Planning Commission Approves Broader Retail Use in Ground Floor on Greene Street

62 Greene Street, Manhattan. Image credit: GoogleMaps

The City Planning Commission approved the conversion of a Greene Street ground floor into retail space. On June 21, 2017, the City Planning Commission issued a favorable report on an application from 62 Greene Owners Corporation, owner of 62 Greene Street in Manhattan’s SoHo Cast-Iron Historic District. The application sought a special permit to modify use regulations of Section 42-14(D)(2)(a) of the Zoning Resolution to allow retail uses on portions of the ground floor and cellar of the existing five-story building.

The five-story building was constructed in 1881 and has a cast-iron street façade designed by Henry Fernbach. The second through fifth floors were converted into four Joint Living-Work Quarters for Artists in 1981. The ground floor has been leased for the past eight years to a company that sells architectural building materials. That lease expires in September 2017 and the tenant does not intend to renew the lease.

The building is located in an M1-5A district, which does not permit as-of-right retail uses on the ground floor. The application sought to allow the use of 4,073 square feet of ground floor area and 2,029 square feet of cellar floor area for Use Group 6 retail uses.

On April 20, 2017, Manhattan Community Board 2 voted 33-1 to approve the application with a condition. The Community Board requested that there be no eating and drinking establishment. On May 19, 2017, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer issued her recommendation to approve the application but also in support of the Community Board’s condition that no eating and drinking establishment occupy the retail space. The Borough President also asked that the applicant to consider cultural and creative organizations that might be appropriate for the space.

In its report, the Commission found the application for the special permit to be appropriate. The Commission noted the receipt of a letter from the applicant committing “to explore potential tenants that support arts and cultural organizations.” The report concluded that “redevelopment and improvement of this building, to be facilitated by this special permit, will enhance the architectural and historic built fabric of Greene Street.”

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

CPC: 62 Greene Street, Manhattan (C 170280 ZSM) (June 21, 2017).

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


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