Zoning Variance Hearing for Proposed 200 ft. tall Tower at 13th and 10th Avenue, Sept. 17
The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) will hear an application to allow a developer to build an office building 34% larger than allowed under the zoning at 40-56 10th Avenue (at 13th Street) in the Meatpacking District. GVSHP is strongly opposed to increasing the allowable size of this development, and urges you to join us in calling upon the BSA to reject the requested increase (more info here).
The applicant claims that they suffer a “hardship” because the High Line, which cannot be built upon, intersects the site, and because the site sits atop less stable landfill. They are thus seeking a zoning variance, which entitles developers who cannot make a “reasonable return” on their property under the existing zoning to some form of relief. However, numerous developments have gone up in the immediate area under the same zoning restrictions and facing the same conditions; these have not claimed a “hardship,” and have made very handsome returns on their investments. While the presence of the High Line presents some logistical challenges for building, it also makes the value and profitability of the surrounding land significantly greater.
The developer is also seeking variances to allow the building to set back from the High Line to preserve some of its views to the water, to which we do not object. However, we do object to building substantially larger than the already-generous zoning for the Meatpacking District allows, especially when this neighborhood is so overdeveloped already. The site is located within the Gansevoort Market State and National Registers Historic District, but not the NYC Gansevoort Market Historic District, and thus the tower unfortunately does not need landmarks approval.
GVSHP has reached out to City Council Speaker Quinn, State Senator Brad Hoylman, and Assemblymember Deborah Glick to urge them to oppose the bulk variance. Assemblymember Glick and State Senator Hoylman have committed to opposing it, and we are waiting to hear back from Speaker Quinn.
HOW TO HELP:
Testify at the BSA hearing on Tuesday, September 17th at 1:30 pm at Spector Hall, 22 Reade Street (between B’way and Lafayette) – use sample testimony here.
Write to the BSA urging them to reject the variance to increase the size of the allowable development – use sample letter here.