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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

1162 Broadway, b/t 27th - 28th Streets, amendment to a BSA approved variance to change the use of the proposed building from hotel use to office use for a new 13 story office building

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, December 12, 2019, the following resolution passed with a vote of 36 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, Community Board Five recommended approval of a variance to facilitate development of a 14-story hotel at 1162 Broadway at the monthly meeting of CB5 on Thursday, December 11, 2014 with a vote of 32 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining; and

WHEREAS, The BSA subsequently granted the Variance on March 24, 2015;

WHEREAS, An application on behalf of the owner of the 1162 Broadway site (“Owner”) was submitted to the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals on May 23, 2019 requesting:

  1. An amendment to the BSA granted Variance, BSA Cal. No. 175-14-BZ (the “Variance”) to change the use of the building from hotel use to office use;
  2. An extension of time to complete construction of the new office building;
  3. Waivers from:
    • the applicable maximum base height and setback requirements ZR Section 43-34 to allow the building to rise to its total height of 150’ without setback and
    • the side yard requirements of ZR Section 43-25 to allow for open areas along the side of lot lines less than 8 feet; and

WHEREAS, The Owner has determined that hotel development of the site would no longer be feasible due to increased competition from new larger hotels in the surrounding area, and because hotel use on the site is no longer as-of-right due to the recent enactment of the M1 Hotel Text Amendment to the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York, which provides that transient hotels in M1 districts are permitted only by special permit from the City Planning Commission; and

WHEREAS, The approved plans show hotel use and no waiver was obtained for such use in connection with the Variance; and

WHEREAS, The Owner cannot proceed at DOB with a building utilizing the bulk relief granted by the Variance without obtaining an Extension and Waiver and an amendment to the Variance to change the use shown on the approved plans to a use that is as-of-right in the M1-6 district; and

WHEREAS, The Amendment, if granted, would allow for the construction of a new 13-story 24,329 sf (10 FAR) office building on the site and would be as-of-right except with respect to the two bulk waivers granted pursuant to the Variance for the hotel use and would in fact reduce the number of floors that utilized such waivers by one; and

WHEREAS, The proposed building would rise without setback for its entire height of 13 stories and 147’-3”, in violation of the applicable height and setback requirements of ZR 43-34 but consistent with the height and setback waiver granted by the Variance, and consistent with the streetscape contextual design of the Madison Square North Historic District; and

WHEREAS, The neighborhood where the site is located, north of Madison Square Park, is primarily developed with commercial uses and contains small, mid-size and large buildings occupied by wholesale, hotel, office and related commercial uses; and

WHEREAS, Buildings in the surrounding area range from one to 24 stories in height with a majority of structures being four and twelve stories in height and 18 feet in width or street frontage to over 250 feet with most buildings in the 25 to 125 foot range; and

WHEREAS, The Owner seeks an amendment to the granted Variance in order to move forward at the DOB with the proposed building, which would be an office building on the site that would utilize the bulk waivers granted by the Variance; and

WHEREAS, The proposed office use is as-of-right and the amendment would not increase the degree of previously granted bulk waivers or require any new bulk waivers and the number of floors in the building utilizing the bulk waivers granted by the Variance would be decreased by one; and

WHEREAS, The DOB has objected to the proposed office building envelope in an objection dated May 6, 2019 because the proposed Use Group 6B office use requires amendment to BSA Variance (Cal No. 175-14BZ).

WHEREAS, The amendment would not materially affect any of the five required findings with respect to ZR Section 72-21 that the BSA made in granting the Variance; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of an amendment to the approved Variance to facilitate development of a 13-story office building at 1162 Broadway.

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