Variance for midtown building amended

342 Madison Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. Photo: Kevin E. Schultz

BSA grants office, retail, and church building variances from Grand Central Subdistrict requirements. 340 Madison Owner LLC, the owner of 342 Madison Avenue, a 48,265-squre-foot lot between East 43rd and 44th Streets in Manhattan, proposed to enlarge an existing 21- story, 503,487-square-foot office, retail and church building. 340 Madison, which received variances on March 23, 2004 to transfer floor area across a zoning district and modify street wall requirements in the Grand Central Subdistrict, applied to amend the variances in order to allow a smaller lobby entryway and a setback encroachment along 44th Street.

The owner argued that a complying 15-foot by 15-foot entryway in the building’s lobby entrance on 43rd Street would be infeasible because it would disturb an existing tenant and require extensive frontage reconfiguration, including disruption of mechanical systems and relocation of structural supports. The owner proposed an 11- foot by 12-foot entrance that would meet the minimum depth requirements of the Subdistrict. It also argued that the combined area of the East 43rd Street and Madison Avenue entrances would exceed the pedestrian circulation requirements for the proposed building.

The variance application, in addition, proposed changes to approved plans for the 17th-21st floors, resulting in a 2-foot-wide encroachment of the Subdistrict’s 10-foot setback requirement. 340 Madison showed that its proposal would actually reduce the building’s floor area by 3,260 square feet, and create a uniform building profile along 44th street.

Community Board 5 recommended approval of the application. BSA determined that the modifications were minor and approved.

BSA: 342 Madison Avenue (337-03-BZ) (Kramer Levin, for 340 Madison Owner LLC). CITYADMIN

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