NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It’s a pain in the gas to be the owner of one service station on Houston Street.

Marcello Porcetti owns the BP station at Houston and Lafayette streets.

Porcetti had hoped to convert the 11,000 square foot lot into a seven-story luxury condo development. However, New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission decided that the station is part of the expanded historic district in SoHo, which was put in place to preserve ornate, cast iron buildings nearby.

The designation means Porcetti can’t convert the lot into condos without a permit from the commission or other City agencies. He also has to interact with the city whenever he wants to make any significant changes to the station.

The New York Post reports that Porcetti had to get city approval to install new doors on a shed there. Further changes may require public hearings and input from the community.

What do you think of the decision to make the gas station part of the historic district? Sound off in our comments section below. 

Comments (8)
  1. danny says:

    Aside from stopping the owner from building a condo, why is this a landmark? There is no architectural significance. No historical value. They did it to stop him from putting up a building next to another one. So, basically, the city told him FU, pay your taxes and STFU. No condo for you. Welcome to the NEW NEW YORK. If you can make it here, you payed off the right guys.

  2. ed says:

    there are fewer then 10 gas stations below 14th st in nyc. houston street used to have many car lots and gas stations. we dont need more condo’s in the neighborhood.

  3. Salvatore says:

    First of all Mr. Marcello Porcetti must have known that when he built this station from day one that he was in an Historical Community. Mr. Marcello Porcetti had and always needed to contact the city to make changes no matter how big or small. I agree with Peep, Keep them in check. It sounds silly to keep a BP station historical. Maybe he should close it down and do without.

    1. The Realist says:

      There’s a huge difference between being merely “historic” and being a designated Landmark. A “historic” building doesn’t need official permission for changes, while landmarks do. Plus the gas station itself has NEVER been historically significant.

    2. danny says:

      If they wanted to build a brand spanking new Apple store, all of the permits would have passes by now. Because the neighbors want it! (Even though there is one in an old building right around the block)

  4. Peep says:

    Yup, the Gaseteria station.
    Lots of congestion in that location because of all the new shops and condos. If a Whole Foods opens in your neigborhood the condo developments are not far behind.
    “It’s getting real in the Whole Parking Lot”.

    1. A "Going Postal" Worker says:

      I agree with Peep.
      There seem to be two industries that always attract overzelaous idiots – real estate developers and airlines.

      In this case, the condo people just want to build, build build – and then 10 years from now, they’ll act surprised that we don’t have enough public schools or hospitals to support all of the extra residents. Glad that this station has become a landmark – maybe it will help keep some of the real estate “stupidity” in check.

  5. what an eyesore says:

    i pass this hideous station every day. i’d rather see anything but this ugly, smelly thing.

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