516-520 Fifth Avenue - Application for a report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution to permit transfer of the development rights from 20 West 44th Street to 516-520 fifth Avenue to the ...
WHEREAS, The Applicant, 516 Fifth Avenue Partners LLC (RFR Holdings/Hines Construction Manager) proposes to transfer approximately 60,317 SF floor area of development rights from 20 W. 44 St., the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen Building, an individual Landmark ("the Landmark"), to a new development site at the northwest corner of W. 43 St. and Fifth Avenue; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is seeking to develop a 678 ft. tall tower on the site of 516-520 Fifth Avenue which now contains three non-Landmark commercial buildings, all in the process of being vacated preparatory to demolition; and
WHEREAS, the proposed 54 story tower will contain a 200+ room hotel in 36 stories, 11 stories of residential apartments at the top and a multistory retail component at the base, plus a "sky lobby" for the hotel at the sixth floor level with a canopied entrance on Fifth Avenue; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant and the owner of the Landmark, the General Society, are required to file an Application for a Report from the Landmarks Preservation Commission pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution including a detailed description of the scope of work to restore the Landmark and to provide a Continuing Maintenance Program; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five has reviewed both the Restoration work to be performed, estimated to cost $1,500,000 or approximately 25% of the proceeds from the development rights to be sold by the General Society, and the Continuing Maintenance Program, which will be funded by not less than 5% of the sale, the proceeds of which will be in excess of $8,000,000; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant is also purchasing approximately 53,000 SF of development rights from the Princeton Club, 15 W. 43 St. and approximately 81,000 SF of development rights from the Century Association (aka Century Club), 7 W. 43 St.; and
WHEREAS, The Landmark at 20 W. 44 St., designed by Lamb & Rich, was constructed in 1891, originally for the Berkeley Preparatory School, and was later sold to the current owner, the General Society of Mechanics and Tradesmen, founded 1n 1785, a philanthropic and educational organization with an illustrious history, which enlarged the building in 1909; and
WHEREAS, The General Society has a free library, one of the largest in the City outside the New York City Public Libraries, and offers evening classes at a nominal cost to its students; and
WHEREAS, The organization has limited resources to repair and maintain its Landmark building, including the following badly needed work:
WHEREAS, The new building will require a Special Permit pursuant ZR Sections 74-711 and 81-277 to
WHEREAS, The new building will contain a loading dock two bays wide for truck deliveries and trash removal with access on W. 43 St.; and
WHEREAS, The new tower, designed by Pelli, Clarke, Pelli architects, is slightly lower, at 678 ft. vs. 711 ft., than the as-of-right tower that could be constructed, but will be preferable in design and appearance; and
WHEREAS, There are nearby towers of comparable height, including 500 Fifth Avenue, on the corner of W. 42nd St. and Fifth Avenue at 699 ft.; and
WHEREAS, This proposal will be reviewed by the Land Use and Zoning Committee of Community Board Five at a future date to address the zoning modification, variance and waiver requirements; and
WHEREAS, The design of the proposed tower is deemed to have a harmonious relationship with the General Society building as well as nearby Landmarked Properties, including the Manufacturers Trust Company bank building directly across the street at W. 43 St. and Fifth Avenue, the New York Yacht Club Building, 37 W. 44 St., the Harvard Club, 27 W. 44 St., the Association of the Bar of the City of New York, 37 W. 43 St. and 42 W. 44 St., and the Algonquin Hotel, 59 W. 44 St., in addition to the adjacent Century Association Clubhouse; therefore, be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application to request that the Landmarks Preservation Commission issue a Report to the City Planning Commission pursuant to section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution to permit transfer of the development rights from the historic Landmark Building at 20 W. 44 St. to the proposed Tower site at 516-520 Fifth Avenue.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 25 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining, 1 present not entitled to vote.