Council Modifies Hudson Yards Proposal

Changes will increase the protection and affordability of low-income housing and lower the commercial square footage. The Council approved all ten Hudson Yards land use actions after extended negotiations with the Bloomberg Administration on modifications to the rezoning text as well as the financing mechanism. The Council’s modifications were aimed primarily at lowering the overall development potential of commercial uses, increasing the potential for residential uses, lowering density along the Tenth Avenue corridor and altering the inclusionary affordable housing text.

The development potential for commercial uses was reduced from 26 million sq.ft. to 24.3 million sq.ft. The Council reduced the permitted floor area from 15 FAR to 13 along the west side of Tenth Avenue, unless a project included community facility space. Height controls were modified in Hell’s Kitchen, adjacent to the Lincoln Tunnel approaches, to limit the height to 180 ft.

The Council also modified the inclusionary housing provision, which allows developers to increase the size of a development if affordable housing is constructed, to require that the housing remain affordable for the life of the building and to set a more restrictive definition of “fair rent.”

The modifications were sent to the Planning Commission, which reviewed and approved on January 18, 2005. Other Hudson Yards applications were approved by the Council without change and, as a result, did not require additional Commission action. These included:

– Acquisition of the eastern portion of Caemmerer Yard;
– Acquisition of ten lots and 66 easements for the extension of the No. 7 Flushing Line;
– Disposition of 36 lots following completion of the subway extension;
– Acquisition of property to create a new street, Hudson Boulevard, to extend from West 33rd to West 38th mid-block between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues;
– Acquisition of property for the construction of a combined Sanitation garage/NYPD tow pound;
– Acquisition of 14 lots by the DOT and DCAS for a 950-space public parking garage;
– Map changes for Hudson Boulevard and a new public park at West 29th and 30th Streets between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues; and
– Acquisition of an easement over the Lincoln Tunnel approaches for a pedestrian bridge.

In voting to approve, Council Members Christine Quinn and Melinda Katz both lauded the commitment made to affordable housing, which they said was unprecedented. Council Member Charles Barron voted against all ten applications, indicating that he principally opposed the redevelopment’s financing mechanism, but also noted his concern for the consequential displacement of residents and businesses with the City’s actions.

The Council approved the ten joint Hudson Yards applications on January 19, 2005 by a vote of 46 to one. For the Commission’s consideration and the full ULURP process, see 1 CityLand 36 (December 2004).

Council: Hudson Yards (January 19, 2005); CPC: Hudson Yards (C 040499(A) ZMM – zoning map amendment); (N 040500(A) ZRM – text amendment); (C 040501 PCMacquisition for sanitation garage/towpound); (C 040502 PCM – acquisition for public parking garage); (C 040503 PQM – easement acquisition for pedestrian bridge); (C 040504 PQM – acquisition of property for subway); (C 040505 PQM – acquisition of Caemmerer Yard); (C 040506 PPM – disposition of 36 lots); (040507 MMM – City map change for Hudson Boulevard); (C 040508 MMM – City map change for park) (November 22, 2004). CITYADMIN

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