The long, curious case of the out-of-place Cooper Square Hotel entered a new chapter last night when Community Board 3 gave the greenlight to hotelier Andre Balazs (The Standard) in his quest to take over the neighbor-hated East Village building. Suddenly the burgeoning Bowery hotel corridor just got a lot douchier.

But Balazs swears he has good intentions! "I’ve lived in this neighborhood, in SoHo specifically, for 30 years," Balazs reportedly told the committee last night (though we would point out the hotel is quite north of Houston). "It’s my neighborhood...For us, it’s very much a community hotel." So don't expect any public sex shows in the hotel's tinted windows—there is a high school about to open across the street.

Still, what is Balazs—who was "looking dapper as usual" last night—planning for the 21-story hotel's much-maligned (though recently reportedly improving) restaurant and nightlife operations? He insists he won't be trying to replicate his other hotels as "its a very different place," and says he wants to keep things as they are at The Trilby but still "change the culinary experience." Which sounds to us like he wants to change things? Whatever though, the board gave him its approval.

And so, a few owners later, the Cooper Square Hotel now has the chic cachet it has been craving since it was first erected. Which means Bowery denizens can look forward to seeing the kinds of absurdly wealthy people flocking around the Bowery Hotel making their way up a few blocks north in earnest. Sigh. By the time that glowing hotel over the old Salvation Army opens that strip is going to be truly unbearable but at least we'll be able to buy a Slurpee?