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Advocates Hopeful About 35 Cooper

35 Cooper SQ.: The scrim of DeathTim Milk Talks are set for next month between developers and preservationists on the future of 35 Cooper Square.

Preservationists are holding out hope that there is still a future for 35 Cooper Square, now that the site’s developer, Arun Bhatia, has agreed to meet with neighborhood groups next month.

The meeting, arranged through Councilwoman Rosie Mendez, is set for April 12, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, told The Local this morning. The Bowery Alliance of Neighbors, Historic Districts Council, East Village Community Coalition, and Lower East Side Preservation Initiative are among groups invited to the meeting, which will not be open to the public. The meeting’s tentative location is the Neighborhood Preservation Center on East 11th Street.

“It’s something we’ve been seeking for weeks or months,” said Mr. Berman. “It’s been in the works for a long time. We won’t know until we have the meeting exactly what will come out of it, but obviously we’re happy that it’s happening.”

Asked what persuaded Mr. Bhatia to arrange the meeting, Mr. Berman said, “My sense is that it was always a possibility, and now it is confirmed. We’re looking forward to it.”

Mr. Berman and other preservationists hope they can convince the developer to keep 35 Cooper standing. “Certainly the goal going into the meeting is to explore the possibilities for preserving the building, or preserving it as much as possible,” Mr. Berman said. “We go into this knowing that that is not the developer’s plan. We want to engage in what we hope will be a productive conversation, and we’ll see what comes of it. At this point, it seems as if the building’s only hope is the developer.”

Jane Crotty, a spokeswoman for Mr. Bhatia told The Local, “We agreed to meet since the elected officials asked for the meeting. We will hear what the community has to say.”

Permits Issued to Developer

IMG_0460Spencer Magloff Preservationists had sought landmark designations for these two buildings at 326 and 328 East Fourth Street.

On the same day that two preservation groups held a news conference urging the Landmarks Preservation Commission to reconsider refusing to designate a pair of 170-year old buildings at 326 and 328 East Fourth Street as historic landmarks, the Department of Buildings awarded permits for both buildings to developer Terrence Lowenberg.

“This is truly outrageous,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, who learned from The Local that the permits had been issued.

“It’s tragic that the Landmarks Preservation Commission sat on their hands for more than three months and allowed this to happen,” said Mr. Berman, whose group led the landmark designation effort. “A wonderful piece of the city’s history will likely be destroyed due to the city’s inaction.”
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