The applicant, Gun Hill Square LLC, is seeking a number of discretionary public approvals to enable the development of a mixed-use commercial and residential development consisting of a new pedestrian-oriented open-air urban shopping complex and a single residential building containing affordable senior housing for persons aged 55 and older, on an approximately 12.6-acre site located to the northwest of the interchange of the New England Thruway (I-95) and the Hutchinson River Parkway in Bronx Community District 12. The proposed actions include the disposition of City-owned property and the approval of the business terms of sale for the disposition, a zoning map amendment, zoning text amendments, a zoning special permit for a Large Scale General Development (LSGD) pursuant to the New York City (NYC) Zoning Resolution (ZR) Section 74-74, and a zoning special permit pursuant to ZR Section 74-53 to allow for an accessory parking facility with more than the prescribed maximum number of parking spaces for a LSGD (“the proposed actions”).
The proposed pedestrian-focused open-air urban shopping complex would include up to approximately 395,016 gross square feet (gsf) of local and destination retail, restaurants, and fitness uses of up to approximately 40,000 gsf. The proposed development would also include senior housing; up to 180 units of affordable senior housing (181,370 gsf) would be provided in an approximately 10- to 13-story residential building located at the northwestern corner of the project site. The proposed project would result in an increase of up to 360 senior residents, and approximately 1,207 workers, compared to the No-Action condition.
A total of 1,169 accessory parking spaces would be provided for the proposed commercial and residential uses, which would consist of at-grade spaces and a multi-level accessory parking garage with rooftop parking. In addition, the proposed development would include approximately one acre of privately-owned, publicly accessible open space. The proposed development would have three points of entry for pedestrians and vehicles, including two signalized intersections on East Gun Hill Road and an additional unsignalized entrance from Edson Avenue. Vehicles would be able to exit the project site from these access points, as well as from an additional new unsignalized egress point from the accessory parking garage on East Gun Hill Road at the northern end of the project site.
Construction of the proposed project would commence at the end of 2017 and full occupancy and operation of the proposed development is expected by 2019. As such, the analysis year for environmental analysis purposes is 2019.
The proposed project would require several City approvals. It is anticipated that the following discretionary public actions would be required to facilitate the proposed project:
- Disposition of the project site (a surplus property leased to the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) comprising the southern 550,185 sf portion of Lot 100 on Block 4804) by the City of New York for private development, with approval of the business terms of the sale of the disposition by the Mayor pursuant to Section 384(b)(4) of the New York City Charter;
- A zoning map amendment (Zoning Sectional Map 4a) approval by the NYC City Planning Commission (CPC) to change the zoning on the project site (Block 4804, part of Lot 100) and Lot 32 of Block 4816 (the “Additional Rezoning Site”) from the existing M1-1 zoning district to a C4-3 zoning district;
- A zoning text amendment to modify Appendix F of the ZR to establish a Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) area consistent with the proposed rezoning area described above, and setting mandatory affordable housing requirements pursuant to the MIH program;
- Zoning special permits from the CPC pursuant to ZR Section 74-74 for a Large-Scale General Development (LSGD) applicable to the project site to allow the following modifications pursuant to ZR Sections 74-743, 74-744(a), as amended, and 74-744(c) in order to achieve a superior site plan:
- Waiver of rear yard regulations (ZR Sections 23-47 and 35-23);
- Waiver of height and setback regulations (ZR Sections 35-23, 23-632, and 23-62);
- Waiver of use regulations to allow a physical culture establishment (fitness center) (ZR Section 32-31); and
- Waiver of signage regulations to allow signs with greater height and surface area (ZR Sections 32-641, 32-642, 32-644, 32-655, 32-656, and 32-657).
- A zoning text amendment to ZR Section 74-744(a) to allow modification of applicable zoning district regulations to allow a physical culture establishment (fitness center) within Bronx CD12 in the context of a LSGD, provided that a vibration and noise control mitigation plan be provided to the satisfaction of the NYC Department of Buildings;
- A zoning special permit from the CPC pursuant to ZR Section 74-53 to allow for an accessory group parking facility with more than the prescribed maximum number of parking spaces for a LSGD (ZR Section 36-12).
Prior to the proposed disposition of City-owned property to the applicant, approval is required from the MTA Board authorizing the surrender of the MTA’s leasehold interest in the project site (which is anticipated to occur once City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) and Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) procedures are completed). In addition, public financing may be sought by the applicant for the senior housing component of the proposed project in order to provide affordable senior housing units. Dependent on the public funding source for the affordable senior housing component of the project, review under the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) or the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) may be required. Also, a State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) permit from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation would be required to permit the discharge of stormwater during construction.
On July 2, 2014, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development, as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Draft Scope of Work for an Environmental Impact Statement was issued for public comment. To receive public comments, a public Scoping Meeting was held on Wednesday, August 13, 2014, at the Bronx Community Board 12 Office, 4101 White Plains Road, Bronx, NY 10466. The public comment period was extended beyond the required 10 days after the Scoping Meeting and written comments were accepted through 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 2, 2014.
On January 13, 2017, the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development issued the Final Scope of Work, DEIS, and the Notice of Completion for the DEIS, which marked the beginning of the public comment period on this document. A Technical Memorandum was issued on April 20, 2017. A public hearing on this DEIS will be held on Wednesday, May 10, 2017, at 10:00 AM, in Spector Hall, at the Department of City Planning located at 22 Reade Street, New York, New York 10007, in conjunction with the City Planning Commission’s citywide public hearing pursuant to ULURP, to receive comments related to the DEIS for the proposed Baychester Square project in accordance with Article 8 of the Environmental Conservation Law. Comments are requested on the DEIS and Technical Memorandum, and will be accepted until 5:00 PM on Monday, May 22, 2017.
Environmental Review Material
The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access here.