CPC Approves New Through-Block Building in Ladies’ Mile

A model of a proposed building on 7 West 21st Street, New York, NY. Image Credit: MA.com.

A model of a proposed building on 7 West 21st Street, New York, NY. Image Credit: MA.com.

Permit allows construction of building and an underground parking garage. On February 4, 2015 the City Planning Commission approved a special permit application by 7 West 21 LLC for the construction of an eighteen-story mixed-use building at 7 West 21st Street in the Ladies’ Mile Historic District of Manhattan.  The building will feature 300 units of rental housing, 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, and a 200-space underground parking garage.  The Commission held a public hearing on the application on January 7, 2015.

In its final report, the Commission agreed with the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s findings that the proposed building is consistent with the existing character of the rest of the neighborhood.  The Commission also noted the applicant responded to affordable housing concerns raised by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer.  The proposed building will provide 60 of the 300 total units as affordable housing and evenly intermingled with the market-rate units throughout the building.  The Commission called for all new developments providing affordable units to be designed and constructed with the highest standard of environmental sustainability in mind, whether they receive direct subsidies from City government or not.  7 West 21 is not receiving direct funding from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development for their building, but affirmed the building will meet most of HPD’s mandatory sustainability measures regardless.  The building will feature green roofs and light-colored pavement with a high solar reflectance index.

The Commission also approved of the proposed underground parking garage, observing that parking and loading entrances are common features of many buildings in the neighborhood, dating back to its days as a manufacturing district.  The Commission found the garage design of a dedicated entrance on West 21st Street and a dedicated exit on West 22nd Street would evenly distribute vehicles on the street grid and not seriously hamper vehicle or pedestrian traffic.  The Commission also agreed with the applicant’s study that the requested 200 spaces was not excessive considering recent trends in area development and parking availability, though the Commission made clear the Ladies’ Mile is well-served by public transit.  The applicant also confirmed in a January 20th, 2015 letter that the garage would offer a minimum of six electric vehicle charging stations capable of charging two vehicles simultaneously, as well as space for ten car-sharing service vehicles.

CPC:  7 West 21st Street (150077-ZSM, 150078-ZSM) (Feb.4, 2015).

By:  Michael Twomey (Michael is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School graduate, Class of 2014).

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