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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Application for Project FIND to sell 38.000 sq/ft of unused air rights from the Woodstock Hotel at 129 West 43rd Street to raise funds for significant capital improvements

WHEREAS, The applicant Project Find - Find Aid for the Aged, Inc seeks approval from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation & Development of an Affordable Housing Plan for 129 West 43rd Street; and

WHEREAS, Project Find has operated critical programs in our Community District since 1975 serving homeless and individuals at risk of becoming homeless; and

WHEREAS, Project Find acquired the Woodstock Hotel in 1979 and, with government grants and loans, was able to make partial renovations; and

WHEREAS, In 1993 Project FIND undertook a complete financial restructuring and renovation, financed with a $9.8 million loan from the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development and a $4.6 million tax credit underwritten by the National Equity Fund, with assistance from the Corporation for Supportive Housing; and

WHEREAS, Project Find's supportive housing at 129 W 43rd Street is a model for high quality supportive housing; and

WHEREAS, Project Find also runs a Senior Center providing vital social services to 350 individuals daily; and

WHEREAS, Under this plan, the property at 129 W 43rd Street would be permanently obligated to provide 284 housing units for low-income households at 60% or lower of Target Median Income; and

WHEREAS, By permanently preserving these units, Project Find would be considered a "granting" site for purposes of compliance with the Inclusionary Housing Program and therefore would be able to transfer development rights to "compensated" sites elsewhere in the community district or within a half mile radius; and

WHEREAS, Project Find is currently negotiating the sale of a portion of its unused air rights (38,620 sf) to a receiving site at 8 East 34th Street; and

WHEREAS, Under this plan, the developer purchasing the unused air rights would be allowed to build 2.5 times as many square feet as purchased from the Woodstock Hotel, (i.e. 96,550 sf); and

WHEREAS, The sale of development rights would enable Project Find to raise equity to build 10 units on the penthouse level, convert office space located on lower floors into 2 residential units, bringing a total of 12 new units to the site, as well as develop a roof garden, an important amenity in the extremely dense urban environment of Times Square; and

WHEREAS, The sale of development rights would allow the Applicant to make critical capital repairs, including gas conversion, water consumption efficiency improvements, boiler replacement, LL11, and ensure long-term reserves for maintenance of the supportive housing, including floors and bathroom renovations, elevators, emergency generator on the roof; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the Affordable Housing Plan for The Woodstock Hotel at 129 West 43rd Street.

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