135 West 52nd Street – Application for Modification of a City Planning Commission Certification for a Through Block Galleria.
WHEREAS, The Chetrit Group (the "Applicant") has applied for a modification to the design of the 135 West 52nd Street Through Block Galleria (the "Site"), which extends from the north side of West 52nd Street to the south side of West 53rd Street and constitutes a portion of what is known as "6½ Avenue;" and
WHEREAS, The Site was the subject of an earlier certification granted by the City Planning Commission under ZR Section 81-748 and approved on August 27, 1984 (N 850004 ZCM) to facilitate the construction of 46-story residential building ("Building"), which was subsequently converted to a hotel and which the Applicant is returning to residential use; and
WHEREAS, While the zoning text governing Through Block Gallerias was eliminated in 1998, as there are practically no remaining Through Block Gallerias that would qualify for the bonus, the Applicant still seeks to meet or exceed the original zoning text requirements; and
WHEREAS, The modifications to the Site will include a variety of enhancements to the public space including a "green wall" of Boston and English ivy along the east and west walls, a mix of seating types including custom wood benches and moveable tables and chairs, a water wall, architecturally distinctive suspended copper tubes and LED lamps, and metal decorative gates at the two entrances; and
WHEREAS, The Site will have extended open hours from 7am to 11pm every day except for three statutorily allowed days per year, which will be advertised on standard publicly accessible area plaques at the 52nd and 53rd Street entrances; and
WHEREAS, There is no possibility for a standalone café within the Site due to the narrow width of the Site; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant will maintain the cleanliness and safety of the Site to a high standard; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant will keep Community Board Five apprised of the construction phases and will remain receptive to input on the condition of the Site by CB5; and
WHEREAS, The Applicant will execute and record a restrictive declaration in connection with the proposed modification in order to establish a mechanism and process for future design changes to the Site; therefore be it
RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for a modification of a City Planning Commission certification for a Through Block Galleria located at 135 West 52nd Street.