BSA grants variance for Harlem church project

Church sought approval for 35 market- rate residential units in East Harlem. BSA granted a variance to the Church of the Resurrection, permitting an eight-story residential building at 325 East 101st Street, in East Harlem, Manhattan. The new 47,984-square-foot building will be located on an 8,629-square-foot lot that currently contains a two-story church, which will be demolished. The new building will contain a church and elementary school on the first and second floors, and 35,552 sq.ft. of market-rate residential space constituting 35 dwelling units on the third through eighth floors.

Church of the Resurrection required variances for FAR, lot coverage, and rear yard size. After proposing two scenarios utilizing below-ground space to reduce FAR and building costs, Church of the Resurrection argued that as-of-right development would not allow a reasonable return due to incremental construction costs related to bedrock depth, poor soil and below-grade groundwater. Church of the Resurrection also noted that the development was smaller than neighboring ten-story, 200-unit residential buildings.

disapproved the market-rate housing component of the proposal, BSA approved the plan and agreed that the site’s unique conditions created a hardship. BSA noted that the project would not alter the neighborhood character or impair adjacent development.

BSA: 325 East 101st Street (349-05-BZ) (July 11, 2006) (Howard Goldman, for Church). CITYADMIN

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