225-space garage approved over neighbors’ objection

Public parking garage will be component of new as-of-right mixed-use tower. Edison Parking sought approval for a 225-space public attended parking garage to be located at 88 Leonard Street between Broadway and Church Street in Tribeca. Currently the site contains a 204-space at-grade parking lot, which Edison plans to replace with a 21-story mixed-use development with 352 residential units, retail, and medical office space to be constructed by AI & Boymelgreen. The proposed public garage would operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week, and would be accessed from Leonard Street.

At the April 27, 2005 public hearing, Paul Selver, Edison’s attorney, explained that the new garage would replace the existing lot and provide the option of parking for the new building’s tenants. When questioned about neighbors’ opposition, Selver responded that their concerns partly related to late-night problems caused by the Knitting Factory, an adjacent Leonard Street nightclub, which the neighbors believe could be exacerbated by a 24-hour garage. Selver argued that a 24-hour commercial use would improve Leonard Street’s security.

Testifying in opposition, Leonard Street residents argued that the garage, together with the Knitting Factory, would increase congestion in the evenings. Several speakers opposed placing the entrance along Leonard Street. Doug Sarini, from Edison, testified that access to the garage from Broadway, although preferred by Edison, was prohibited by City regulation.

The Commission unanimously approved, finding the increase in parking spaces on the lot, from 204 to 225, modest. The Commission noted that the majority of the garage’s activity would occur during office hours. Voting to approve, Commissioner Karen A. Phillips explained that the Commission approved four public garages in the past month, which showed the pressing need for a comprehensive policy on the permitted locations for garages.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on February 28, 2005. Community Board 1 and Borough President C. Virginia Fields recommended approval.

CPC: 88 Leonard Street Garage (C 050196 ZSM – special permit for public parking garage) (May 25, 2005) (Paul Selver, Paul Hastings, for Edison). CITYADMIN

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