Solow’s 37-story East Side tower starts public review

Tower site located on York Avenue just north of Queensboro Bridge. On May 27, 2007, Solow Management’s application to construct a new 37- story mixed-use tower on York Avenue between East 60th and East 61st Streets started the City’s land use review process when the Planning Commission certified the applications as complete. As proposed, the 211-unit residential tower would sit adjacent to a 41- story as-of-right development built by Solow in 2002. The buildings would share a one-story lobby and would have the same size footprint.

On a portion of Solow’s 62,861- square-foot development site, the current zoning prohibits residential uses. Under the proposal, the whole site would be rezoned to permit residential uses and to increase the permitted floor area. Linked with this request, Solow submitted applications to allow a 195-space public parking garage within the development and a new curb cut along East 61st Street.

The new 37-story tower would contain 255,611 sq.ft. of residential space and 2,500 sq.ft. of retail space, as well as the below-grade parking garage. The project’s floor area would be increased above the permitted floor area limit by use of the inclusionary housing bonus. As submitted, Solow would develop the low-income housing units off-site. The applications do not state the location of the affordable housing or the number of units.

Solow’s project includes streetscape improvements, such as benches, a 16-foot long stepped water feature and a steel and frosted glass light sculpture that Solow argued would achieve the goals of Manhattan Community Board 8’s 197-a plan, which calls for an enhanced public open space adjacent to the Queensboro Bridge. 3 CityLand 105 (Aug. 15, 2006).

Solow’s proposal now goes to Community Board 8 for its review. The board anticipates holding a public hearing on July 11, 2007.

East Building Development, Application Nos. M 860117E ZMM; 000198 ZMM (zoning map changes); 070441 ZSM (special permit, 195-space garage); 070442 ZCM (certification, curb-cut) (May 27, 2007) (Samuel H. Lindenbaum, for Solow).

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