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About Us > Press Releases Printer Friendly Version

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 7, 2010

CONTACTS:
Rachaele Raynoff (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471

CITY PLANNING KICKS OFF PUBLIC REVIEW FOR NORTH TRIBECA REZONING TO GUIDE EVOLUTION OF HISTORIC LOWER MANHATTAN NEIGHBORHOOD

Proposal Would Reinforce Character of Loft Community

June 7, 2010 – City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden today announced the beginning of public review for a rezoning of a 25- block area of historic loft buildings in Northern Tribeca that will reinforce its unique existing mixed-use and built character. The product of over three years of close consultation with Manhattan Community Board 1, the proposal by the Department of City Planning (DCP) would change outdated manufacturing zoning to acknowledge the increasingly residential character of the area.  It would establish height limits and continuous street wall requirements through contextual zoning, allow residential conversions and new in-fill housing development, and ensure that future uses complement the residential and mixed-use character of this Lower Manhattan neighborhood.

Commissioner Burden said, “Our rezoning will help complete the transformation of Northern Tribeca by allowing residential use as-of-right with an appropriate mix of uses while protecting the built character of the area. Like its counterpart to the south, Northern Tribeca is taking its place among Lower Manhattan’s most vibrant and livable historic neighborhoods.”

The proposed rezoning would provide new housing opportunities through conversions and in-fill construction, and also would encourage new affordable housing (where there is new construction) through the Inclusionary Housing Program.  The Inclusionary Housing Program provides zoning incentives to create or preserve affordable housing in exchange for additional residential floor area, and enables property owners to take advantage of financial incentives provided by the City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. 

The rezoning area is generally bounded by Canal Street to the north, West Street to the west, North Moore, Beach, and Walker streets to the south, and Broadway to the east. Under the current Special Tribeca Mixed Use zoning in areas that are zoned M1-5, residential conversions are allowed as-of-right on the third floor and above in smaller buildings, and only by City Planning Commission approval in larger buildings. New residential development is prohibited. Furthermore, there are no height limits or street wall requirements for new buildings or enlargements.

In response to community concerns that the remaining existing manufacturing zoning does not reflect the increasingly residential character of the neighborhood, the proposal calls for replacing M1-5 zoning with C6-2A, a contextual district that permits residential, commercial and community facility uses. It also would create three new subareas and fine tune the zoning to the distinct character of each subarea. Floor Area Ratios (FARs) would range from 5 FAR to 7.2 FAR if affordable housing is provided. Utilizing the existing Special Tribeca Mixed Use District, the rezoning would establish specific FARs, minimum and maximum base heights, and maximum building heights reflecting the different building forms in each subarea. Depending on the subarea, for instance, new height limits would range from 110 to 120 feet with street walls between 60 and 85 feet above which the buildings must set back. Continuous street wall requirements would ensure that buildings line up at the sidewalk

The Department of City Planning worked closely with Community Board 1 to determine a set of uses and retail size restrictions that would be appropriate for the area and similar to existing restrictions in the Special Tribeca Mixed Use District for Southern Tribeca. The zoning changes would:

  • Restrict the combining of ground floor spaces in separate buildings,
  • Limit the size of ground floor retail establishments to 5,000 square feet on buildings fronting on narrow streets and 10,000 square feet per establishment for buildings fronting on wide streets except by special permit, and
  • Limit hotels to up to 100 rooms except by special permit, and
  • Permit a mix of light manufacturing uses which would otherwise be restricted under C6-2A regulations.

These modifications would help reinforce Northern Tribeca’s mix of uses.

The community board now has 60 days to review the proposal, after which it will go to the Borough President, the City Planning Commission and the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).  For specifics of the zoning proposal or more details on the ULURP time line, please visit the DCP website.




Department of City Planning
The Department of City Planning (DCP) promotes strategic growth and development in the City, in part, by initiating comprehensive, consensus-based planning and zoning changes for individual neighborhoods and business districts. It supports the City Planning Commission and each year reviews more than 500 land use applications for actions such as zoning changes and disposition of City property. The Department assists both government agencies and the public by providing policy analysis and technical assistance relating to housing, transportation, community facilities, demography and public space.

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