Apartments OK’ed in Chelsea manufacturing district

Developer reduced overall size, but increased street wall height. A Chelsea developer applied to BSA to construct an 11-story, 187-foot tall residential building with ground floor retail space on a manufacturing- zoned lot at Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, arguing that the small, 1,683-square-foot lot size justified the use variance. The existing two-story building, containing Rosa’s Pizza and Manhattan’s Heros, would be demolished.

BSA objected to the height and size, stressing that the proposal would clash with neighboring buildings. When the developer slightly reduced the building’s size by 1,683 sq.ft., BSA maintained its objections. The final design called for ten stories, ten units and a total height of 130 feet, but increased the street wall height from 87 to 107 feet.

The developer submitted as-of- right feasibility studies showing that an 18-story office building would be infeasible due to the increased construction costs caused by the narrow and shallow lot and by the weak return on office space with such small floor plates.

BSA agreed, granting the variance. BSA noted that since the City required greater street wall heights in the recent South Chelsea rezoning, the increased height conformed more closely to zoning goals and nearby Chelsea buildings.

BSA: 299 Seventh Avenue (199-05-BZ) (Oct. 24, 2006). CITYADMIN

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