Botanical Garden to build 825-space parking garage

BSA approves variance for six-story parking structure. The New York Botanical Garden applied for a variance to construct a six-story, 123,600-square-foot parking garage with 825 spaces. The proposed garage, to be located on two Bronx lots adjacent to the Metro-North Botanical Garden Station along Webster Avenue, Bedford Park Boulevard and Botanical Square South, would replace an abandoned gas station and a one-story warehouse. The proposal required a variance to alter height and setback limitations, allow 825 spaces, and permit added parking on the roof.

The Botanical Garden argued that the site’s 17-foot grade differential would create inefficient garage circulation, eliminating a full aisle of potential parking and necessitating the project’s 85-foot height along the street. Although one level of parking would be provided below street grade, additional subterranean levels would be cost prohibitive due to the high cost to remediate the site’s soil contamination. Overall, the Botanical Garden needed to consolidate parking into one facility to lessen current traffic and parking impacts on adjacent streets.

BSA approved, finding a hardship created by the site’s steep slope and soil conditions. BSA pointed out that the garage did not utilize the full floor area potential of the site, which would allow an added 87,000 sq.ft. as of right. BSA also found that it met the requirements of the zoning resolution since it would provide a 20-car queuing capacity and would lessen the Botanical Garden’s impact on local street parking.

BSA: 2960 Webster Avenue (316-06-BZ) (April 10, 2007). CITYADMIN

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