Extra floor allowed for small Chelsea building

BSA allowed seventh floor despite community board objection. Steve Edelson, the owner of 209 West 20th Street, a 2,309-square-foot lot in Chelsea, proposed to replace a vacant one-story garage with a seven-story, 7,090-square-foot residential building with twelve units. The seventh floor would exceed the R8B district’s 60-foot height limitation and provide one additional unit setback atop the structure.

Edelson argued that the site’s shallow 81-foot depth coupled with the district’s 30-foot rear yard requirement made … <Read More>


Permit awarded to art school

Performing arts school to convert vacant three-story building. Montgomery Academy, a performing arts school located at 414 Utica Avenue, Brooklyn, sought a special permit to convert a vacant three-story commercial building on nearby Lefferts Avenue into additional school space. Montgomery stated that the building was necessary to accommodate increased enrollment.

Prior to submitting its application, Montgomery sought alternate sites, but failed to find any buildings that allowed a school as-of-right suitable with respect to size, … <Read More>


Circus school gets variance

Trapeze training required higher ceilings. The New Wave Circus Center sought BSA approval to locate a circus school in Coney Island where it planned to offer circus- related classes including tightrope walking, unicycle, trapeze and juggling. To accommodate the space needed for circus activities, New Wave would demolish a one-story commercial building at 2920 Coney Island Avenue and replace it with a newly constructed, 49-foot tall building covering the full extent of the 2,160-square-foot lot. … <Read More>


Two residences allowed on one lot

BSA accepts Buildings’ zoning interpretation of minimum lot area requirement. The Staten Island Borough Commissioner rescinded a stop-work order and approved construction of two, two-story single-family homes on one zoning lot in the Prince’s Bay section of the borough. A civic association in opposition appealed the approval to BSA.

At the BSA hearings, the civic association argued that the project did not meet the 3,800-square-foot minimum lot area requirement set in the City’s zoning code. … <Read More>


Former SRO exempt from City’s no harassment law

Building had been converted prior to passage of Local Law. Jennifer Walker purchased 151 West 76th Street, a five-story residential building in Manhattan, in 2002. That year, Walker applied to Buildings for permits to renovate three apartments and a terrace. Buildings determined that the building’s legal use was an SRO, requiring a certificate of no harassment from HPD before permits could be granted. Consequently, Buildings denied the permits.

AfterWalker sought a certificate from HPD and … <Read More>


DeNiro hotel obtains variance

Contaminated soil remediation caused hardship. 377 Greenwich LLC, with principals Robert DeNiro, Ira Druckier and Richard Born, sought BSA approval for a 59,419- square-foot, seven-story luxury hotel in Tribeca that would exceed floor area, wall height and setback restrictions. DeNiro’s development team had started the permit process in 2003 by first seeking the Landmarks Preservation Commission’s approval for construction of a six-story building within the Tribeca West Historic District. After receiving approval, the six-story project … <Read More>