Block 675 Planning Framework

On May 8, 2017, the Department of City Planning presented a planning framework to the City Planning Commission, articulating the Department’s vision for developments on Block 675 in northern Chelsea, located between 11th and 12th Avenues and West 29th and 30th Streets, within Manhattan Community District 4.

The planning framework for Block 675 is intended to inform the public review of future private land use applications and support a targeted expansion of the Special Hudson River Park District. While not codified zoning, as a policy statement the planning framework expresses the Department’s expectations for development proposals on Block 675, and provides transparency and predictability for members of the public.

After a study of the existing conditions of the block and the surrounding context, the Department has developed the following framework.

1. Zoning Mechanism

In 2016, the Department was the applicant on the text amendment to establish the geography and regulations of the Special Hudson River Park District (adopted in December 2016). Moving forward, private applicants are expected to pursue all necessary land use actions to enable the transfer of Hudson River Park development rights, including:

  • Zoning text and map amendments to include new granting sites and receiving sites in the Special Hudson River Park District;
  • Zoning map amendments to rezone receiving sites to permit a wider range of uses and higher densities appropriate to the area;
  • Zoning text amendments to Appendix F of the Zoning Resolution to map Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) areas on development sites;
  • Special permits pursuant to the Special Hudson River Park District regulations to enable the transfer of development rights from a granting site to a receiving site, and to permit certain bulk waivers, as needed; and
  • Chairperson certifications pursuant to the Special Hudson River Park District provisions to allow the issuance of a building permit on the basis that the applicant and Hudson River Park Trust have agreed on payment terms for the transfer of development rights.
2. Uses

To support the transformation of the underutilized waterfront block into a vibrant mixed-use area that contributes to the vitality and growth of the neighborhood, development proposals on the block should:

  • Include a mix of residential, commercial and public facility uses, as needed;
  • Provide affordable housing within the MIH framework;
  • Activate the streetscape along West 30th St / 11th Ave and at prominent corners;
  • Animate the High Line interface with a high level of transparency and active uses; and
  • Accommodate public facility and infrastructure needs at appropriate locations.
3. Density

Given the surrounding density context, waterfront location, and proximity to public transit and services, the framework recommends high density C6 districts as the appropriate underlying zoning districts. Upland portion of the block should respond to the density context in West Chelsea; waterfront portion may have higher density. As set forth in the special district text, the underlying density may be increased by up to 20 percent through the transfer of Hudson River Park development rights.

4. Massing / Urban Design

The framework also includes the following massing and urban design recommendations to foster appropriate design responses to a unique transitional context. Building design should:

  • Establish a strong building base that rises to appropriate heights;
  • Contribute to a dynamic bulk rhythm; and
  • Allow views of the city and the Hudson River.