Private business’s plan challenges Columbia U.’s proposal

Manhattanville business filed a private rezoning opposing Columbia University’s plan to take its lots by eminent domain. Four rezoning applications filed by Tuck-It-Away Storage, a Manhattanville ministorage company, started the public review process after the Planning Commission certified the applications as complete on July 23, 2007, and sent each to Community Board 9 for comment.

The plan seeks to rezone five lots scattered throughout Manhattanville that currently contain ministorage facilities run by Tuck-It- Away Storage. The applications propose a commercial zoning to replace the current manufacturing zoning (M1-2 to C6-2), which, the company argued, will allow construction of new mixed-use buildings. The applications do not put forward a final development plan for the sites, but state that Tuck-It-Away anticipates the ministorage facilities to remain on the sites and the buildings to be enlarged with residential units above. All four applications provide elevations showing the permitted size of a proposed storage/residential development if the City approves the rezoning plan.

Three of Tuck-It-Away’s lots occupy the entire block front on Broadway from West 133rd to West 135th Streets and from West 131st to West 132nd Streets. The remaining lots sit along West 131st Street and West 130th Street, both between Broadway and Twelfth Avenue. The large 17,987-square-foot lot at 3320 Broadway contains several buildings, including the landmarked Claremont Theatre and a 47,000- square-foot mini-storage facility. The company argued in its applications that development rights could be transferred from the Claremont to 3300 Broadway, allowing preservation of the theater and construction of a larger development on the adjacent site. The elevations depict large residential towers over a retail or storage base on both sites.

Two other redevelopment plans proposed for Manhattanville by Columbia University and Community Board 9 have started the public review process. 4 CityLand 89 (July 15, 2007). Tuck-It-Away’s applications point out that its proposal is consistent with Board 9’s plan, since it will retain existing light industrial uses and increase the potential for more retail and residential units. It also emphasizes that it is vigorously opposed to Columbia University’s plan since it calls for the condemnation of Tuck- It-Away’s five sites with the assistance of the Empire State Development Corporation.

Board 9’s hearing on Tuck-It- Away’s plan has yet to be scheduled. The board will vote on both Columbia’s and the board’s own 197-a Plan on August 20, 2007.

CPC: Tuck-It-Away Rezoning, Applications Nos. 060223 ZMM (651 W. 125th St.); 060224 ZMM (614 W. 131st St.); 060225 ZMM (3300, 3320 Broadway); 060226 ZMM (3261 Broadway) (July 23, 2007) (Emily Simons, for Tuck-It-Away).


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