But who in their right mind would want to be remembered for what one throws inBecause everyone wants to put their own 'signature' on existing structures so they will be remembered for 'posterity'.
the bowl after wiping
Location does not matter. Portfolios do.
CB4 Votes Conditional Yes for Chelsea Market Expansion
by Tom Stoelker
Before and after images of Chelsea Market latest expansion proposal. (Courtesy Jamestown)
Last night Community Board 4 voted to support Jamestown Properties proposal to add 330,000 feet to the Chelsea Market building. The design morphed significantly from the initial multi-volume glass box approach introduced in 2010, to a steel-trussed cantilever form fronting Tenth Avenue shown late last year, to its current terracotta clad contextual approach. Throughout, Studios Architecture principal David Burns has presented plans before a resistant community who cherish the market and are suddenly overrun with High Line tourists.
The first iteration from 2010 sparked community outrage.
The much-maligned ULURP process that brought the proposal to CB4 has foes on both sides of the development fence. Community activists feel that their advisory role doesn’t have sharp enough teeth, while architects and developers feel it’s a bloated process that waters down planning and design. The extreme metamorphosis of the Chelsea project seems to be a poster child for the give and take approach.
“The original purpose was to relate by contrast, as a foil, and now they’re not even doing that,” said architect and Save Chelsea board member David Holowka. The architect was referring to the Tenth Avenue section, where a cantilevered form jutted out over the old structure, with a large void separating the old market from the new addition on top. The exposed trussed structure formed a box that sat within a brise-soleil clad box facing the east.
Though the trussed structural solution remains, Burns said that to address the community’s desire for further contextualization, the trusses will now be clad in terracotta, to cooperate with a warehouse building across Tenth Avenue. The intentionally disjointed gap between the two structures will now be enclosed in glass and brick detailing in an effort to ground the building, thus hiding engineering that allows the addition to metaphorically float free from the past. “We want to make sure there’s not false sense historicism,” said Burns. The use of terracotta would bring the color into coordination with the variegated brick below, without adding too much weight. Along Ninth Avenue, the composition remains much the same though a reduction in height allows widows of the new addition to align with those in the older building.
But Holowka still found the efforts lacking. “No amount of design massaging will change what a zoning atrocity this is,” he said. As the High Line runs through Chelsea Market, the architect also called into question the zoning change will allow Jamestown to build within the footprint of the park. Even with the recent elimination of the hotel component, many voiced concern that the added pedestrian traffic will devastate an already congested area.
Despite a strong turnout from Jamestown’s tenants who testified that the company was a landlord who nurtured their small business, many in the community smelled something fishy. One noted that the new agreement would transfer the ground floor from 80 percent food vendors to 50 percent, the community board wants 60 percent. The board also wants offsite affordable housing to be provided within CB4 district. Still others thought the whole thing was a real estate sham. “Jamestown buys, builds, sells, leaves; that’s what they do,” said resident Stephen Jobes. Caitlin Cahill, a professor of environmental psychology and urban studies at CUNY Grad Center was even more blunt. “It’s so shady and so corrupt, it’s not even subtle,” she said. She urged to board to halt the project–to no avail.
I like the new one better than the previous. It has hints of something different, but it does not look like something COMPLETELY different stuck on top of the original structure (as the first proposal did).
All the renders show a plan that is clumsy and banal.
That's exactly right.But Holowka still found the efforts lacking. “No amount of design massaging will change what a zoning atrocity this is,”
There are quite a few excavation pits along the High Line, and more to come. There was no reason to grant a zoning variance and build on top of the park.
The other thing we have to remember is the building it is being placed on top of is not exactly the height of architectural magnificence.
And Zip, there is one reason to grant variance.... $
I could argue that the Chelsea Market building, which is a conglomeration of structures built from the mid-1800's up through the opening of the High Line in 1934, is a magnificent historical chronicle of building styles. The section directly above the Chelsea Passage of the HL was constructed by the National Biscuit Company specifically to accommodate the elevated train tracks. A 19th Century portion of the building along Tenth between 15th & 16th was razed to allow for the HL, and both the newer structure and the rail connectors across Tenth Avenue to the main NaBisCo building to the west are grand examples of Art Deco design.
Therefore, whatever (if anything) is allowed to go on top of the CM should be, at the very least, Good Architecture. The fact that the Chelsea Market building was left out of the Gansevoort Market Historic District was zoning politics at its worst, and clearly done at the behest of a real estate brain and in denial of the true history of the neighborhood. This building (in all its iterations) tells the story of the Gansevoort Market area better than almost any other single building in the neighborhood.
I don't understand why if they are going to do this, they feel they can't just continue the building upward- but not making it stand out, using the same materials and in the same style
that is already there? WHY do all these add ons have to look like an alien pod took a squat on the roof that needs to be scraped off?!
This block should have been protected LONG ago.
Because if it looked the same nobody would notice it.
I think you knew that, but it does not invalidate your dissent.
Borough President Questions Chelsea Market Plan
By DAVID W. CHEN
Richard Perry/The New York Times
Developers want to put two new structures atop the Chelsea Market, one on the Ninth Avenue
side and one on 10th Avenue.
A much-debated proposal to build above Chelsea Market has hit another obstacle, in the form of Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, who plans to recommend on Thursday that the project be vetoed unless it is significantly scaled back.
Mr. Stringer’s position, although not binding, is particularly significant because he is a likely candidate for mayor next year, and one of his probable chief rivals, Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, is trapped between neighborhood activists who want her to kill the project and business leaders who want her to approve it.
Jamestown Properties, the owner of Chelsea Market, has sought to add two structures atop the building, which houses a popular upscale food court that has become a destination for gourmands and tourists. The building, which abuts the High Line, is in a corner of Chelsea that is rapidly changing, and Jamestown has proposed adding an eight-story, 240,000-square-foot office tower along 10th Avenue, and an 11-story, 90,000-square-foot hotel along Ninth Avenue to the existing structure.
But in an interview on Wednesday, Mr. Stringer said he would recommend that the developers abandon the 10th Avenue expansion and increase the size of the Ninth Avenue one. He said he was concerned that the height and bulk of the proposed office tower — which at one time had been envisioned as a gleaming glass cube — would not fit in with the neighborhood.
“The reason I’m saying no is they didn’t meet the standard to becoming a part of the community,” Mr. Stringer said. “They have to coexist with that community, not overwhelm it.”
The proposal will next be considered by the city’s Planning Commission, before heading to the office of Ms. Quinn, who, as the councilwoman representing Chelsea, can reject any local project that requires zoning waivers.
Ms. Quinn declined to comment on Mr. Stringer’s concerns; her spokesman said she does not comment on land-use issues that have not yet crossed her desk.
But she is well aware that the proposal pits important political allies — including Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, construction unions and the real estate industry, who view the project as an economic engine — against some of her longtime constituents, who believe the project is too big and could set a troubling zoning precedent.
Mr. Stringer said he sought to balance economic growth and the need for more office space for the growing high-tech sector against his conclusion that “the local community deserves equal protection.” He suggested, as well, that he is willing to consider a compromise in the form of a 20 percent height reduction along 10th Avenue, as Community Board 4 recommended last month.
Mr. Stringer said he also wanted assurances that Chelsea Market would not be torn down for future development; that the community would have input into the design of any expansion; that the developer would consider setting aside money for moderate-income housing in the area; and that the market’s ground floor would retain its mix of retail, food and even public art.
“It’s not about politics,” he said. “It’s really about what’s possible from an urban-planning perspective.”
A spokesman for Jamestown Properties, Lee Silberstein, said that he had not seen Mr. Stringer’s recommendation, but said the developer had already made concessions, including abandoning the idea of a hotel in one of the proposed new towers, which some residents specifically opposed.
“The expansion of Chelsea Market will create some 1,200 jobs by providing much-needed room for rapidly expanding technology and media companies to grow,” he said. “The expansion will be achieved without relocating existing tenants or any public subsidy, and will in fact generate some $7 million of new tax revenue annually as well as nearly $20 million to benefit the High Line. We will continue to make the case that the expansion should be viewed favorably as we move through the review and approval process.”
Previously:City Planning Commission:Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer recommended disapproval unless Jamestown altered the proposal in several additional ways. Stringer recommended that Jamestown shift the massing towards Ninth Avenue by eliminating the Tenth Avenue addition entirely. He recommended that the overall building height of any addition (whether on Ninth or Tenth Avenue) be limited to 184 feet with appropriate setbacks. Stringer also recommended that the text amendment be altered to require Jamestown to provide funding to the West Chelsea Affordable Housing Fund, provided that the City can identify an appropriate site within Community District 4 prior to approval.http://www.citylandnyc.org/chelsea-m...the-high-line/On July 25, 2012 the project was reviewed by the Planning Commission. Representatives of Jamestown, including CEO Michael Phillips, spoke. Phillips testified that the expansion would create needed space for new and expanding media and technology companies and would help support the High Line. Phillips stated that the Market was “out of room,” and said the proposal would give it an opportunity to grow.
Representatives from the Real Estate Board of New York and the Service Employees International Union 32BJ supported the proposal. The co-founders of Friends of the High Line also supported the Market’s expansion, noting that the contributions to the High Line resulting from the project would help the City meet its maintenance commitments.
Opponents of the plan were divided on whether any version of the proposal should be approved. Representatives of CB 4 repeated requests that Jamestown either provide affordable housing or contribute to the West Chelsea Affordable Housing Fund, and questioned the height of the Tenth Avenue addition and its potential impact on the High Line. A representative of State Senator Thomas K. Duane urged the Planning Commission to reject the proposal unless Jamestown met all of CB 4’s conditions. Brian Cook, representing Borough President Stringer, reiterated that the massing along Tenth Avenue would be more appropriate if shifted toward Ninth Avenue, noting that the new tower would be across the street from the 275-foot office building at 111 Eighth Avenue.
Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation’s Andrew Berman, and a group of residents asked the Planning Commission to reject the proposal outright. Berman argued that the Market was thriving financially and that Jamestown’s sole motivation was increased profits. He also submitted a petition signed by 1,300 people opposed to the expansion. A representative for Assembly Member Gottfried stated that the proposal was “simply too large for the neighborhood,” and would have a “visually jarring and disruptive effect” on people visiting the High Line.
The commissioners inquired about the impact on views from the High Line and about whether the massing could be shifted toward Ninth Avenue. Chair Amanda M. Burden stated that from the perspective of a visitor to the High Line, “Sky…is golden.” Burden wanted to know how much of the light and air would be blocked by the addition, and asked David Burns, the project’s architect, to walk the commissioners through a series of illustrated boards showing views from the High Line headed north to the Market. Commissioner Irwin Cantor asked Michael Phillips whether the massing could be reduced and shifted east toward the Market’s mid-block. Phillips responded that the buildings in the mid-block sections could not provide the structural support for the massing.
The Planning Commission has until September 17, 2012 to vote on the proposal.
Highly damning of the FOTHL's Robert Hammond, Christine Quinn and the big-boys / back-room scheme allowing Jamestown to build up here:
The Chelsea Market Deal, brought to you by ULURP
November 5th, 2012
On October 19th, I and others met with City Council Speaker Christine Quinn to discuss Jamestown Properties’ proposed rezoning of Chelsea Market, aimed at adding over a quarter-million square feet of office space to the historic complex. I twice asked Speaker Quinn just how she saw the proposal making sense on zoning basics of use, bulk or environmental impact. She would only say that she hadn’t completed her review, but she still had no answer when we met six days later, just before the City Council’s land-use committee voted to support the proposal, surely with Quinn’s endorsement. Only Speaker Quinn could have stopped the project, but she advanced it in the face of overwhelming community resistance and without being able to say how it was good zoning.
If Speaker Quinn is already beholden to real estate interests in her expected run for mayor next year, she promises to bring to that office a fourth term of the Bloomberg administration’s worst feature; a pro-development, anti-oversight bias. In this New York, real estate runs politics and deals trump zoning. In a New York Timesarticle on the Council’s Chelsea Market vote, David Chen wrote that in remaining “conspicuously quiet about the issue” and failing even to attend a public hearing on it, Quinn “left little doubt . . . that she had been the driving force behind the deal.” It’s pretty official when the Times calls it a deal.
Speaker Quinn had no answers about the Chelsea Market plan’s zoning merits because there are none. So how was the proposal approved? By a system that promises more of the same. Speaker Quinn’s and the City Council’s votes are part of ULURP, the Urban Land Use Review Process that’s supposed to let the public and city officials participate in reviewing and approving development. In theory, the review process begins when a project is certified by the Department of City Planning. In practice, certification by the Department guarantees a project will go forward, rendering ULURP pointless except to provide a retroactive veneer of democratic process.
What else but a deal could explain Robert Hammond’s perverse cheerleading for Jamestown’s tower over the High Line? His park would have earned just as big a payout if Jamestown built its whole project at the far end of Chelsea Market, where it wouldn’t rob the High Line of sunlight, sky views and open space, and would sensibly be closer to subways and Google’s headquarters. Jamestown critically needed Hammond as a spokesman, which he must have agreed to be from the start. He dutifully told whoppers for Jamestown at the City Planning ULURP hearing on July 25th, testifying that “The High Line was designed to interact with neighborhood buildings, even changes in the skyscape that take place around it.” (Never mind that the skyline immediately around Chelsea Market was deliberately sculpted by existing zoning to complement the current height of Chelsea Market at a critical location.) City Planning Chair Amanda Burden beamed at Hammond as he explained, “People love architectural variations around the High Line. We don’t think they’ll detract from the experience of being on the High Line at all.” As for shadows Jamestown’s tower will cast on the High Line, Hammond said people seek shade underneath the High Line as it is. (Never mind that the tower will cast its longest shadows in colder months, putting most of the park’s Tenth Avenue Square grandstand feature in shadow when warming sunlight would increase its use.) Hammond even said High Line visitors won’t see Jamestown’s tower because the grandstand faces away from it, paying Jamestown’s design the highest praise it’s earned to date.
Robert Hammond is a folk hero and the apple of Amanda Burden’s eye for having conceived of the High Line, but its success now has many legitimate fathers. These include talented architects and dedicated advocates like Ed Kirkland, who helped create the park and was the primary author of the Special West Chelsea District zoning which protects High Line open space and reduces the height of new development as it approaches historic surroundings. In a recent New York Timesprofile, the 87 year-old Mr. Kirkland said of Jamestown’s proposal, “I promise that there is no reason for this to happen except financial reasons that benefit Jamestown. It does not do the city or Chelsea any good. It’s bad for the High Line . . .” There’s no better authority; for fifty years, no one has given as much of himself as Mr. Kirkland to Chelsea’s preservation and planning. “If I wasn’t used to the city, I would be outraged,” he added in a public forum on October 18th.
The High Line was also created with over a hundred million dollars in public funding, making stakeholders of all New Yorkers. Although Robert Hammond doesn’t seem to appreciate the value of others’ High Line contributions, he’s been uniquely entrusted to barter them. He also seems unaware of the backlash that may come of the ugly spectacle he’s created: Jamestown shoving past the public to hog prime space on a High Line it sees as a money-trough. The damage isn’t limited to the High Line. Chelsea’s residential character and historic authenticity will suffer, and the neighborhood made more like Times Square, a place of office towers and tourists, avoided by New Yorkers. Like Chelsea Market’s historic sensitivity, the rest of Chelsea is forgotten under the reigning High Line mania. Hammond’s failed 2009 attempt to have neighboring blocks taxed for High Line operating costs still rankles in Chelsea. In a public meeting on Jamestown’s plan last year, Community Board 4’s Corey Johnson voiced a growing neighborhood mood, repeating, “I resent having the High Line used against us.”
Most New Yorkers I speak to are still unaware of what’s planned for Chelsea Market, but it’s coming soon, in 3D. There will be many a “who let that happen?” Frank Lloyd Wright claimed his buildings were portraits of his clients. Has Jamestown’s architect, David Burns of STUDIOS Architecture, made his Chelsea Market design a group portrait of those behind the project? Maybe he’s a better architect than we think.
ULURP promises more ugly pictures. As Speaker Quinn’s lack of answers attests, the process isn’t about responsible planning, but deals. ULURP reform cries out to be made an issue in the upcoming mayoral campaign. After what she’s condoned at Chelsea Market, it’s not a cause Quinn can claim. After so bitterly letting down her own council district, one wonders just what she can claim to the rest of New York.
While Chelsea Market is a lost cause, it may be a big enough outrage to rally change, like Penn Station’s demolition, which was just as foolishly justified by the promise of jobs.