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An application for a new building to be constructed at 10 West 17th street.

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, November 9, 2023, the following resolution passed with a vote of 18 in favor; 11 opposed; 2 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The proposed new building is located within The Ladies Mile Historic District; and

WHEREAS, The proposed site is on the South Side of 17th street just west of Fifth Ave, just within the border of of the Historic District; and

WHEREAS, There had been another building of the same bulk and height approved for this location which was never built and the permit has expired; and

WHEREAS, The space is currently an empty lot; and

WHEREAS, The Ladies Mile Historic District includes an assortment of grand department store buildings, lofts and early skyscrapers and was designated a landmark District in 1989; and

WHEREAS, The Ladies Mile Historic District was a prime shopping district in Manhattan, New York City at the end of the 19th century, sometimes referred to as “The Gilded Age”, serving the well-to-do “carriage trade” of the city and serviced by the 6th Ave. elevated subway; and

WHEREAS, Most of the district’s buildings are commercial and date from the period between the Civil War and World War I; and

WHEREAS, According to Jack Taylor, President of The Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile District, “All these great buildings, all this shopping, engendered a feeling of opulence. And because it was so popular, that made it safe for women to go shopping unaccompanied by men for the first time; and

WHEREAS, During and following World War I, many department stores moved uptown and the buildings were converted for manufacturing use, with many garment manufacturing factories, and today most of the buildings retain their commercial character, with a strong retail ground floor presence, though some have been converted for residential use; and

WHEREAS, The proposed new building would be approximately 50 feet wide and 189ft high and 17 stories with a 30ft rear yard; and

WHEREAS, The new structure would contain a canopy with the dimensions of 13” wide, 5ft deep, and 12” tapered to 18” thick, and 10 feet above ground, with lighting on the underside; and

WHEREAS, There is LED lighting at ground level for safety; and

WHEREAS, The building design features an American walnut wood door, which is a departure from other entrances within the district; and

WHEREAS, The building has no retail space; and

WHEREAS, The building facade is to be constructed from Ultra High Performance Concrete or UHPC; and

WHEREAS, The UHPC is molded with a design meant to invoke the gentle folds found in fabrics to give a nod to the industry that previously dominated The Ladies Mile Historic District; and

WHEREAS, This design is not something that already exists in the District; and

WHEREAS, The crown of the building features a three dimensional, asymmetrical, three-story structure consisting of additional apartment square footage as well as stepped terraces which the applicant refers to as a dormer to fall under the zoning resolution dormer exemption; and

WHEREAS, This structure is unlike anything that can be found in the District; and

WHEREAS, The color of the building is intentionally and substantially different than the buildings on the block and in the district; and

WHEREAS, Despite the bold design, the building lacks appropriateness and harmony within the District; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board 5 recommends Denial of this application for a new building to be constructed at 10 West 17th street.

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