Gilbert-designed warehouse designated

Preservationists fear City Council will overturn Landmarks’ designation. Landmarks voted unanimously on September 20, 2005 to designate the Austin, Nichols & Co. Warehouse despite extensive opposition from its current owner, Council Member David Yassky and former City Council Member Kenneth Fisher, who appeared on the owner’s behalf. Constructed in 1913 along the East River in Brooklyn, the six-story reinforced concrete Austin Nichols building is attributed to Cass Gilbert, the architect of the Woolworth Building and … <Read More>

East Side hotel legalizes its gym and spa

Mid-town hotel,marketing itself as a spa/fitness-getaway, had no permit for its spa. The Affinia Dumont Hotel, advertising itself as “New York City’s only Executive Fitness Suite Hotel,” had illegally operated a spa and gym without a permit since May 2004. Located at 150 East 34th Street, the 37-story hotel concentrates its marketing and hotel services around its spa and gym, offering spa packages, in-room massages and a “fitness concierge” to arrange gym and spa services … <Read More>

BSA rejects waivers for L.I.C. apartment bldg.

Queens developer claimed out-of- date layout made apartments unfit. A Queens developer proposed to demolish two adjacent two-family buildings in Long Island City, replacing them with a five-story, 20- unit building that required waivers from BSA for floor area, yard, height, setback and open space.

The proposal was strongly opposed by the community, Borough President Helen Marshall, Community Board 1 and Council Members Peter F. Vallone, Jr. and Tony Avella. Faced with community opposition, the … <Read More>

BSA approves 7-story SoHo residential building

Fire-damaged building in historic SoHo to be restored and increased in height. Morty Lipkis, owner of 44 Mercer Street, a 2,480-square-foot lot in SoHo, proposed to replace a vacant fire-damaged building zoned for manufacturing with a 102-foot tall, seven-story mixed-use building. The proposed building would serve residential and retail uses with 12,549- square-feet of floor space, requiring variances for use and rear yard size. The site’s current two-story structure abuts a rear building and offers … <Read More>

Commission votes to end commercial option

Twenty-one areas to lose commercial zoning overlay. In 2003, Mayor Michael Bloomberg formed the Staten Island Growth Management Task Force to examine over-development in the borough. The Task Force’s recommendations resulted in new zoning controls adopted in 2004 restricting the size and density of Staten Island residential development. A loophole remained for lots within residential zones that were also subject to commercial district overlays. Along with allowing commercial uses on these lots, the commercial overlays … <Read More>

313-Unit Housing Project to Front Coney Island Boardwalk

First unsubsidized project built in Coney Island in past 50 years gets Commission approval. Coney Island developer, David Weisz & Sons, sought to rezone five lots along Surf Avenue and Coney Island Beach to allow the construction of two seven-story residential condominium towers with 313 market-rate units to be called Ocean Dreams. When compiled, the five lots would comprise a 133,843-square-foot development site stretching from West 35th to West 37th Streets along the Riegelmann Boardwalk.… <Read More>