Showing posts with label city planning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label city planning. Show all posts

Nov 29, 2015

UWS Skyline Future | Zoning Vote Monday

Nearly 40 community boards across the city and the Bronx Borough President had voted against Mayor de Blasio's zoning proposals... but he still says they will move ahead.

The next critical vote on Mayor de Blasio's proposed zoning amendments (called "Zoning for Quality & Affordability" and "Mandatory Inclusionary Housing") is about to take place -  Monday November 30th the day after the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. 
Central Park West Skyline: Potential Future Tower Development


Landmark West, The Committee to preserve the Upper West Side is urging it's members and the community to contact Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Boards (who comprise the Manhattan Borough Board) immediately! Urging them to "stand against developer-driven height increases that would transform the character of our city's neighborhoods by allowing out-of-scale buildings, eliminating existing affordable housing and pushing out small businesses"

Upper West Side zoning currently does not permit buildings to be taller than approximately 20 stories between 72nd and 96th Streets except the Emery Roth Art Deco Twin Tower buildings from the 1930's on Central Park West. The set back towers can go up to 30 floors.
Central Park West, reflected in lake 1932
Source: Gottscho, Samuel H, photographer. Courtesy of Gottscho-Schleisner Collection (Library of Congress)

Architect and historian Robert A.M. Stern called buildings like these "…a chain of monumental gateways to the West Side…a testament to the low-scale Classical urbanism of the City Beautiful movement." (letter dated January 13, 1984)  

LANDMARK WEST! asked BFJ Planning to review Mayor De Blasio's City Planning proposals "Zoning for Quality and Affordability" and "Mandatory Inclusionary Housing".  Click here for a copy of their full critique.


Hon. Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President 
Phone: (212) 669-8300

Manhattan Community Board 7
Phone:  212-362-4008

Feb 16, 2012

Proposed Upper West Side Neighborhood Storefronts

The Department of City Planning proposes a zoning amendment and a zoning map amendment to establish two Special Enhanced Commercial Districts in Manhattan Community District 7 on the Upper West Side. The Special Districts would apply to 77 block fronts along Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, and 73 block fronts along Broadway.

The Department of City Planning (DCP) was approached by the Upper West Side community and elected officials with a list of issues that the community believed threatened the local retail landscape.

Back in 2007, I wrote a post Say No to DRUGS store chains, after 4 of my long-time neighborhood mom and pop stores and restaurants were forced out of business.

Broadway between 87th & 88th Street July 2007
I wrote about banks and drugstore chains changing the face of the neighborhood and I didn't think it was a pretty face.  I wondered if we needed new zoning laws restricting the number of mega drugstore chains and banks.

The new landlord that inherited the building at the time had even bigger aspirations than a bank and drugstore chain. Perhaps one day a Ricky's and a prestigious store like Brooks Brothers would lease the space  instead of the mom and pop stores.

Broadway between 87th & 88th vacant from 2007-2011
Uniqlo (August - September  2011)
So he waited and waited! The block remained vacant from the summer of 2007 until this past summer when Ricky's hair care chain opened along with the short lived Japaneese retail chain Uniqlo that opened in August and closed the end of September 2011.

Broadway between 87th & 88th  today (Brooks Brothers opening soon)

The city’s plan to limit the size of Upper West Side storefronts won approval from Community Board 7′s Land Use Committee this week. The committee voted 11 to 2 to pass the rules. It still needs full board approval.

According to the Department of City Planning  the frontage limitations proposed respond to conditions on the Upper West Side that are largely unique compared with other areas of the City. The UWS has a high residential density and a limited amount of commercial space - which is disproportionately occupied by banks.

"The need to maintain retail diversity is greater due to the presence of only three commercial corridors (Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus) that serve a large residential population".

The proposed Special District regulations would be applicable to lots with a frontage on the following portions of Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues:
  • Special Enhanced Commercial District – 2 includes Amsterdam Avenue bounded by 75th Street and 110th Street on the west side, excluding the blocks between 100th – 101st and 102nd-103rd streets, and bounded by 73rd and 87th streets, and 105th and 109th streets on the east side of the avenue; and
  • Columbus Avenue bounded by 72nd and 87th streets.

  • Special Enhanced Commercial District -3 includes Broadway bounded by 72nd Street and 110th Street on the west side, and 74th Street and 110th Street on the east side;
Studying the Upper West Side block by block, City Planning responded to the community's concerns with the proposed Special Districts by limiting the frontage of most new and expanding retail and commercial establishments along Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues, and limiting the frontage of new and expanding banks and residential lobbies along Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. It would apply ground floor transparency requirements for new buildings to enhance the pedestrian environment.


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