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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Request from 1710 Broadway LLC for a recommendation to the Department of City Planning of approval for an application for a certification for the transfer of development rights

WHEREAS, 1710 Broadway LLC proposed a new 61-story residential and retail (and/or possibly other conforming uses) building at 1710 Broadway (Manhattan Block 1026, Lot 21, 36, 37, 41) (the "Receiving Site"); and

WHEREAS, Based on the underlying zoning regulations, the Development Site is permitted to be redeveloped with a building containing up to 248,820.1 square feet of floor area; and

WHEREAS, 240 West 44th Street (Manhattan Block 1015, Lot 51)(the "Granting Site"), is located within the Theater Subdistrict Core/Eighth Avenue Corridor of the Special Midtown District that designates the boundaries of receiving sites, while the Helen Hayes Theatre (formerly known as The Little Theater) which is a listed theater in ZR § 81-742 and is also designated by the Landmarks Preservation Commission as an interior and exterior New York City landmark; and

WHEREAS, 240 West 44th Street (the "Granting Site"), is a 7,581.71 square foot lot, which contains 16,438.77 square feet of floor area and is built to 2.17 FAR and there are 59,378.33 square feet of unused development rights; and

WHEREAS, 1710 Broadway LLC has purchased some 16,000 square feet of air rights from the Helen Hayes Theatre at 240 West 44th Street (between 7th and 8th Avenues); and

WHEREAS, The Helen Hayes Theatre has been thoroughly inspected and deemed by licensed architects and engineers to be, in large part, operationally and physically sound, while also in need of certain upgrades and ongoing maintenance; and

WHEREAS, Pursuant to this application 42,378 square feet of floor area would be transferred from 240 West 44th Street (the "Granting Site"), to 1710 Broadway LLC (the "Receiving Site"). The total floor area transferred to the Receiving Site would equal less than 20% of the basic maximum floor area permitted on the Receiving Site; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five deplores the lack of transparency and opportunity for public review of transfer of development rights through lot mergers; and

WHEREAS, The proposed development has the potential for the construction of a very tall tower that would cast shadows on Central Park and potentially other open space; and

WHEREAS, Community Board Five urges the Department of City Planning to enact provisions allowing for assessment and mitigation of cumulative impact by tall buildings on open space; and

WHEREAS, 1710 Broadway LLC will contribute to the Theatre Subdistrict Council fund $17.60 per square foot of air rights that 1710 Broadway LLC purchase from the Helen Hayes Theatre — a contribution of $745,000;

WHEREAS, Community Board Five once again urges City Planning to adopt a framework by which the contribution amount is a percentage of the fair market value of the development rights as opposed to a fixed amount that is infrequently updated; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends denial of an application by 1710 Broadway LLC for the transfer of development rights from 240 West 44th Street (the "Granting Site") to 1710 Broadway (the "Receiving Site") unless the following two (2) conditions are adhered to:

1)      1710 Broadway LLC agrees to provide CB5 with a key point person who is available to discuss all issues related to construction by phone and email; and

2)      1710 Broadway LLC agrees to consult CB5 on the design of the proposed new 61-story building to address concerns of the neighborhood residents.


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