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Bryant Park, 40 West 42nd Street, application for temporary installation of Ice Rink, Restaurant, Holiday shops

WHEREAS, Bryant Park is a New York City Scenic Landmark, designed in 1933 as a formal French style garden  by Lusby Simpson, and was reconstructed and partially redesigned by Hanna/Olin in 1988-91; and

WHEREAS, In years subsequent to the 1988-91 reconstruction, Bryant Park has become the host of special events throughout the year, which have substantially increased the number of visitors; and

WHEREAS, Upsilon Ventures, a specialty development firm with expertise in property management, marketing and production, is the operator of the skating rink (known as "The Pond"), Celsius Restaurant and the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park; and 

WHEREAS, Upsilon has applied to NYC Department of Buildings for its annual permit to operate the foregoing amenities as it has done for the past nine years and was told by DOB it is required to obtain approval from NYC LPC for a "Permanent temporary" facility permit after three years of "Temporary" permits; and

WHEREAS, Accordingly, Upsilon has applied to LPC for approval of its "placement" of temporary structures in the Park from October 1 to March 31, which includes the time for setting up and taking down the structures, although the actual time frame for operating portions of the venue is much shorter, namely, the 150 Holiday shop kiosks are open from November to the first week of January and the skating rink is open from Halloween to February; and

WHEREAS, The footprint for these activities is essentially the same from year to year with some minor changes in the configuration and size of the kiosks depending on the vendors, the installation of lighting and a movie screen set up for weekly film showings; and

WHEREAS, CB5 only reviewed the physical installation, or "Placement" from a Landmarks perspective without any evaluation of the impact of operations from a Parks standpoint, including financial benefits to Bryant Park Restoration Corp.; and

WHEREAS, CB5 recognizes that this installation has become extremely popular with New Yorkers and millions of visitors to NYC from all over the world; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval by NYC LPC of a "Permanent Temporary" facility permit for Bryant Park, 40 West 42 Street, for the placement of ice rink, restaurant, and holiday shops.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 36 in favor; 1 opposed; 1 abstaining.


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