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41-45 West 17th Street and 38-42 West 18th Street, application for a report stating that a restoration and maintenance program in perpetuity has been established, pursuant to Art 74-711...

At the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, September 11, 2014, the following resolution passed with a vote of: 37 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstain.

WHEREAS, 45 West 17th Street is a 6-story block-thru building constructed in 1907, currently occupied by Adorama and commercial offices; and

WHEREAS, 40 West 18th Street is a 4-story cast iron façade building constructed in 1858, currently occupied by Adorama and commercial offices; 42 West 18th Street is a 6-story block-thru building with a façade made of white terra cotta, occupied by Adorama and commercial offices; and

WHEREAS, both buildings have suffered extensive deterioration from neglect from the present owner and remain surrounded by scaffolding due to safety concerns; and

WHEREAS, according to residents of the block, this scaffolding has been in place for many years without the owner making any significant effort to restore the existing buildings and is considered an eyesore and nuisance; and

WHEREAS, the owner is seeking waivers from the Department of City Planning for front wall height, facade and rear yard set back

-       Rear yard reduced by 10 feet (from 60' to 50')

-       Front façade wall on 17th street to be 35 feet higher (from 150' to 185')

-       Exemption from sliver rule on 18th Street to allow for 175' high façade (Definition of a Sliver Building: A tall building or enlargement that is 45 feet wide or less is commonly called a sliver building. Such buildings are generally restricted to a height equal to the width of the abutting street or 100 feet, whichever is less. – Source: Dept. of City Planning), and

WHEREAS, these waiver requests will be reviewed and addressed by Community Board Five's Land Use and Zoning Committee at a later date; and

WHEREAS, pursuant to art 74-711, the developers would restore both existing buildings to their original condition including using replaced or reconstructed materials matching the characteristics of the time period they were constructed in; and

WHEREAS, some of the restorative work includes:

WHEREAS, the applicant would provide a continuing maintenance report, to be approved by Landmarks Preservation Commission, to the City Planning Commission, pursuant to Section 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution; and 

WHEREAS, the only new addition to the existing buildings would be a rear extension to 40 West 18th Street of 588 sf total split between three levels; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the proposed full restoration of these historically and architecturally significant buildings in the Ladies' Mile Historic District and a continuing maintenance plan in perpetuity once the buildings have been restored.

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