Planning Commission Approves Large Retail Establishment on Broadway Against Community Disapproval

46 Broadway in SoHo. Image credit: GoogleMaps

The City Planning Commission approved an application for a large retail establishment, 28,634 square feet, in the lower floors of a building in SoHo neighborhood. On July 12, 2017, the City Planning Commission issued a favorable report on an application from 462BDWY LAND, L.P.—owner of 462 Broadway in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The application sought a special permit to modify use regulations of Section 42-14(D)(2)(b) of the Zoning Resolution to allow retail uses on portions of the ground floor, cellar, and second and third floor of the existing six-story building. The applicant also sought a special permit to allow large retail establishments without limitation to floor are per an establishment.

The six-story building was constructed in 1880 and is located within the SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District. The building consists of northerly and southerly portions that can be accessed independently of one another. Currently the cellar, ground floor and southern portion of the second and third floors are vacant. The remainder of the building is occupied by the International Culinary Center and office space. The ground floor had previously been used as a restaurant for the Culinary Center, but the school no longer required the space and it vacated the ground floor in 2015.

The building is located in an M1-5B district, which permits as-of-right light industrial and commercial uses and community facilities. The zoning district does not permit certain retail uses like department stores and clothing stores in excess of 10,000 square feet in floor area. The applicant proposed the use of the southerly ground floor through the third floor as well as the cellar for a single retail establishment. The total floor area for the proposed space was 28,634 square feet.

On April 20, 2017, Manhattan Community Board 2 voted 34-0 to disapprove the application for the large retail establishment and to disapprove the application for the retail use unless the total area of any retail store does not exceed 10,000 square feet, and that no eating and drinking establishment and late-night uses are permitted. On May 22, 2017, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer issued her recommendation to disapprove the application.

In its report, the Commission found the application for the special permits to be appropriate. Regarding the large retail establishment permit, the Commission did prohibit truck loading and unloading between 8 pm and 7 am to address community concerns noise disturbances for residents in the area. The Commission found that large retail establishments were appropriate “along the Broadway corridor in SoHo, given the existing and historic land use pattern, high level of mass transit access, Broadway and Grand Street’s status as truck routes, as well as the characteristics of the building stock.” Further, the Commission stated that it believed “that the logistics of building out and tenanting smaller stores” was infeasible.

The application will move to the City Council for consideration in the coming weeks.

CPC: 462 Broadway, Manhattan (C 170192 ZSM; C 170193 ZSM) (July 12, 2017).

By: Jonathon Sizemore (Jonathon is the CityLaw Fellow and a New York Law School Graduate, Class of 2016).

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