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Residents Want To Preserve Historic Waterfront Warehouse

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A long-time fixture on Manhattan's West Side waterfront is due to be torn down to make way for a 15-story luxury apartment tower, but not everyone wants to see the Superior Inks Warehouse go.

The 87-year old building — the last surviving factory on the Greenwich Village waterfront — is known for its two smokestacks, which have already started to come down.

Many residents fear the Village is losing its flavor, and activists want to see the historic building preserved.

"We've been fighting for years to try to preserve the mixed-use character of our neighborhood. And the Superior Inks Building over here is really one of the last surviving remnants of this neighborhood's waterfront industrial heritage," said village resident Zack Winestine. "Single use isn't healthy for any neighborhood. It's not healthy for any environment, and it's a sad thing that the West Village is increasingly becoming simply high-rent residential."

"This was a working neighborhood, and we're not seeing any of the working neighborhood anymore," said village resident George Cominskie. "This is one of the last remnants, and even my building right here is not landmarked yet. There's still the threat that something could happen here, and we're watching the dismantling of our history right across the street right now. And that's what's so sad for us."

One organization that did try to get the attention of those in power is the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Its executive director, Andrew Berman, has been trying to stop the developer from dismantling Superior Inks for almost a year:

"To the city's credit, they did downzone and landmark much of what's around this building, but they refused to touch this one,” said Berman. “It was sort of a special gift to this developer that he got to not only knock down the building but build a very tall residential tower here."

Original plans for the proposed tower have been scaled back in size. The apartment tower developer, Related Companies, would not comment.

Construction should start early next year.
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