Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

The Over-Stuffed High Line, Ten Years On

Today's Times brings one of our old favorites, Jeremiah Moss, on the radical changes in West Chelsea in the age of the High Line. The High Line, only open since summer of 2009, he writes, is overcrowded (uh, yes!) and "quickly became a tool for the Bloomberg administration’s creation of a new, upscale, corporatized stretch along the West Side." He predicts a chain-mall future for the ground level of West Chelsea. Well, as someone warned, nine years ago now, "landlords and developers may be allowed to spend the next decade in a shock-and-awe campaign on the West Chelsea district." (The zoning of the High Line included the ability to "install 50 times the number of current dwelling units in 14 or so blocks," creating "a forbidding wall along 10th Avenue.") And here we are, with too much rich goodness to digest. The pact that Friends of the High Line made with the City—even while disassociating themselves from the dirty political zoning efforts—to get the park made created an incredibly speedy transformation that's now out of everyone's hands. What happens next is up to demand, market rents and whoever finds the best way to service both finicky tourists and rich residents. And here: a counterpoint, sort of, which addresses the idea of affordable housing, which is completely disregarded by the Bloomberg administration, no matter what its goals actually are, in actual matters of zoning and development.

4 Comments / Post A Comment

hershmire (#233,671)

It'll only be about 5 years before this entire city is completely transformed into a tourist trap and playground for the insanely wealthy and boring.

Rod T (#33)

@hershmire Oh yes, in five years it will be so very very boring compared to the vavavoom that is now.

Mr. B (#10,093)

@Rod T: Naught may endure but New York getting worse.

brianvan (#149)

Most elaborate "FIRST POST" ever, Choire

But you, indeed, are more versed in zoning issues than 99% of New Yorkers (all of whom never hesitate to complain about the effects of the things they never bother to look into)

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