Midtown hotels to be built on platforms over rail line

Developer plans two hotels with 354 rooms on platform above Amtrak. SCW West LLC applied for a special permit to allow development of two hotels on a platform to be built over two active, below-grade Amtrak rail lines and a vacant through-lot located west of 10th Avenue in Manhattan. The special permit sought to include the platform’s area into the calculation of lot area. SCW proposed a 12-story, 118-foot tall, 203-room hotel on West 43rd Street and a 9-story, 90-foot tall, 151-room hotel on West 44th Street. The 20,000-square-foot site lies partially within a residential zone and the Special Clinton District preservation area, but may be developed entirely for hotel use since over half of it is within, and the remainder lies adjacent to, a manufacturing zone.

At a September 13, 2006 public hearing, no speakers appeared in opposition; however, Community Board 4 voted against the special permit, noting that the design was too commercial and that floor area should be shifted from the 12-story hotel to the 9-story hotel, allowing both buildings to conform to neighborhood character. The board opposed the hotels’ plans to accept tour bus bookings and the inclusion of parking, arguing that it would create congestion. Anthony Borelli, speaking for Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, spoke in favor of the proposal and commended SCW for its willingness to work with the community.

The Commission approved, commenting that the hotels would not impede use of the rail line and Clinton’s streets could accommodate the project’s traffic, especially since neither hotel would include banquet halls or meeting facilities. Amtrak must still approve the platform’s structural design and its ventilation system.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: DCP,Con.Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: MN 4,Den’d, 32-0-1
Boro. President: App’d

CPC: 505-513 West 43rd Street (C 060334 ZSM – special permit) (Oct. 11, 2006). CITYADMIN

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