SoHo building to get restaurant space

Council Speaker Christine Quinn recommended variance’s approval. The owner of 521 Broome Street, located between Thompson Street and the intersection of Sixth Avenue and Sullivan Street, sought a variance to allow an eating and drinking establishment on the building’s first floor and cellar, both of which are now vacant. The area’s manufacturing zoning prohibits such uses below the second floor. The building’s upper six floors, occupied by Joint Living Work Quarters for Artists and one market-rate residential unit, would be unaffected by the variance.

Normally, such a request would require the owner to apply to the Department of City Planning for a special permit. The owner, however, opted to apply to BSA for a variance to avoid the costs of seeking such a permit, claiming that the lost profits from the vacant first floor and cellar created a pre-existing financial hardship.

The owner claimed that a variance was necessary because it could not develop the first floor and cellar for manufacturing use. The owner cited as proof the lot’s shallow depth, the building’s small elevator and lack of a loading dock, and traffic conditions that would impede customary loading and unloading. The owner also presented BSA with two as-ofright scenarios, both of which would result in a negative rate of return.

BSA granted the owner the variance, noting that the conditions presented, in the aggregate, created practical difficulties that prevented the owner from developing the building in conformance with the zoning. BSA also ruled that the variance would not significantly alter the neighborhood’s character, citing the area’s growing number of ground-floor commercial uses.

BSA: 521 Broome Street, Manhattan (124-07-BZ) (Feb. 12, 2008) (Sheldon Lobel PC, for owner). CITYADMIN

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.