City Planning Commission Approves Special Permit For Subway Elevators on 45 Broad Street

45 Broad Street Rendering. Image Credit: CPC

Application approval will bring ADA accessibility to Downtown Manhattan. On April 23, 2018, the City Planning Commission approved the application for a special permit to allow a floor area bonus (FAR) of up to 20 percent to the basic maximum FAR to the 45 Broad Street development in connection with proposed subway improvements. The application was submitted by Madison 45 Broad Development LLC. The special permit will allow the construction of two subway elevators on the Broad Street and Wall Street stations, as part of an application for a new mixed-use residential building. On March 14, 2018, the Commission held a public hearing on the special permit. To read CityLand’s coverage of the hearing, click here.

The proposed 80-story building on 45 Broad Street would be located in the Financial District’s Frozen Zone, serving as a security perimeter for the New York Stock Exchange that only allows authorized vehicles to enter the area and is equipped with 3,000 security cameras. The area is bounded Pine Street to the north, William Street to the east, Beaver Street to the south, and Broadway to the west.

The proposed 80-story building is adjacent to the Broad Street subway station, which is the terminal station of the Nassau Street J/Z lines in downtown Manhattan. The Nassau Street is connected to the Wall Street station of the 4/5 lines. Applicants worked with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) New York City Transit (NYCT) on improvements for the Broad Street station and selecting the location of the new elevators. NYCT identified the need for elevators to provide Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA)-compliant access to allow handicap-access to the J/Z trains further into Downtown Manhattan and the need to improve ingress and egress at two control areas at the Wall Street station of the 4/5 subway lines.

The proposed elevators will be located on the northbound platform in a four-foot-wide curb bump-out at the northeast corner of Exchange Place and Board Street and on the southbound (terminal) platform in a 12-foot-wide curb bump-out at the southwest corner of Exchange Place and Broad Street.

The Commission determined that the proposed elevators will significantly improve general accessibility of the Broad Street and Wall Street stations by providing ADA accessible elevators. The new elevators will increase the ADA-compliant access to seven stations out of the 30 stations served by the J and Z trains. At the public hearing, advocates for persons with disabilities supported the addition of the elevators to the area and spoke about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities when traveling to downtown Manhattan.

The Commission also addressed residents’ concern that the elevators would pose a security risk and encourage terrorist attacks. The Commission did not find a potential security risk and noted that applicants provided a report from a private security group indicating that the elevators would not result in an increased security risk. The Commission also noted that the project site’s location in the Financial District’s Frozen Zone provides significant security camera presence and restricted access to authorized vehicles only.


CPC: 45 Broad Street (C 180063 ZSM, April 23, 2018)

By: Dorichel Rodriguez (Dorichel is the CityLaw Fellow and graduate of New York Law School, Class of 2017.)


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