Application by 249 W. 28th St Properties to change the mid-block portion of two city blocks from an M1-5 to an M1-6 district; and application to allow a below grade attended public parking garage at 241-251 W. 28th Street/240-250 W. 29th Street
WHEREAS, 249 W. 28th Street Properties, LLC has applied for an amendment of the Zoning Map to change the mid-block portion of two city blocks bounded by West 28th Street, West 30th Street, Seventh Avenue, and Eighth Avenue from an M1-5 (allows manufacturing and light industrial, commercial, hotel, and community facilities) to an M1-6D (allows mixed-use manufacturing and light industrial, commercial, hotel, contextual residential, and community facilities) zoning district; and
WHEREAS, If the rezoning is granted, the applicant is proposing to construct, as-of-right, two approximately 20-story, 210-foot mixed-use buildings located at 241-251 West 28th Street/240-250 West 29th Street, between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, in the proposed M1-6D zoning district, with approximately 407 market-rate and affordable residential units that are targeted to include 15% studio, 75% one-bedroom, and 10% two-bedroom units, translating to approximately 336,401 square feet of residential floor area, 4,685 square feet of retail floor area, and 11,390 square feet of office floor area, and further, the applicant intends to include 20% of the buildings' square footage as affordable housing; and
WHEREAS, The new buildings would be constructed on the street line on both West 28th and West 29th Streets, with a central courtyard above a one-story office building that will extend between the two residential towers, and retail use occupying 50% of the frontage on both streets; and
WHEREAS, This neighborhood is currently zoned M1-5 and does not permit new residential use, nor does it have requirements for street wall or maximum building height, a reflection of the area's history as a manufacturing and commercial district; and
WHEREAS, Over the past decades, this neighborhood, just south of Penn Station and north of The Fashion Institute of Technology and Penn South (a 2,820-unit residential complex), has evolved from being part of Manhattan's industrial heart into one notable for its Class B and C office space largely occupied by creative and media-related businesses, plus the remnants of the New York fur industry; and
WHEREAS, In addition to the rezoning application, 249 W. 28th Street Properties, LLC seeks a Special Permit to build a below grade attended public parking garage beneath the two proposed buildings, that will include 325 below grade vehicle spaces, 204 bicycle spaces for building residents, 33 bicycle spaces for public rental, and 16 reservoir spaces; and
WHEREAS, The proposed public parking garage will result in a reduction of 46 spaces due to the elimination of the above grade parking lots, owned by the applicant, that currently have 371 spaces; the proposed garage will be in operation 24-hours a day, with all parking done by attendants, and with an entrance and exit on West 28th Street and an exit on West 29th Street; and
WHEREAS, The applicant has completed and submitted an Environmental Assessment Statement which includes a finding that this proposed development, as well as other potential residential development in the new M1-6D district, would cumulatively add 4.93% and 2.56% to our already overcrowded public elementary and intermediate schools, respectively, disturbingly close to the 5% threshold for a significant adverse impact under the CEQR methodology. As such, Community Board Five strongly urges that the Department of City Planning and the applicant in consultation with the School Construction Authority, the Department of Education, and local elected officials work together to develop an approach to help address the inevitable overcrowding that will accompany the introduction of potentially 1,200 residential units; and
WHEREAS, Community Board Five strongly endorses the development of mixed-use projects for the vitality and diversity they bring to our district and thus supports the applicant's plan to take maximum advantage of the M1-6D bulk regulations by adding retail and commercial space, and adding 20% on-site affordable housing under the Inclusionary Housing Program; and
WHEREAS, The applicant has invited suggestions for types of retail and commercial tenants, and in response to this invitation as well as observing other issues and conditions, Community Board Five makes these requests:
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five approves of the application of 249 W 28th Street Properties, LLC for an amendment of the Zoning Map to change the mid-block portion of two city blocks bounded by West 28th Street, West 30th Street, Seventh Avenue, and Eighth Avenue from an M1-5 to an M1-6D zoning district, and for a Special Permit pursuant to Section 13-562 and Section 74-52 of the Zoning Resolution to allow a below grade attended public parking garage at 241-251 West 28th Street/240-250 West 29th Street.
The above resolution passed by a vote of 36 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining.