City Planning Commission considers new nine-story building in Tribeca East Historic District


Developer had already obtained Landmarks’ approval for building at 83 Walker Street in June 2011. On May 9, 2012, the City Planning Commission is reviewing Abra Construction’s proposal to build a nine-story residential building on a vacant lot at 83 Walker Street in the Tribeca East Historic District. The narrow, nine-unit building would be 100 feet and 11 inches tall with no setback. The lot’s C6-2A zoning regulations limit the maximum base height for new buildings at 85 feet. The zoning resolution would also require that the height of a new building on the vacant lot be no greater than 81 feet, which is the height of the lowest abutting building. In order to construct its noncomplying building, Abra requested a special permit to modify the zoning resolution’s bulk regulations for buildings within historic districts.

Abra in June 2011 obtained Landmarks approval for the Morris Adjmi-designed proposal, which would feature a contemporary interpretation of cast-iron architecture. (read CityLand’s coverage here). Landmarks issued a certificate of appropriateness for the  proposal on July 28, 2012. Manhattan Community Board 1 recommended approval of the special permit by a vote of 41-0-0. Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer supported the proposal, finding that it was consistent with surrounding buildings and that the lack of a setback strengthened the continuity of the block’s streetwall. Stringer’s report, however, noted a history of building destabilizations within the historic district due to a high water table and urged Abra to take all necessary steps to mitigate potential construction impacts.

At the City Planning Commission’s May 9, 2012 public hearing, Commissioner Anna Levin asked Abra’s attorney, Sheldon Lobel, P.C.’s Richard Lobel, about Stringer’s concerns. In response, Lobel testified that the project’s architect had submitted a letter to Stringer’s office ensuring compliance with local construction-safety laws. Karolina Hall, representing the borough president, reiterated Stringer’s support of the project.

According to City Planning’s Land Use & CEQR Tracking System (LUCATS), the Commission has until July 2, 2012 to review the proposal.

CPC: Hearing on 83 Walker Street (C 100149 ZSM – special permit) (May 9, 2012).

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