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What does NY need? Another historic district, of course! Downtown Express is reporting that Community Board 3 has finally voted in favor of the Lower East Side Historic District, a proposed 20-block area that comprises 450 buildings from East Houston to Canal and from Allen to Essex streets.

Officials at the Lower East Side Tenement Museum have been vocal proponents of the district, which has been pushed forward by the Lower East Side Preservation Coalition, an alliance of neighborhood groups and stakeholders (“Save the Lower East Side!” is their tagline). Like many localized, ground-up efforts to create landmark districts, the group’s mission is to preserve the neighborhood’s character in the face of condo development, record prices per square foot and sky-high rents. Organizers are pinning their hopes on minimizing demolition.

“Right now, the chances of landlords spending the money to do gut renovations are slim to none,” said Mary Spink, executive director of the Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association. “By landmarking the area, we can at least prevent them from tearing down the building.”

Another aspect to landmarking, say advocates, is that it will keep rents down. But, according to developer Sion Misrahi, “[a]ny small landlord who needs to spend $10,000 to replace a window will sell that building so fast your head will spin.” The possible beneficiaries? Larger management companies. The other option? Raising rents, natch.

With a rezoning plan also in the works, we think it’s safe to say that the neighborhood’s one-two punch against development is in full force. However, we have to wonder, despite the cuteness of pickle wars, is it too late? Or has the area already been, per the NY Post, clubbed (and we'd add almost developed) to death?

Update: According to Landmarks Preservation Commission Communications Director Elisabeth de Bourbon, agency staffers currently "are surveying the neighborhood to evaluate the potential for historic districts or individual landmarks." She added that the survey process involves taking photographs of buildings and doing preliminary research on each structure's architect, date of construction, architectural style and use.