For over two years, the city has wanted to build a sanitation garage in SoHo on Spring Street. And at every step of the way, those plans have been blocked by a ragtag cadre of downtown celebrities, a renegade group of disparate actors, musicians and personalities who were willing to fight to the last breath to prevent the common man's garbage from clogging their block. They were the Ocean's Eleven of...trash. But a court has now rejected the appeals to the project, and given the go ahead for the garage to be built.
The Tribeca Community Association had argued that the city hadn't taken a hard enough look at the proposal's environmental impact. Among the celebs who lent their names to the fight (if not to the lawsuit) included Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, John Slattery, Michael Stipe, James Gandolfini, Kirsten Dunst, Casey Affleck, Paul Bettany and Jennifer Connelly. But court ruled that the nearly $400 million, 120-foot-tall garage was vital to the city: "This three-district sanitation garage and salt shed is an important and necessary project. The Court correctly found that the city fully complied with all applicable environmental review procedures and land-use statutes and requirements in the selection of this site," said Elizabeth Freedman, a city lawyer.
The sanitation garage will now be located near the entrance of the Holland Tunnel; the salt-storage shed will be at Spring Street and the West Side Highway. Some celebs had offered alternative suggestions about the project, including breaking the garage into smaller pieces and spreading them around the city so everyone can suffer equally. Slattery in particular had supported a different design by local architect Stas Zakrzewski, which would have cut the plan down to house only two districts, been environmentally smarter, and could have brought the pricetag down by over $30 million. Maybe they can cut their losses, pool together, and lobby for solar-powered texting trash cans for their next caper!