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Chelsea Market Expansion Unanimously Approved By Planning Commission

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The City Planning Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved an amended proposal to expand Chelsea Market.

Jamestown Properties is now just one step away from upzoning the block-long retail and office complex where NY1 is located. The structure was part of the old Nabisco Bakery, where the Oreo cookie was invented.

The plan would allow developers to build new office towers atop the Ninth and Tenth Avenues of the building.

The scaled-down version also eliminates a planned hotel on Ninth Avenue.

"With these modifications, I believe this will be a great addition to the West Chelsea neighborhood. The additional office space will serve what has become a destination for creative and technology industries and this new development will provide critical amenities to the High Line," said Department of Planning Director Amanda Burden.

As part of the approval, Jamestown is required to donate about 30 percent of funding for the project to affordable housing in the West Chelsea area. It will also donate millions for the High Line park's upkeep.

Chelsea Market's popular food and retail concourse would also stay put.

"We're gratified at Chair Burden and the Planning Board's continued support of this project over the years and their leadership in bringing the community together to make a better project," said Jamestown Properties CEO Michael Phillips.

Opponents say it will just add traffic and congestion to a neighborhood that is already filled with development.

"Thousands of New Yorkers have spoken out and said that they see no reason to upzone Chelsea Market to allow these huge additions to be built on top. It's a beloved New York City landmark, it's thriving as is," said Andrew Berman of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

The City Council has until October 29 to hold public hearings and vote on the final plan.

City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who is eyeing a run in the 2013 mayoral election, has the market in her district. By Wednesday, Quinn had not said publicly if she supports the plan or not.

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