Manhattan’s Toy Center to become apartments

Rezoning will allow Chelsea’s International Toy Center to be converted for residential use. 200 Fifth, LLC applied to rezone 200 Fifth Avenue and 1107 Broadway in Chelsea, Manhattan, to allow conversion of manufacturing/commercial buildings to residences with an expected 500 units. The buildings, located between Sixth Avenue and Broadway, along West 23rd and 25th Streets, are home to The International Toy Center and nearly 300 toy companies, many of which have been tenants since 1938. The map amendment would replace M1-6 with C5-2 on two blocks, permitting residential and commercial use without altering the FAR or height limits. 200 Fifth also applied for a special permit to construct a 54-space attended garage on the site to service the new residences.

At the February 8, 2006 Commission hearing, there were no speakers in opposition. Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s representative, Anthony Borelli, advocated approval on condition that current tenants have access to the building for the February 2006 toy fair. The Toy Industry Association also spoke in favor and noted 200 Fifth’s agreement to allow tenants to remain for the toy fair and provide relocation assistance. A representative from the Economic Development Corporation spoke about its efforts to keep the toy industry in New York City by helping relocate the tenants.

The Commission approved the application on March 8, 2006 by a vote of 11-1 with Commissioner Karen Phillips voting against it. In approving, the Commission noted that recent development has changed the area’s character and that the City will benefit from additional housing without significantly disrupting the neighborhood.

ULURP Process: The Planning Commission, as lead agency, issued a negative declaration on November 14, 2005. Community Board 5 disapproved by a vote of 29-1-1. On January 18, 2006, newly elected Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer recommended approval with conditions. City Council review is pending.

CPC: Madison Park West (C 060210 ZMM – map amendment) (C 060211 ZSM – special permit) (March 8, 2006). CITYADMIN

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