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Board 3 on board with Tech Hub; Calls for 3rd / 4th Aves. rezoning

The full board of Community Board 3 on Tuesday night unanimously voted to recommend approval of a new “Tech Hub” building on E. 14th St. at the current P.C. Richard & Son site — conditioned, however, on the city’s rezoning of a portion of Third and Fourth Aves. to protect them from development with oversized hotels, commercial office buildings and big-box stores.

The board’s weighing-in on the issue is the first step in the city’s review process known as ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure). The Tech Hub project must go through ULURP because, among other things, it would be larger than the site’s current zoning allows.

The Tech Hub, which would contain 250,000 square feet and rise 21 stories, is being championed by Mayor Bill de Blasio. It would further solidify the district around Union Square as New York City’s so-called “Silicon Alley,” an area with a high concentration of tech firms. The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, local activists and some residents fear the new Tech Hub would only further accelerate this trend; there are already a number of large-scale new projects springing up on Broadway south of Union Square.

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