To the Editor:
Since the building currently proposed for the “McMobil” site on 53rd Street would be directly across from Nichols Park, the Nichols Park Advisory Council feels it is appropriate for us to express our concerns.
We believe the primary benefit of a mixed-use development on that site will be to fill in the unfortunate gap on that block, which could add substantially to the retail diversity Hyde Park needs. However, perhaps several smaller stores might add to our shopping options better than the two stores now proposed.
We also think more people living across the street could both benefit the neighborhood and would be good for the park. We anticipate that new residents would increase the use of the park, even by just walking through it at various times. The developer also agreed to designate (on site) 15 percent of the apartments as affordable housing. We applaud their recognition of this desperate need.
Our biggest concern is the building’s proposed size. A massive structure, 100 feet taller than any of its neighbors, is not the sensitive, seamless blending of the old with the new that we think is most appropriate for this section of 53rd Street. The building would loom above the tallest trees and block the view of northern sky from even the 55th Street border of the park.
We sincerely hope the plans for this site will be reconsidered.
Members and friends of the Nichols Park Advisory Council