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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application for a Theater Air Rights Transfer to a Site located at 239 West 52nd Street

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, December 12, 2013, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 1abstaining, 1 present but not entitled to vote:

WHEREAS, Roseland Development Associates, LLC, has applied for approval of a zoning certification to transfer 58,392 square feet of unused development rights from the Majestic Theater located at 245 West 44th Street and the Broadhurst Theater located at 235 West 44th Street to the property located at 239 West 52nd Street in Manhattan; and

WHEREAS, The Majestic and Broadhurst are located on adjacent midblock lots in the block bounded by West 44th Street, Eighth Avenue, West 45th Street and Broadway. The Majestic has a lot area of 13,536.38 square feet and 140.5 feet of frontage on West 44th Street. The Broadhurst

has a lot area of 10,694.38 square feet and 106.6 feet of frontage on West 44th Street; and

WHEREAS, The development site is a through-block C-shaped lot in the middle of the block bounded by Eighth Avenue to the west, West 53rd Street to the north, Broadway to the east, and West 52nd Street to the south.  The basic maximum allowable floor area ratio on the site is 10.0, which may be increased to 12.0 FAR by the transfer of development rights from a "granting site" pursuant to Section 81-744(a) (ZR Sec. 81-211); and

WHEREAS, The applicant is proposing to construct a new mixed-use building containing a total of approximately 480,693 square feet of floor area for residential use, with ground floor retail; and

WHEREAS, The new building will contain approximately 437,623 square feet of residential floor area, approximately 26,916 square feet of residential amenities and approximately 16,154 square feet of commercial use and will be approximately 580 feet in height; and

WHEREAS, Given a lot area of 42,325 square feet, and the transfer of 58,392 square feet of floor area pursuant to this application, the maximum floor area permitted on the Zoning Lot containing the new building is 481,642 square feet; and

WHEREAS, Section 81-744(a) provides that unused development rights may be transferred from theaters listed in ZR Section 81-742 to development sites within the Theater Subdistrict of the Special Midtown District; and

WHEREAS, As is required by the Zoning Resolution the theater owners are required to record a restrictive declaration ensuring the continued use of the building as a legitimate theater for a period of not less than five years; and

WHEREAS, The Theater District Council established the Theater Subdistrict Fund for the express purpose of holding deposits and administering revenues received arising from the transfer of development rights pursuant to Section 81-744 of the Zoning Resolution. In accordance with the above requirement, applicant is going to deposit $1,027,699.20 in the Theater Subdistrict Fund; and

WHEREAS, The Board urges the City Planning Commission to re-think the contribution into the Theater Subdistrict Fund so that the contribution is updated on a yearly basis and in a manner which reflects the increase in real estate value; and 

WHEREAS, The Board is saddened to see that the Roseland Ballroom will be torn down to make way for this development and wishes that a development incorporating the Ballroom as a viable use and as an important venue in New York City would have been presented; and 

WHEREAS, Based on recent estimates of air rights values in West Midtown the contribution into the fund of approximately $18 per sf is significantly less than 1% of the value of the air rights being sold; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of Roseland Development Associates' application for a theater air rights transfer to a Site located at 239 West 52nd Street and continues to urge the City Planning Commission to re-think the Theater Subdistrict contribution rate.


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