BSA- requested alternate design approved. Siba Re LP, the owner of 350 West Broadway, a 8,264-squarefoot lot in SoHo between Grand and Broome Streets, proposed to expand a vacant two-story building into a ISS-foot tall, 13-story, 4 1 ,320- square-foot mixed-use building with retail and residential uses.
In support of a variance, Siba argued that the shallowness of the lot resulted in inefficient and impractical floor plates for any permitted commercial use. Showing that the area’s typical bedrock levels are between 60 and 80 feet, Siba further argued that the 1 1 4-foot depth of bedrock under the site required additional construction costs that constituted an unnecessary hardship. Siba proposed to reinforce the original structure rather than demolish it because the unique soil conditions would make demolition cost-prohibitive.
Upon BSA’s suggestion, Siba submitted alternate designs for a hotel and reduced-height-residential projects with enlarged floor plates, which BSA believed would be more in scale with neighboring buildings. Siba’s analysis determined that a hotel would not be feasible because certain fixed costs associated with hotel operations would not allow for a reasonable return given the small number of hotel rooms that could be accommodated on the site. However, Siba determined that an 1 1 -story residential/ retail building with enlarged floor plates would realize a reasonable return.
Community Board 2 recommended approval of the application, but requested that the first floor not be occupied by a bar or restaurant.
BSA determined that an as-of-right development would not provide a reasonable return and ‘ approved the alternate I I -story building, finding that it would not alter the character of the neighborhood. BSA’s approval was granted on the condition that Siba prohibit eating and drinking establishments on the first floor.
BSA: 350 West Broadway (29-05-BZ) (October 1 8, 2005) (Stephen J. Rizzo, for 350 West Broadway) . CrTYADMIN