How often does the Seaport District have to be screwed?

The plaza and arcades at 200 Water Street as they appear today, with the scaffolding that once held the canopies stripped bare, the erstwhile fountain (visible at lower right, behind black railing) long since turned off and filled with concrete, and much of the onetime lobby (at lower left) converted into a Duane Reade. Under a proposal approved by the City Planning Commission, the open colonnade shown in the foreground will be absorbed into new retail space, while several hundred square feet of the outdoor plaza will be turned over to seating for an outdoor cafe, and the three open-air rectangular spaces (center, on the second level above the street) will become new, market-rate apartments.The plaza and arcades at 200 Water Street as they appear today, with the scaffolding that once held the canopies stripped bare, the erstwhile fountain (visible at lower right, behind black railing) long since turned off and filled with concrete, and much of the onetime lobby (at lower left) converted into a Duane Reade. Under a proposal approved by the City Planning Commission, the open colonnade shown in the foreground will be absorbed into new retail space, while several hundred square feet of the outdoor plaza will be turned over to seating for an outdoor cafe, and the three open-air rectangular spaces (center, on the second level above the street) will become new, market-rate apartments.

To the editor:

Your article on the CPC vote (BroadsheetDAILY December 19)for the landowners handout of open spaces gave me deja vu and revulsion.

How often does the Seaport District have to be screwed by the developers, our electeds and now by our own Community Board before we rise up in protest?  Whatever happened to the idea of a Seaport District that would reflect the historical context of its heritage with view corridors onto the East River and public amenities to reflect that heritage?

What we have now is gentrification on steroids, and with no end of it in sight.

It is not enough that members of the Community Board who voted in favor of moving the original text amendment forward, based upon political wispy promises, play lip service with their apologies. How are we to know that they will exercise ‘due diligence’ in the next decision on which they must make a judgment?

The Board should be composed of people who are capable of rational decisions based upon their practical experiences and their votes should reflect those realities, no matter what the prudent political expedience might be. If they cannot demonstrate an ability to exercise thoughtful wisdom to serve the community, they should not serve on the Board.

Every one of them who voted in favor of the original proposal should resign as a matter of personal honor, as each have lost whatever respect they may have had in the community.  It is a sad testimony on the members’ characters that they demonstrate a wish to hold onto that small amount of personal power or recognition they may think they possess, and have not already done so in protest.  Their resignation won’t make a difference: But it would make me, and the community, feel a lot better about them individually.

As for the CPC members: They are beyond contempt, and their reasoning for approving this giveaway is nothing less than cheap political speak.

Henry Parsons

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