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Inside the Cooper Square Hotel's Deal on The Bowery

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The Real Estate does a solid job summarizing the deal that's been struck between Community Board 3 and the Cooper Square Hotel, the Dubai-like tower rising on The Bowery at East 5th Street. First, let's let them summarize what's at stake here:

In exchange for the developers' compliance, CB3 will conditionally support the 21-story hotel's vast alcoholic beverage program, which includes a 95-seat restaurant and a 30-seat bar on the first floor (combined capacity: 203); a 40-seat outdoor dining area; a 23-seat bar and restaurant on the second floor; a second-floor outdoor terrace (capacity: 77); an outdoor garden (capacity: 187); and a basement lounge (capacity: 136).
By Eater's math, that's 588 heads at any given moment. (Wow. Any question why the neighbors went batshit crazy over this plan?) And as for the tradeoffs that developers Peck/Moss reportedly agreed to? In short, crushingly early closing times (8PM, 9PM) for the outdoor spaces, where there also shall be no music; no sidewalk cafe on East 5th Street; and no dancing in the basement lounge. Final approval of all this rests with the State Liquor Authority, of course, and then there's the question of how closely anyone will be able to enforce these terms. But long story short, this place looks to be a go for 2008.

Per Community Board 3:

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Community Board #3 moves to deny the application for a hotel liquor license for the Cooper Square Hotel, 25-33 Cooper Square, unless the applicants agrees before the SLA to make as conditions of its license the following signed notarized stipulations, that

Generally, 1) the entrance to the hotel which is located on Cooper Square, between 5th and 6th Streets, will be its primary entrance, 2) to alleviate traffic congestion on 5th Street and prevent taxis and limousines from blocking ambulances or ambulettes which may have to access the two (2) assisted living facilities on said street, all loading and unloading of guests, service deliveries and garbage pickups will be effected on Cooper Square, rather than on 5th Street and, where can be prearranged by hotel staff, taxis and limousines will be directed to the entrance on Cooper Square; 3) the easternmost entrance on 5th Street, directly adjacent to 207 East 5th Street, will be used as an emergency egress only; 4) the applicant will make efforts to prevent taxis or limousines from standing on 5th Street, by assigning personnel whose responsibilities include monitoring hotel traffic; 5) exterior lights, excluding any on the Cooper Square facade, whether in outdoor spaces or on the exterior of the building facade, will be at low levels and directed down or away from neighboring windows; 6) the applicant will make efforts to prevent patrons from loitering on 5th Street; 7) the applicant will not apply for a sidewalk cafe permit for seating on 5th Street; 8) the applicant will employ an acoustical engineer to sufficiently soundproof all of the walls adjacent to 207 East 5th Street, as well as the cellar lounge area; 9) there will be ambient background music only in the first and second floor interior restaurant and bar spaces; 10) there will no music of any kind in the exterior garden or terraces; 11) there will be no service bars in the exterior garden or on any terrace; 12) its westernmost entrance on 5th Street will be accessible by key card to registered guests only and will
be inaccessible as an entrance or egress after 9:00 P.M. every night; 13) the applicant will provide waiting areas within the hotel, rather than allowing patrons to wait outside, 14) the applicant will station security personnel at the ground floor entrance of the outdoor staircase located north of the lobby on Cooper Square and leading to the second floor terrace, to monitor people entering and leaving said staircase;


With respect to the basement lounge and supper club, 15) the applicant will not apply for a cabaret license for its basement lounge; 16) live music will only be offered as background accompaniment to the service of food and drink only and there will be no scheduled performances; 17) it will close no later than 2:00 A.M. Sundays through Wednesdays and 3:00 A.M. Thursdays through Saturdays; 18) patrons will be unable to access the first floor garden from the basement; 19) there will be food served during all hours of operation;

With respect to the first floor garden, 20) given its proximity to an assisted living facility and adjacent to a residential apartment building, it will close no later than 9:00 P.M. every night; 21) the regular use of the first floor garden will be as a quiet gathering space for patrons and guests; 22) if there are any special events held in the first floor garden, the closing hours of 9:00 P.M. will be maintained and there will be no music of any kind played in said garden, and security personnel will be assigned, during any event, to monitor and minimize noise emanating from the garden and patrons exiting onto 5th Street; 23) if approved by the Department of Health, any smoking area will be designated at the westernmost portion of the garden; and

With respect to the first floor exterior terrace, 24) it will open no earlier than 8:00 A.M. daily and its closing hours will be 10:00 P.M. Sundays through Thursdays and 11:00 P.M. Fridays and Saturdays; 25) its method of operation will be as a dining area serving food during all of its operating hours; and

With respect to the second floor terrace, because this terrace is separated from the windows of 207 East 5th Street by a mere thirty (30) inches, notwithstanding the proposed sound baffling wall of forty-two (42) inches, topped by potted plants, 26 ) it will open no earlier than 11:00 A.M. daily and close no later than 8:00 P.M. every night; 27) there will be food and alcohol service in this area but the applicant will make substantial efforts to minimize the impacts of noise and noxious fumes from said service on the residents in the adjacent apartment building; 28) an awning will be extended over the area during all hours of operation, in addition to the proposed soundbaffling wall and potted plants, to further shield neighboring residents from noise; 29) candles, rather than any electrical lighting, will be used at night; and 30) smoking will be prohibited in the second floor exterior lounge terrace, as it abuts residential windows. The applicant has stated that it would apply to the Board of
Standards and Appeals to obtain a variance to enclose this area and soundproof it from neighboring residents and Community Board #3 supports such an application as a means to alleviating any negative impacts this area may have on neighboring residents; and

FURTHER, should the applicant fail to agree to restrict the use of its outdoor space to accommodate the existing neighboring residential buildings, Community Board #3 asks the State Liquor Authority that any hotel liquor license approved for the Cooper Square Hotel, 25-33 Cooper Square, not be extended to include any outdoor spaces.
· Community Board 3 Vote Sheet [, PDF]
· Talk About Gracious Accomodation [The Real Estate]
· Drying of NYC: Neighbors Protest Cooper Square Hotel [~E~]

[photo courtesy jebb/Curbed Photo Pool]

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