Plaza at Millennium Hilton gets overhaul

Plaza near WTC site to be modified for open air café and extra seating. The Millennium Hilton Hotel, located at 55 Church Street between Dey and Fulton Streets in the Special Lower Manhattan District, sought a special permit to modify a previously approved 3,647-squarefoot urban plaza. The original 1980’s approval of the building granted the developers a 51,826-square-foot floor area bonus in exchange for creating the plaza. The modifications, which include new landscaped planters, an open air café and additional seating, are contrary to the urban plaza requirements.

The major part of the plaza would be reduced from 2,552 sq.ft. to 2,047 sq.ft. to allow the café as a permitted obstruction and a portion of the Fulton Street sidewalk would be altered to accommodate additional seating and landscaping. Additionally, because of sub-surface conditions,Millennium sought to plant the required trees at another location in Lower Manhattan.

At the Planning Commission’s April 27, 2005 hearing, representatives from Millennium and the Alliance for Downtown spoke in favor of the application, emphasizing the need to revitalize the downtown area. There were no speakers in opposition.

The Commission voted unanimously to approve the application on May 11, 2005, but limited the special permit for the café to a term of three years with an option to renew. The Commission found that the modification would increase the number of public benches, add landscaping to barren areas and encourage the use of the café and plaza through signs and lighting.

ULURP Process The Planning Commission, as lead agency, determined that the proposed plan was exempt from environmental review. Community Board 1 and Borough President C. Virginia Fields both approved the application with no conditions. City Council review is pending.

CPC: The Millennium Hotel (C 050252 ZSM – special permit for urban plaza modifications) (May 11, 2005). CITYADMIN

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