C5 is a central commercial district with continuous retail frontage intended for offices and retail establishments that serve the entire metropolitan region. Famous shopping streets, such as Fifth Avenue, Madison Avenue and East 57th Street are C5 districts. Parts of Lower Manhattan, Downtown Brooklyn and Long Island City are also within C5 districts.
Department stores, large office buildings, and mixed buildings with residential space above office or commercial floors, are typical C5 uses. Use Groups 5 (hotels), 6, 9 and 10 (retail shops and business services) and 11 (custom manufacturing) are permitted in C5 districts. Home maintenance services, auto rental establishments and other uses not in character with the district, including illuminated signs, are not permitted.
The maximum commercial floor area ratio (FAR) ranges from 4.0 to 15.0, and the maximum residential FAR is 10.0. Floor area may be increased by a bonus for a public plaza or Inclusionary Housing.
In the two contextual C5 districts—C5-1A and C5-2A—residential bulk and density are governed by R10A regulations. In non-contextual C5-2 through C5-5 districts, a building occupied by commercial, residential and/or community facility uses may be configured as a tower. A residential tower is also allowed in C5-1 districts.
All commercial uses in C5 districts are exempt from off-street parking requirements because public transportation is easily accessible.