May 13 - 19, 2009
AN OFFER THEY CAN’T REFUSE:
recently got his A-list foot ﬁrmly in the door withCouncil Speaker
at a power lunch on theHudson Square megagarage, as Scoopy ﬁrst reported last week,the possibility that the embattled project could be downsizedis ﬁnally looking like a very real possibility. Gandolﬁni againled the charge on Tuesday at a meeting with Deputy Mayor
’s chief of staff,
. This time Gandolﬁniwas joined by
of theSanitation Steering Committee, which has been battling theoverly large project for two years. Also present were
, Department of Sanitation commissioner;
,Sanitation’s real estate director; and
, directorof Friends of Hudson River Park. Skyler had told Gandolﬁni hewanted a presentation of the committee’s Hudson Rise proposal.The community-alternative plan contains only two, instead of three, Sanitation districts’ trucks, and is thus a much lowerbuilding with less impact; plus it boasts a gorgeous rooftop park.“Today, I can tell you, I’ve seen the door open,” said an exuberantMouquinho, speaking afterward. “If we can get District 5’s trucksout of there…75 feet tall is a possibility. It’s the ﬁrst time I can usethe words ‘ray of optimism.’ ” The activists recently presentedthe administration with ﬁve alternate sites for District 5’s garage;the city responded that three were feasible, and said it wouldextend by two weeks its search for alternative sites. Mouquinhoand Barrett said the city feels the ﬁve-building Extell RiversideSouth site may be the best possibility. The other two options are aSanitation vehicle-maintenance facility in Chelsea and a site in the West 50s owned by
, who also owns a GreenwichSt. garage where Sanitation had wanted to dump a massive road-salt pile. Meanwhile, the Friends of Hudson River Park are nowon the same page on the megagarage. According to the HudsonSquare activists, the Friends are saying they will — under certainconditions — agree to waive huge ﬁnes being lodged against thecity for not getting its garbage trucks off Gansevoort Peninsulaafter 2012 in order to help the effort to ﬁnd a better locationfor District 5’s garage. “They want to do what’s best — for thepark and the community,” Barrett said. The Friends, who ﬁleda lawsuit to get the trucks off Gansevoort, have a settlementwith the city that hinges on using the UPS parking lot at Springand Washington Sts. for the megagarage. However, the HudsonSquare activists have their own pending lawsuit over the hatedproject. Adding to the momentum against the gargantuan garage,another star is about to go supernova on the issue. “This celebritything is really exploding,” Mouquinho marveled. “
hit the roof — she didn’t even know about this.” Barrett andMouquinho said Pier 76 in Chelsea may also be a possibility forDistrict 5’s trucks, since the Friends are now amenable to it; ina best-case scenario, they said, Pier 76, which already has a towpound, would also be home to District 5’s trucks, as well asthe two marine-waste transfer stations planned for Gansevoortand W. 59th St., both in Hudson River Park. After Tuesday’smeeting at City Hall, everyone was smiling and in good spirits,Mouquinho said, except Klein, who looked “depressed.”
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