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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

Grace Park Cafe Certification, an application by 1114 6th Ave Owners LLC to allow three open-air cafes as a permitted obstruction within an existing plaza at 42nd St. and 6th Ave.

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, July 08, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 25 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 1114 6th Avenue Owner LLC, (the “Applicant”) an entity controlled by Brookfield Office Properties, Inc., requests the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certify open air cafés within Grace Plaza in accordance with Sections 37-624 and 37-73(c) of the Zoning Resolution of the City of New York at property known by the address of 1114 Avenue of the Americas; and

WHEREAS, Grace Plaza was constructed in 1969-71 in connection with the Development of the Grace Building, a 47-story office building located on a through block site with frontage on West 42nd and 43rd Streets; and

WHEREAS, Grace Plaza was developed as a 20,000 sq ft bonus plaza under the then existing 1961 zoning regulations with few public amenities and limited signage; and

WHEREAS, By providing Grace Plaza and the Arcades at the time of the construction of the Grace Building, it was entitled to an additional 207,720 square feet of bonus floor area for utilization in its development; and

WHEREAS, In 2009 a 2591 sq/ft open air café was approved by the Chair of CPC, and was subsequently increased to 2713 sq/ft in 2013; and

WHEREAS, In 2017, the open air café certification was renewed for a total of 124 seats; and

WHEREAS, In addition to acquiring the Zoning Lot, another entity controlled by Brookfield recently entered into a long-term ground lease with the option to purchase the adjacent 1100 Avenue of the Americas building and while 1100 Avenue of the Americas is not part of the Zoning Lot and is not subject of this Application, because it is commonly controlled by Brookfield, the Applicant wishes to create additional open air cafes for hospitality commercial tenants of 1100 Avenue of the Americas; and

WHEREAS, The three proposed open air cafes would have a total of 136 chairs, and a footprint larger than the previously approved open air café; and

WHEREAS, in order for an open air café certification to be issued a number of findings must be met including the following finding: Finding (1): “such use promotes public use and enjoyment of the publicly accessible open area;”; and

WHEREAS, To promote public use, open air café seating must be open and accessible to the public without need for purchase; and

WHEREAS, Private use exclusively for a hospitality operator is contrary to finding (1), and contradicts the letter and the spirit of the zoning resolution; and 

WHEREAS, The Applicant is not agreeable to a stipulation to allow for public seating without need for purchase; therefore be it

RESOLVED Community Board Five recommends denial of the application for open air café at Grace Plaza and requests that the Chair of the City Planning Commission demands that open air café seating at Grace Plaza be open to the public without need for purchase.

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