Developer wins right to convert floors to residential units

Twelve-story mixed-use building to be partially converted. The owner of a building on West 30th Street in the Garment District received a variance from BSA to convert three-and- a-half floors from commercial/ manufacturing use to residential use. The proposed conversion would add three new residential units and enlarge an existing unit, giving the 26,900-square-foot mixed-use building a total residential floor area of 17,504 sq. ft.

The owner argued that the present commercial/manufacturing zoning was not feasible because of the building’s small floor plates, narrow and awkwardly-shaped entrance, and small elevator. The owner also argued that manufacturing and commercial uses would be incompatible with the building’s legal residential tenants, who are located above and below the proposed conversion.

According to the owner, marketing the non-residential portions of the building to small office tenants is also infeasible because nearby buildings are simply more suitable for the many shipping and wholesale businesses located in the Garment District. These nearby buildings have larger elevators, more office tenants, better access to natural light, and fewer, if any, residential tenants.

BSA granted the variance without significant conditions, finding that the unique physical condition of the building created a hardship for the owner.

BSA: 24 West 30th Street (120-07-BZ) (Sept. 11, 2007) (Bryan Cave, for Fiam Building Associates). CITYADMIN

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