Artists Get Additional Joint Living/Work Quarters

Owner argued that former hydroponic bean sprout farm created hardship. The owner of 425 Broome Street sought to add partial sixth and seventh stories to an existing five-story building, provide 10 accessory parking spaces and use the first floor as a spa. The building, zoned for use as joint living/work quarters for artists, will add 6,730 square feet in floor area, increasing the number of artist units to twelve.

The owner argued that a hardship existed because a hydroponic bean sprout farm, formerly located in the basement, created structural and mold problems, and the building’s single hydro-powered elevator was obsolete and inoperable. BSA initially questioned whether the bases for hardship were common maintenance issues. The owner, however, presented evidence showing that because of the hydroponic farm, trenches had been dug into the basement floor, causing soil erosion and structural damage.

BSA determined that because of the lot’s unique physical conditions as-of-right development would not provide a reasonable return. BSA found that construction of two additional stories and use of the first floor as a spa would not alter the character of the neighborhood. The owner agreed that because the building is adjacent to the SoHo-Cast Iron Historic District, it would be developed as if it were a designated landmark and the facade would be reconstructed with approval from Landmarks.

BSA: 425/27 Broome Street (399-04-BZ) (Greenberg Traurig, LLP, for applicant). CITYADMIN

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