388-foot West Street residential tower approved

Developer addresses noise concerns for construction near downtown elementary school. An 815,000- square-foot residential/retail project, including a 388-foot tower to front West Street in lower Manhattan, obtained City Council approval on September 28, 2005.

The mixed-use project, to be constructed on a site bounded by West, Warren, Greenwich and Murray Streets, required special permits to vary height, setback, and rear yard requirements, and to construct a 400-space parking garage. 2 CityLand 118 (Sept. 15, 2005).

At the September 20, 2005 hearing before the Council’s Subcommittee on Planning, Dispositions and Concessions, the Economic Development Corporation and developer Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc. stressed that the building would not maximize its FAR potential and included construction of a Community Youth Center at 200 Chambers Street. The EDC and Minskoff also raised the community’s recommendation that construction noise be kept below 45 decibels in order to avoid disturbances to nearby P.S. 234 elementary school. The developer expressed that the recommendation was too strict because ambient noise in that neighborhood has been measured at 70 decibels.

Council Member Alan Gerson spoke in support of the project, but insisted that noise abatement measures be taken to protect the physical and emotional health as well as the education of P.S. 234 students. Gerson specifically noted that many of the school’s students were evacuated on September 11th and could still suffer trauma from extreme noise. He also expressed concern over potential depravation of light and air to the school because a majority of the school’s windows face the site.

The Subcommittee postponed the vote after experts on both sides agreed to work toward technical solutions to the light, air and noise problems. According to The New York Times, Minskoff agreed to commit $2 million toward noise abatement measures such as a 20- foot-high sound wall and hydraulic pile driving hammers.

On September 28, 2005, the Subcommittee, the Land Use Committee, and the full Council approved.

Council: 270 Greenwich Street/Site 5B (September 28, 2005); CPC: 270 Greenwich Street/Site 5B (C 050427 HAM – UDAAP designation/disposition of property); (C 050428 MEM – eliminate easement); (C 050429 ZSM – modify height, setback, yard); (C 050430 ZSM – 400-space parking garage) (August 10, 2005) (Edward J. Minskoff, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc.; Mustafa K. Abadan, AIA, Skidmore Owings & Merrill LLP; Robert S. Davis, Bryan Cave LLP). CITYADMIN

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