Michael Butler, Gene Kaufman, and their lobbyist Karen Ann Quinlan appeared at tonight's Community Board 4 Landmarks Committe meeting to present their proposed renovations to the Chelsea Hotel. They had lots of pretty pictures that didn't reveal much. When questioned for further details, the group proceeded to stonewall the Committee. They refused to answer basic questions on issues such as the amount of square footage of the proposed rooftop addition or what its purpose would be. Kaufman said he did not know the square footage. However, they would say that the usage would be "hotel related". Well, that's a relief. One resident mentioned that other zoning and DOB filings indicated that the addition to the roof would be a bar or nightclub, but Kaufman dismissed this as insigificant, saying that there may be various versions of plans floating around.
Neither Kaufman nor Michael Butler had any response to the question about how the asbestos abatement will be handled in the proposed new elevator shaft, which is currently an air shaft abutting approximately 22 apartments.
A resident from the Carteret questioned how the hotel will manage the noise from the proposed two new water towers and the HVAC unit. Kaufman acknowledged that there are noise laws in place and indicated that the Hotel will comply with the laws.
The Community Board Landmarks Committee felt that they could not properly deal with all of the issues related to the Hotel because of insufficient information.
The motion was passed to approach Christine Quinn and the CIty Development office to request that Landmarks delay their hearing until all of the matters can be investigated. As the committee pointed out, landmarking is not done in isolation; the concerns of the community have to be taken into consideration.
Kaufman did provide us a bit of definite, however, when he said that the only storefronts that would remain are El Quijote and Donut Planet.