Landmarks allows 15-story bldg. in Ladies’ Mile historic dist.

Karl Fischer-designed, through-block building similar to proposal previously approved. At its August 7, 2007 hearing, Landmarks voted to grant a permit to 42 West 18th Street Realty Corp. for the construction of a new residential and commercial building on a vacant lot at 38 West 18th Street and rooftop additions to buildings at 40 and 42 West 18th Street within the Ladies’ Mile Historic District. The plan calls for preserving the facades of the two existing buildings in exchange for the developer’s plan to seek a bulk waiver under the zoning code.

In 2001, Landmarks had approved a similar plan to develop a 15-story tower on the vacant lot and to make rooftop additions to the two existing buildings. However, the owners never followed through with that construction plan, designed by Joseph P. Lombardi, and the approval lapsed in May 2007. The new proposal would reduce the size of the rooftop additions on 40 and 42 West 18th Street by 5,000 sq.ft.

Jack Taylor, representing the Drive to Protect the Ladies’ Mile Historic District, testified in support of the design at Landmarks’ hearing based on the fact that it was substantially similar to the 2001 proposal and the new rooftop additions would no longer be visible from the street. Taylor pointed out, however, that the City rezoned the sites since 2001 and Landmarks had misstated the impact of that rezoning. Community Board 5 also approved the proposal.

The proposal now goes to the Planning Commission for approval of the bulk waiver. Construction cannot commence until the Commission approves the application.

LPC: 38-42 West 18th Street (COFA# 07- 4197) (Aug. 7, 2007).

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