the historic buildings on the Bowery.
5. Limit community facility usage.
The Bowery is already home to many community facilities, including: The Bowery Mission, The Salvation Army, JASA, The New Museum, New York University and Cooper Union. Although, in recent years, we have seen an abuse of community facility zoning by many, we recognize that these institutions are necessary and give back to the community at large. By setting a height cap of 85 feet, as well as protecting buildings of special significance, we are limiting the number of new community facilities.
Chair – David Mulkins, Vice-Chairs – Michele Campo, Jean Standish
Treasurer – Jean Standish, Secretary – Sally Young
Landmarks Committee Chair – Mitchell Grubler
Co-Founders – Anna L. Sawaryn, David Mulkins
Germania Fire Insurance Building
Photo: D. Mulkins