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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application for a modification to an existing privately owned public space at 560 Lexington Avenue (b/t 50th& 51st Streets)

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, December 12, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 34 in favor, 0 opposed, 1abstaining:

WHEREAS, The owners of a commercial office building at 560 Lexington Avenue have applied for a modification to their existing privately owned public space; and

WHEREAS, The requested actions are sought in connection with the renovation of their existing office building. The proposed renovation will modernize the lobby and public space entrance to the building; and

WHEREAS, The site is located on a block bounded by East 50th Street to the south, East 51st  Street to the north, Lexington Avenue to the east, and Park Avenue to the west; and

WHEREAS, The public space occupies a prominent corner on East 50th Street & Lexington Avenues and is flanked by retail and an office lobby with a subway stair in the middle of the space providing access to the #6 train; and 

WHEREAS, The subway stair is required to be open from 7AM to 7PM; and

WHEREAS, The remainder of the space is open 24 hours a day today; and

WHEREAS, Lighting will be improved, the floor, walls and ceiling will be upgraded with a lighter color scheme and modern materials, new POPS signage will be installed in addition to new subway signage; and

WHEREAS, The modifications proposed in this application will provide additional public seating along the edge of the subway stair and make significant improvements to the plaza access and visibility in what is now a very dark and forbidding space; and

WHEREAS, The design changes will dramatically improve the visibility through the space and the lightness of the space and make it a far more transparent environment; and

WHEREAS, The Community Board applauds the property owner and architect for carefully re-thinking this space which, because of its subway access and corner location, is one of the more heavily used privately owned public spaces in Midtown; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the re-design at 560 Lexington Avenue and urges the City Planning Commission and Department of City Planning to work with the applicant and the MTA to extend the hours of operation for the subway stair to better reflect Midtown commuting patterns.


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