A Volunteer Community Organization
PO Box 429 Prince Street Station
July 26, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Sean Sweeney @ 212-353-8466, or email@example.com
Mondrian Hotel Withdraws Liquor License Request in Wake of Community Opposition
In a striking victory for community empowerment and a blow to an arrogant developer, at an SLA liquor-license hearing for their new hotel, The Mondrian, being built between Lafayette and Crosby Streets just north of Howard Street in SoHo, the Morgans Hotel Group suddenly, surprisingly and dramatically withdrew their request for an outdoor eating-and-drinking area that would seat at least 150 people with scores more standing, mingling, and - no doubt - screaming until well past 1:00 a.m. in the morning. For months, Morgans insisted it could not make a profit without this outdoor party area.
The hotel at 25 stories will be the tallest in core
This part of SoHo, noted for its quiet and repose at night, is one of the few areas locally that permits developers to build behind the building line, thus creating 'plazas' at the front (
Not satisfied at the profits generated from having such spectacular views, the developer decided to double-dip, exploiting the outdoor
Despite several meetings this spring coordinated by the SoHo Alliance between the developer and the local community in which the community reasonably requested the developer to eliminate the rear courtyard and the exterior second-story patio on Crosby Street in order not to inflict upon the Crosby neighbors what the Thom, the Cooper Square or the Gansevoort had done to others, the developers stubbornly insisted on retaining the courtyard.
This adamant refusal to heed the wishes of the community was all the more grating considering that the community did not object to the roof-top component or the huge 400-seat restaurant open to 4:00 a.m., which would make it the largest restaurant downtown and one of the largest in the city.
This refusal to compromise was a call to arms to the
Although the SLA Committee of CB2 recommended an 11:00 p.m. closing time for the
So, at the Full Community Board meeting, SoHo Alliance director Sean Sweeney was able to convince the board to deny entirely the two outdoor spaces slated for
"People's quality-of-life, their sleep, their families' well-being, as well as property values and concomitant real-estate taxes are not going to be compromised to give these greedy developers rapacious profits,' Sweeney railed. The Board agreed and overturned the Committee's compromise recommendation of an 11:00 p.m. closing, and in a 35-1 vote overwhelmingly recommended denial of the two outdoor spaces entirely.
When the Morgans Group, chastened and humbled, came before the SLA seeking its liquor license, it surprised the SoHo Alliance lawyer and the dozens of community residents present when it announced that it was withdrawing its application for the
"Mondrian may have thought that
*(Sidebar: Trump SoHo at 45 stories on Varick/Spring would be taller than the Mondrian, but it is not in core
Incidentally, at a liquor license hearing in May, the SoHo Alliance and Community Board #2 did not object to the license application for Trump SoHo and it is expected to be approved, although it had seating for hundreds of people and would be open till 4:00 a.m.
Regarding Trump SoHo, SoHo Alliance director Sean Sweeney said, "We are in litigation with Trump SoHo on the zoning issue. The project is months behind schedule, little work is being done, not one unit has sold in 18 months, and the Trump name is in disrepute, and the developer, Bayrock/Sapir is reported to be near bankruptcy. For the
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