Meatpacking tower variances face stiff opposition
Last week the Board of Standards and Appeals held its first hearing on a request by the developer of 437 West 13th Street for variances to allow construction of a 215 ft. tall glass office building — 55% larger than the zoning allows, with triple the allowable retail space in its base. GVSHP and several residents and community leaders were there to oppose the variances, and City Council Zoning Subcommittee Chair Tony Avella and the Department of City Planning, the city agency which regulates zoning, sent letters to the BSA urging both variances be rejected as well. See the coverage on NY1.
The Board pushed the applicant on their case, questioning their claim of “economic hardship” which they must prove in order to qualify for the requested zoning variances. GVSHP has long contended that the developer does not face a hardship, but rather stands to benefit tremendously from his property abutting the High Line park which is under construction. GVSHP has also argued that the requested variances, to permit a much bigger than normally-allowable building and a huge retail emporium in the base, would negatively impact the character of this neighborhood. A next hearing is set for June 16. For more information, CLICK HERE.
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