BSA Renews Construction Permit in Rezoned Area

Robin Kramer testifies before the Board of Standards and Appeals. Image credit: BSA

Robin Kramer testifies before the Board of Standards and Appeals. Image credit: BSA

Board recognized a vested right to continue construction.  On June 16, 2015 the Board of Standards and Appeals voted to extend a construction permit to the applicant, 180 Orchard LLC, for a twenty-four story mixed commercial- and community-use building at 180 Orchard Street in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.  The building will contain retail on the cellar and ground floors, community space on the mezzanine and second floors, and hotel use through the remaining floors.

On November 23, 2005 the Department of Buildings issued the initial construction permit to the applicant.  On November 19, 2008 the City Council voted to adopt the East Village/Lower East Side Rezoning (see previous CityLand coverage here), changing the zoning designation of the construction site from C6-1 to C4-4A.  Under the new zoning, the building no longer complied with regulations on floor area, number of hotel rooms, lot coverage, density, building height, and street wall location.  Buildings permitted construction to continue for another two years, recognizing the applicant completed 100 percent of the foundations at the time of rezoning, vesting their right to continue construction.  After a series of extensions, the permit lapsed, and on January 14, 2015 the applicant filed for an extension of the permit with the Board.

A public hearing was held on June 2, 2015.   Robin Kramer of Duval & Stachenfeld testified for the applicant.  Ms. Kramer stated a year extension would be enough to finish the building, as only the top two floors remained under construction, though they were requesting a renewal of the permit for two years as permitted under common-law.  No other speakers testified.

On June 16, the Board voted 4-0 to grant a two-year reinstatement of the construction permit.  In its decision, the Board noted were the applicant forced to demolish what was already built and construct a new building in compliance with the current zoning regulations, they would sustain losses of $60 million in demolition and construction costs and an additional $124 million in expenditures and obligations already made.

BSA: 180 Orchard Street (8-15-A) (Jun. 16, 2015) (Duval & Stachenfeld, for 180 Orchard LLC c/o Brack Capital Real Estate, owner).

By:  Michael Twomey (Michael is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2014).

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.