Whether you are attending tonight’s meeting or not, please read this page.
6 PM, Wednesday, September 21, at MaryMount, 116 East 97th. St., New York, NY 10029, Open meeting to hear MaryMount’s latest offer to “embrace” the community.
We added the height annotations to the above architects rendering.
The above “view” of MaryMount’s proposed 24*-story embrace of our block is looking South-East from approximately 99th-100th St. and Madison Avenue.
The massive project will run through the block on 97th-98th, between Lexington and Park where MaryMount currently has a play field. As you can see it is at least fifty feet taller than Carnegie Hill Place at 1510 Lexington Ave., the 18-story, white building behind it and to the left, between 97th and 98th. Pity the renters in the back of 1510 who face West… and all the renters there can forget about those rooftop terrace amenities.
And of course it overshadows the Lexington Houses on 98th and 99th, and of course the residents of every 5 and 6-storey building on 97th will now be staring straight up at a massive wall.
And it will take at least 4 years to build.
* (They call it “13 stories” because a few floors are 2-3 stories high (the auditorium, the gym, and the chapel), but at 239 feet, it’s the equivalent of a 24 story building.
In the middle of the block… Through the block….
In this well-written and balanced article by Jackson Chen here, you can see that MaryMount does have some zoning hurdles in order to gain approval for this project, and that there has already been strong opposition to the project at the Community Board Level.
But the odds of whether it will be going through or will be stopped are still not clear.
As best we can tell, some of our local politicians oppose it because it sets a bad precedent for mid-block “noncommercial” high-rises, but they and the CB will be looking for input from the immediately affected community. That’s us. You. Me. Everyone who lives on this block.
Carnegie Hill Neighbors has been vocal in their opposition to the project, as they have been seen up close the trend of Manhattan private schools to overwhelm their neighbors and neighborhoods with oversized expansions.
MaryMount will be appearing in front of the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals later this Fall; they will very much want our neighborhood’s support, and they want as little public opposition as possible.
Please forward and print this website page and the photo for your neighbors, and please come tonight if you can, and urge your neighbors to attend tonight’s meeting, and please sign up with us by email for future notices.
Most importantly, please think in terms of what you would expect from MaryMount in exchange for your and the block’s endorsement of four years of construction and disruption of our block, and for the permanent impact that their 24-story building will have upon our block.
Some starter ideas that have have been brought up include:
A/ Parking garage spaces for those street parking spots on 97th and 98th St. that will be lost temporarily during and permanently after the construction.
B/ Tutoring for children living on the block, and some annual scholarships for academically-qualified students living on the block.
C/ Auditorium access for cultural events created by residents/focused for the block (i.e., theater, dance and music performances, art exhibits…).
D/ Create a format for the school’s auditorium to become an alternative to the 92nd St. Y, with concerts, performances, and speakers open to the public, with seating discounts and ticket blocks made available for residents of the block.
(MaryMount to create an office to charge and take reservations for the events to pay for the extra security, ticket processing, etc. Students can get experience in theater production and event management…Hiring for theater management and production jobs would give precedence to those who live on the block).
E/ Weekend access to the gym for block residents. Charge a modest fee to cover security and maintenance. (Is there going to be a pool?…)
F/ MaryMount student college-transcript-enhancement projects; students to do light social work for shut-in disabled and/or seniors living on the block. Do modest shopping, sitting and talking and “history-taking”, talking with residents who are otherwise alone most or all of the week. Do a census of the block, including Lexington Houses to find out the need.
G/ Political and financial support for the neighborhood and for 97-98 Lexington and Park Avenue Neighbors, including:
(i) Marymount representatives showing up at Community Board 11 subcommittee and full CB meetings for issues related to the block (not just those related to MM’s zoning application).
(ii) Marymount showing up at 23rd Precinct Community Council monthly meetings, and actively coordinating with the 23rd Precinct on security for the block both during construction and after.
(iii) Marymount participating in the annual 23rd Precinct Summer Street Party.
(iv) A written and ongoing commitment to 97-98 Lexington and Park Avenue Neighbors and the Lexington Houses Residents Committee and to the community at large re;
MaryMount stepping up with a published agreement and public efforts to help preserve the residential nature of the block, including promises to attend relevant meetings and advise CB11 and the NY SLA of their opposition on our block to all backyard and rooftop commercial activity including bars, restaurants and coffee-shops, as well as any new bars or license changes for bars offering live music and/or dancing.
(v) Re 9798 Lexington and Park Avenue Neighbors:
(a) MaryMount funds 9798 LexPark’s application for non-profit status (to enable grant applications).
(b) MaryMount to fund an annual block party and an annual dinner, with proceeds to be split between Marymount scholarships for qualified block residents, and 9798 Lexington and Park Avenue Neighbors to cover expenses in continued organizing on other block-wide efforts.