Kips Bay Return Riles Old Preston Hollow Neighbors

The Kips Bay Decorator Show House is returning to Sunnybrook Estates in Old Preston Hollow for the third consecutive year, much to the chagrin of some neighbors.

The Nov. 3-15 event at 9446 Hathaway St. will showcase work from 22 designers from around the country while raising money for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club, Dwell with Dignity, and Crystal Charity Ball.

“Every year, we bring different designers, and each one showcases their designs and their expertise in the industry,” said Nazira Handal, director of special events and corporate partnerships for the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

The designers, whose names will become public in late September, started work in August and have until Oct. 26 to complete their respective rooms.

“Ever since 2020, we’ve been received with open arms when it comes to the design industry and design aficionados,” Handal said.

Some neighbors have concerns about the traffic the show house will create, such as Inwood-Northwest Homeowner’s Association president Leland Burk, who sent a statement to the media asserting his opposition to the event happening in the neighborhood again. 

Last year’s house at 9250 Meadowbrook Drive shortened its run from one month to one weekend following zoning and permit issues.

Handal said that this year, the show house team approached the owners of 10 nearby houses, whose addresses were provided by the city, and nine of them expressed support of the event.

District 13 City Councilwoman Gay Donnell Willis raised concerns in a letter of opposition about traffic induced by a shuttle that will transport attendees from the required parking lot at Northaven United Methodist Church.

She cited narrow streets and a lack of sidewalks that cause neighbors to walk their pets in the street. 

“There are bar ditches along the lanes, so this makes adding a volume of traffic, and especially large vehicles like shuttles, very dangerous for neighborhood residents and vehicles,” Willis said.

Handal said the shuttle will enter the property’s gate to drop off visitors without blocking street traffic.

Willis also estimates the house will have 300 visitors per day, causing rideshare to exceed the norm for the neighborhood.

Handal said parking at the church and shuttling to the house will be required, and Kips Bay will have enough traffic attendants to ensure city requirements are followed.

“It seems like a far less disruptive plan to consider street structure and the concerns of neighbors before planning this event,” Willis said.

The neighborhood association contends the event is commercial and prohibited from happening in a residential neighborhood. But, Handal said locals should know that it’s a nonprofit event that benefits three charities.

“Like last year, where we had absolutely no issues with parking or transit problems, we expect the same thing for this show,” Handal said.

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