Use, Density, and Bulk Regulations
The Special West Chelsea District would permit residential and commercial development along Tenth and Eleventh Avenues and on some of the midblocks, outside the core of the neighborhood’s art gallery district. Regulations governing building height and setback respond to the unique features of West Chelsea, including the neighborhood’s many early 20th century loft buildings, the adjacent Chelsea Historic District, and the Hudson River waterfront.
The area on the south side of West 30th Street and along Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, extending south to West 28th Street, is rezoned to C6-4. The base FAR within the C6-4 zone would be 6.5 FAR and could be increased to 9.15 with acquisition of development rights from the High Line Transfer Corridor (HLTC) and up to 12.0 FAR with the modified Inclusionary Housing bonus. Tower-on-a-base forms would be permitted. Higher densities within the C6-4 areas would provide an appropriate transition to the high density commercial development planned within the Hudson Yards area to the north. Special floor area controls would apply to the C6-4 site located between West 17th and West 18th Streets. See the High Line Improvement Bonus section below for more details.
The midblocks between West 27th and West 29th Streets, the Tenth Avenue frontage between West 24th and West 28th Streets, and the Eleventh Avenue frontage between West 18th and West 28th Streets would be rezoned to C6-3. The base FAR for the C6-3 areas would be 5.0 and could be increased to 7.5 with acquisition of development rights from the HLTC and through the modified Inclusionary Housing bonus.
Bulk controls within the C6-3 zones between West 27th and West 29th Streets would require high-street walls loft-like building forms that respond to the existing built context established by the ABC Warehouse and the Otis Elevator Building. Bulk controls across from the Chelsea Piers would permit slender, tower-on-a-base forms that would allow buildings to rise above the Chelsea Piers while allowing increased light and air to penetrate into the midblock gallery district.
The midblocks between West 18th and West 20th Streets, the Tenth Avenue frontage between West 18th and West 22nd Street, and the area east of Tenth Avenue between West 17th and West 18th Streets would be rezoned to C6-2. The base FAR within the C6-2 areas would be 5.0 and could be increased to 6.0 with acquisition of development rights from the HLTC. However, to reflect the lower-scale Chelsea Historic District east of Tenth Avenue, the C6-2 district along Tenth Avenue between West 20th and West 22nd streets would have a maximum density of 5.0 FAR.
The C6-2 district would serve as a scale transition from the higher density development that would be permitted along Eleventh Avenue and south of West 18th Street and the lower-scale Chelsea Historic District to the east of Tenth Avenue. Additional bulk controls for lots adjacent to the High Line would preserve views, light, and air for the proposed High Line open space while reflecting the varied built context of Tenth Avenue.
C6-3A / C6-2A areas
The M1-5/R9A and M1-5/R8A districts along West 23rd and West 24th Streets were rezoned from M1-5 in 1999. The Special West Chelsea District proposal would rezone portions of these two districts to reflect the changing nature of the corridor and its increasingly residential character. Neither area would be receiving sites for floor area from the High Line Transfer Corridor.
The existing M1-5/R9A district along Eleventh Avenue between West 22nd and West 24th Streets, along West 23rd Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues, and along Tenth Avenue generally between West 21st and West 24th Streets would be rezoned to C6-3A. The maximum allowable FAR’s within this district are 6.0 for commercial uses, 7.52 for residential uses, and 7.5 for community facility uses.
The existing M1-5/R8A district on the midblock south side of West 24th Street would be rezoned to C6-2A. The maximum allowable FAR’s within this district are 6.0 for commercial uses, 6.02 for residential uses, and 6.5 for community facility uses.
The existing M1-5 manufacturing districts, which permit commercial and light manufacturing uses, would be retained in the core of the gallery district on the midblocks between West 20th and West 22nd Streets and between West 24th and West 27th Streets. Within these areas, museums would be permitted as-of-right to reinforce the arts-related uses of the neighborhood. Additional bulk controls would require street walls within the M1-5 district to ensure that new development conforms to the existing built context.
High Line Improvement Bonus areas
In recognition of the unique condition of the High Line between West 16th and 19th streets, where it broadens and crosses over 10th Avenue, adjacent development on these blocks could receive additional floor area through the provision of significant improvements to the High Line. Improvements include stair and elevator access on all three blocks, public restrooms and maintenance space at West 16th Street, an at-grade public plaza on 10th Avenue between West 17th and 18th streets, and restoration, remediation, and implementation of the High Line open space between West 16th and 20th streets. Uses of the High Line Improvement Bonus would result in implementation of 20 percent of the High Line open space, at perhaps its most prominent location.