Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Will This Latest Move By Socialist NYC Mayor de Blasio Result in the Closing of the Iconic Strand Bookstore?

The de Blasio administration has tagged the iconic Strand Bookstore’s building with the dreaded "landmark designation" — a move the owner says was a concession to locals so the mayor can build a tech hub in the area, reports The New York Post.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 8-0 to make the bookseller’s home at 828 Broadway a landmark, according to the Post — triggering onerous maintenance requirements that could send the 92-year-old shop’s ledgers into the red, according to owner Nancy Bass-Wyden.

“The thing that started it was Mayor Bill de Blasio,” she told The Post. “We just don’t want any more expenses. We don’t need it. It’s a brutal retail environment, and now we’re under siege.”

What a socialist creep! In a time when physical bookstores are trying to survive, de Blasio, for his own crony reasons, had the onerous landmark designation placed on Strand's.

According to the Post, the store was caught in the crossfire of a larger battle between crony socialist de Blasio and area preservationists over the mayor’s proposed Union Square Tech Training Center being built by his campaign donors nearby.

When de Blasio announced a rezoning at 120 E. 14th St. for the project, activists demanded the city designate the area a historic district to stanch an anticipated tide of glassy buildings expected to follow in the tech center’s wake.

The mayor and local City Councilwoman Carlina Rivera instead cherry-picked seven nearby buildings on Broadway, and de Blasio ordered the landmarks commission to designate them in a token gesture to appease preservationists, Bass-Wyden told the Post.

“We were symbolic trade-offs — an olive branch for his tech center,” fumed Bass-Wyden, who testified in December that a designation would “destroy” her business. “They [the commission] are all mayoral appointees. They pretend that this is a democratic process.”

And so much for de Blasio touting democracy.

The store compiled more than 11,000 signatures opposing the landmark status, but the commission pushed it through anyway — with one commissioner even going on the offensive against the embattled shop.

“I think their opposition is an expression of intellectual dishonesty and hypocrisy in this case and it is incredibly disappointing to see that in full view,” fumed Commissioner Adi Shamir-Baron.

Many property owners oppose landmarking because construction on the buildings must then conform to LPC standards and use more-expensive “historical” materials.

As for the crony side of things, the 21-story tech hub appears to be a  pay-for-play operation as the developer tapped to build it, RAL, was selected after having donated $10,000 to de Blasio’s now-defunct Campaign for One New York charity in 2015.

De Blasio was forced to disband the charity in 2016 following a criminal probe into its dealings. He dodged state and federal charges, but investigators found he and his aides had violated the “intent and spirit” of campaign finance law, according to the Post.

“This deal was crooked from the beginning, and was always about dishing out favors to the mayor’s preferred lobbyists and donors,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.


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