Last night the Community Board 3 housing committee voted to approve a plan to demolish a couple of buildings on Second Avenue and Houston, replacing them with a mix of affordable and market-rate housing. Current tenants would be sold the new units for $1, and the Local reports that the units could never be resold at market rates. Good stuff! But the infamous dive Mars Bar is located on the ground floor of 1st Street and Second Avenue. When news of the development broke Tuesday, the bar's owner downplayed the potential change, speculating the bar would reopen good as new after two years. But as Curbed reports today, "rumors of Mars Bar's demise have been greatly underestimated."

Here's a rendering of what the building will look like, and it looks like the new Mars Bar would be in a slick, glass-fronted establishment. Owner Hank Penza is happy that he'll have three or four times the amount of space, but let's face it, there's no way the accumulated grunge and transgressive ambiance that defines Mars Bar can be recreated. It looks like Penza is eager to enter the Hard Rock Cafe phase of life, and we imagine they'll be plenty of T-shirts and coffee mugs for sale in the gift shop.

The full Community Board will vote on the end of the month, but it doesn't seem like there's any reason why this won't win approval, and who's going to rally in protest against affordable housing to "save" a bar the owner doesn't even want "saved"?