Plans for Condo Building on Site of East Village Gas Explosion Sent Back The Landmarks Preservation Commission Had Some Issues With the Project

Cleanup of the 2015 East Village explosion and fire in New York City (By MusikAnimal viaWikiMedia Commons).

A developer who proposed a seven-story condominium to be built on the site of a deadly East Village gas explosion from 2015 will now have to revise its plans.

Curbed reported on July 10 that the Landmarks Preservation Commission had sent back Nexus Building Development Group's proposal for the Morris Adjmi-designed, 21-unit condo project, citing concerns about the building's color, windows, and the penthouse's visibility.

According to materials presented to the Commission, the proposed building will rise 78 feet and contain an L-shaped brick facade, 6sqft reported. Apparently the Commission had issues with the structure's grey brick coloring and the large corner windows. It also suggested that the penthouse become less visible from the street as a result of the building's height, added 6sqft.

The site at 119-121 2nd Avenue was formerly occupied by two Queen Anne-styled tenement buildings built in 1886. On March 26, 2015, a gas explosion killed two people and destroyed three buildings. The tragedy was reportedly the result of a hidden illegal gas line setup; five people were arrested in connection with the explosion.

In 2017, Nexus Building Development Group bought the site of 119-121 2nd Avenue for $9.15 million; this past February, the firm submitted plans for the condo project, according to Curbed.

The project has garnered some opposition, particularly from the East Village Community, who felt the new building should be entirely affordable housing for residents who lost their homes.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission, however, did agree with Community Board 3 that a permanent plaque marking the 2015 tragedy should be placed at the building's front facade, reported Curbed, which added that the condo planl will be sent back to the Commission for another review at a future date.    

David Chiu is an associate editor at The Cooperator.

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