God’s Love We Deliver, a SoHo non-profit, has endured a struggle against neighborhood NIMBYs to embark on their expansion plans, but the protests have failed and equipment is now on-site. The God’s Love Redevelopment will expand the organization’s building – official address, 166 Sixth Avenue – to six stories, while the adjacent lot will be developed by the Quinlan Group into fourteen floors of residences.
Much of the opposition was based on the fact that a non-profit would profit – and, in this case, use the profits to complete their new building – off the sale of development rights to build the luxury residential building. Unfortunately the dearth of housing due to zoning regulations means that every new development in SoHo is luxury, so the issue over what kind of housing the 14-story building would have is moot; the disagreement was clearly about the height.
The exclusive nature of SoHo isn’t a bad thing in and of itself, but is indicative of a greater housing affordability crisis, something Trinity’s plans to the south will also capitalize on – and Trinity also happens to be a ‘non-profit’ organisation, as it is a church.
The original God’s Love building is clearly an underutilized space, and even in SoHo, 14 stories is barely noticeable. ‘Out of scale’ is a rarely justifiable excuse to oppose new projects, and tossing it around in cases like this and Torre Verre – where NIMBYs characterized Midtown Manhattan as ‘low-rise’ – is absurd. Fortunately, the God’s Love redevelopment is now proceeding.