Planning Commission Approves More Retail in Broadway Corridor

449 Broadway in SoHo. Image credit: Google Maps

City Planning approved a special permit for a retail establishment in the lower floors of a five-story building in the SoHo neighborhood. On October 4, 2017, the City Planning Commission issued a favorable report on an application for a special permit from 449 Broadway LLC—owner of 449 Broadway in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood. The application sought a special permit to modify the use regulations of Section 42-14(D)(2)(b) of the Zoning Resolution to allow retail uses on portions of the ground floor and cellar of the existing five-story building.

The building, constructed in 1855–56, is located on a 5,000-square-foot through lot with 25 feet of frontage on Mercer Street and 25 feet of frontage on the west side of Broadway. The building has no certificate of occupancy. The upper floors are currently occupied by as-of-right offices. The ground floor and cellar of the building have been vacant since 2010.

The building is located in an M1-5B district, which permits as-of-right light industrial and commercial uses and community facilities. The applicant proposed to convert 4,194 square feet of floor area on the ground floor and 4,091 square feet of floor area in the cellar for Use Group 6 uses—retail.

On July 20, 2017, Manhattan Community Board 2 voted 41-0 to approve the application. On August 21, 2017, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer issued her recommendation to approve the application.

In its report, the Commission found the application for the special permit to be appropriate. The report noted that the “building was originally constructed to include a storefront on the ground floor, which historically housed retail and other commercial uses,” and that “the proposed small retail establishment at 449 Broadway would not be inconsistent with the character of Broadway or Mercer as long-standing local retail corridors.”

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

CPC: 449 Broadway, Manhattan (170464 ZSM) (Oct. 4, 2017).

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

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