July 26th, 2007
As reported on Tuesday, Dumbo Historic District was calendared by the Landmark Preservation Commission. According to today’s The New York Sun article, the LPC voted 8-0 to formally consider creating a historic district in DUMBO:
If approved by the commissioners in a vote later this year, 55 buildings in the roughly 15-square-block area would be granted landmark status, strictly limiting alterations that could be made to existing buildings and the type and style of any new proposed developments. Perhaps as much as any New York City neighborhood, DUMBO has undergone a residential building boom in recent years, transforming the once rundown industrial area into a sought after hotspot, complete with new luxury condo towers, art galleries, and restaurants.
Preservationists say that DUMBO, like many of the waterfront neighborhoods along the East River, is in danger of losing its original, industrial character. Some landlords and residents, however, wonder why the city would move toward attaching any kind of additional restrictions on an area that has been revolutionized by real estate development. A co-owner of two buildings in the proposed historic district, Peter Forman, said he opposes the designation. “Landmarking obviously imposes a burden on landowners,” he said.
“You’ve got a neighborhood that everyone loves. It’s been built successfully without landmarking, and my argument is that we don’t need landmarking,” Mr. Forman said.
He said factors such as land use and density could be regulated by zoning rather than landmarking, and that recent development, far from imperiling the neighborhood, has “made the area very desirable.”
“I look at the neighborhood and I saw wow, what we have today is pretty nice. I guess I’m not too concerned about it being destroyed,” he said. “I think that market forces can work better at developing the neighborhood appropriately just as it has successfully over the past 30 years.”
Click for the rest of the article on nysun.com.