Council modifies hotel height; Commission to review

Height of Harlem hotel reduced to 478 feet. On October 27, 2004, the City Council approved, subject to a 40 ft. height reduction, the development of an iconic Harlem building for hotel, residential and commercial office space at 125th Street and Park Avenue in East Harlem. The Council modification, which was approved by a vote of 47 to 2, reduced the building’s height by 40 ft. from 518 ft. to 478 ft. Council’s modification is the second reduction that the developers, 1800 Park Avenue LLC, have agreed to in order to gain City approval. The proposed new building, designed by Mexican architect Enrique Norten of MDA Design group International, would have a base building covering the full lot area, which at 1 50 ft. in height, would dramatically taper to a slim 453 ft. tower with a 25 ft. decorative extension.

Council Members Bill Perkins and Albert Vann voted against the project even with the height modification. Council Member Perkins indicated that the building is distinctively out of character with the other buildings in the area; and Council Member Vann argued that economic development was not always beneficial to the community. Council Member Koppell disputed both views, claiming that the building of a first-class hotel in Harlem symbolizes its renaissance.

A Council modification, under the City Charter, is sent to the Planning Commission for a determination on whether the reduction creates any significant land use or environmental issues. The Planning Commission has 15 days to recommend approval ot make additional amendments . Thereafter, Council makes the final decision to adopt the resolution, with or without the Planning Commission’s proposed amendments.

For the Planning Commission’s consideration and ULURP process, see 1 CityLand 8 (October 1 5, 2004).

Council L.U. No. 286-88 (October 27, 2004); CPC Cal Nos. 34-36 C 040443 ZMM (map amendment); C 040444 ZSM (special permit for height/setback) ; C 040445 ZSM (special permit for parking) (September 8, 2004) (Harlem Park Hotel: Michael Caridi, Majic Development Group LLC, Paul Travis, Washington Square Partners, for 1800 Park Avenue LLC; MDA Designgroup International). CITYADMIN

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