Conversion of illegal Midtown apartments approved

1182 Broadway. Image: CityLand.

Sixteen-story building was illegally converted to residential use in 1997. On January 26, 2011, the City Planning Commission approved Mocal Enterprises Inc.’s proposal to convert its sixteen-story commercial building at 1182 Broadway in Manhattan to partial residential use. The building, zoned for manufacturing and commercial uses, is located within the Madison Square North Historic District.

In 1997, Mocal illegally converted the portion of the building above the fifth floor into apartments. Mocal initially applied for a special permit to legalize the building in April 2008. In March 2010, Buildings issued a partial vacate order and currently only one commercial tenant remains in the building.

Mocal proposed converting the sixth through sixteenth floors plus penthouse to allow 44 residential apartments and would provide separate entrances and elevators for residential and commercial tenants. Because the building is located within a historic district, it was necessary for Mocal to create a Landmarks approved maintenance plan for the building’s preservation. Landmarks approved Mocal’s restoration plan in January 2008.

Manhattan Community Board 5 opposed the proposal. CB 5 recommended that the building remain commercial space due to the dearth of class B office space in the neighborhood.

At the Commission’s public hearing, Mocal’s attorney, Jay Segal, testified that the proposal would have minimal adverse effects on conforming uses within the building and the surrounding area. Referring to CB 5’s concerns, Segal noted that the conversion’s impact on available class B office space was not a necessary finding under the zoning resolution. Mocal’s Dana Haddad testified that all tenants were compensated for their relocation expenses and refunded brokerage fees, prepaid rent, and security paid. Haddad stated that the building was “a real community” and that many of the former residential tenants intend to return to the building and would purchase their units if the building were converted to a condominium. CB 5’s representative reiterated the board’s opposition.

The Commission unanimously approved the proposal, finding that the proposed mixed-use occupancy of the building would be consistent with established land use trends in the surrounding neighborhood. The Commission pointed out that CB 5’s concern was beyond the scope of Mocal’s application, but noted that an inventory of available class B and C office space within the area and throughout the City could “merit further analysis.”

CPC: 1182 Broadway (C 080361 ZSM – spec. perm.) (Jan. 26, 2011).

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