Saving Our Skyline: CB2 Says “No” to 18-Story Tower on Sullivan Street

72-80 SullivanWe are delighted that Community Board 2 voted on Thursday, June 20th to call on the Board of Standards and Appeals to reduce the mass of the building proposed for 72-80 Sullivan (aka 140 Sixth Avenue).

The bulk of that reduction should come from the proposed 18-story residential tower, lowered to a more appropriate 10 or 11 stories. The developer’s proposal was based on the inappropriate assumption that the mass allowed at this site for commercial uses (a 5.00 FAR*) would be permitted, rather than the 3.44 FAR that is standard for residential development in the South Village.

The Community Board also recommended: (1) the relocation of the proposed retail store entrance to the Sixth Avenue side of the development in a effort to preserve the residential character of the south end of Sullivan Street, and (2) the giveback to the neighborhood of some public garden space on the Sixth Avenue side of the development.  The Board, along with the neighborhood, strongly endorsed the developer’s request to have the site rezoned for residential rather than hotel development.

None of this would have happened without the great turn out at the Land Use Committee and full board meetings, so many thanks to the neighbors who stood up and spoke out!  Although this a great win for our neighborhood, the Community Board’s recommendations are by no means binding, so the the next step on the 72-80 Sullivan/140 Sixth development will be a hearing at the Board of Standards and Appeals. So far that hearing is not scheduled, but we’ll keep you posted!

* What is FAR? FAR is the Floor Area Ratio: The floor area ratio is the principal bulk regulation controlling the size of buildings. FAR is the ratio of total building floor area to the area of its zoning lot. Each zoning district has an FAR which, when multiplied by the lot area of the zoning lot, produces the maximum amount of floor area allowable on that zoning lot. For example, on a 10,000 square foot zoning lot in a district with a maximum FAR of 1.0, the floor area on the zoning lot cannot exceed 10,000 square feet. (from the New York City Department of Buildings Zoning Glossary).