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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

ULURP # 080361 ZSM, 1182 Broadway (between West 28th and 29th Streets)

WHEREAS, The Applicant's building is located at 1182 Broadway (the "Building") between 28th and 29th Streets, and has filed an application pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution to modify the use of floors 6 through 16 of an existing 16-story building in the Madison Square North Historic District from commercial/manufacturing use to residential use; and

WHEREAS, The building is currently located in an M1-6 district that allows commercial and manufacturing uses, but not residential use; and

WHEREAS, The building was erected in 1910 and was purchased by the current owners in 1977; and

WHEREAS, From 1977 until 1997 the building was maintained and leased solely as commercial space in accordance with the building's zoning; and

WHEREAS, In 1997, floors 6 through 16 of the Building were converted to residential use in contravention of the Zoning Resolution; and

WHEREAS, In March 2010, DOB issued a vacate order because the Applicant informed City Planning that the building was occupied residentially and lacked a second means of egress and City Planning then informed DOB of same; and

WHEREAS, CB5 appreciates the efforts of the Applicant and its counsel for taking the appropriate steps to rectify a use in violation of the Zoning Resolution and encourages all landlords to voluntarily come forward to rectify known misapplications of the Zoning Resolution; and

WHEREAS, In order to approve a 74-711 change of use, the Applicant submitted a preservation plan for the building, and the Applicant received a Certificate of Appropriateness from the Landmark Preservation Commission, and

WHEREAS, CB5's objection to the project does not relate to the Applicant's preservation plan; and

WHEREAS, Although the Applicant stated that the 4,371 sq. ft. floor plates were too small for commercial uses, they currently have three commercial tenants, identified as a real estate firm, a trading firm, and a consulting firm, occupying parts of the bottom five floors; and

WHEREAS, CB5 believes that the building is suitable for commercial use because all floors have the same floor plates and therefore the higher floors can be used in the same manner as the lower floors; and

WHEREAS, Although the current economic downturn has affected the New York real estate market and reduced the demand for Class-B office space, CB5 is very concerned about the long term effects of the loss of Class-B office space in the district; and

WHEREAS, CB5 encourages the preservation of low cost office space for the development of small businesses and non-profits in order to maintain economic diversity in Manhattan's midtown commercial district; and

WHEREAS, Although CB5 recognizes that the proposed conversion will be mixed use, which CB5 generally finds is a positive contribution to street life and neighborhood viability, the overall project decreases the usable stock of Class-B office stock in the neighborhood, one that is historically commercial and adjacent to the commercial Flatiron and Garment Center neighborhoods; and

WHEREAS, Although CB5 agrees with the Applicant that the building could function well as a residential building because of the upper floor access to light and air, CB5 finds that preservation of commercial and manufacturing use in the neighborhood is a necessary use and more appropriate for the neighborhood; and

WHEREAS, CB5 is concerned with individual use changes and conversions in the neighborhood immediately north of Madison Square Park; and

WHEREAS, CB5 recognizes that the area immediately north of Madison Square Park is undergoing rapid changes with the opening of many new hotels and increased nightlife and street activity, and encourages the City Planning Commission to engage in a study of the neighborhood to determine if there is a need for any potential large-scale zoning changes; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of ULURP # 080361 ZSM, 1182 Broadway, application for a special permit pursuant to Section 74-711 of the ZR to modify the use provisions of Sections 15-021(c), 42-00 and 42-133(a) to allow residential use in floors 6 through 16 plus penthouse of an existing building located in an M1-6 zoning district in the Madison Square North Historic District in Manhattan.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 21 in favor, 16 opposed, 1 abstaining.


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