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ENB - Region 2 Notices 12/7/2016

Negative Declaration

New York County (Manhattan) - The New York City Planning Commission, as lead agency, has determined that the proposed 640 Broadway will not have a significant adverse environmental impact. The action involves a request by the applicant, 640 Broadway Owners LLC, for a Special Permit pursuant to Zoning Resolution (ZR) Section 74-711 (Landmark preservation in all districts) to modify height and setback regulations of ZR Section 43-43, and recreational space requirements of ZR Section 42-14(D)(1)(e) (Proposed Action). The Proposed Action would facilitate a proposal by the applicant to construct two single-story penthouse additions, totaling approximately 2,372 gross square feet, on the roof of an existing nine story building containing 42,953 gross square feet (21 units) of Joint-Living Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA, Use Group 17D) and 8,566 gross square feet of eating and drinking establishments (Use Group 6) at 640 Broadway (Project Site). The two penthouse additions, in combination with three existing JLWQA units on the 8th and 9th floors of the building, would form a new east triplex unit and west duplex unit. The Applicant also proposes internal alterations and reconfiguration of units in the existing building structure, resulting in a decrease of the total number of JLWQA units from 21 to 20. The Project Site is bounded by Bleecker Street to the north, Broadway to the west and Crosby Street to the east in the NoHo Historic District of Manhattan, Community District 2,New York, in an M1-5B zoning district.

In conjunction with the Proposed Action, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (NYC LPC) issued a Certificate of Appropriateness on March 13, 2015, approving the proposed penthouse additions, as well as the installation of a cooling tower and decorative balustrade at the rooftop elevations.

The existing building, constructed in 1897, is a Classical Revival style structure that is consistent with the architectural and historic character of the NoHo Historic District. The Project Site contains 42,953 gross square feet of Joint-Living Work Quarters for Artists uses (21 units of "JLWQA" Use Group 17D, of which 15 are market rate and 6 are rent-stabilized), 8,566 gross square feet of eating and drinking establishments (Use Group 6), and 10,609 gross square feet of sub-cellar and cellar space for building utilities.

The underlying M1-5B zoning district permits a maximum floor area ratio (FAR) of 5.0 for commercial and manufacturing uses (Use Groups 5 - 15, 16 and 17), and 6.5 for community facility uses (Use Group 4). While M1-5B districts generally do not permit residential use, JLWQA units are allowed in buildings that pre-date 1961 with a lot coverage below 3,600 square feet. Per ZR Section 42-14(D)(1)(e), at least 30 percent of the gross roof area of a building containing 15 JLWQA units shall be provided for recreational use (and 100 square feet of additional recreation space for each unit over 15 units). While there are no height limits in M1-5B districts, building heights and setbacks are controlled by a sky exposure plane.

The building at the Project Site, which pre-dates the 1961 Zoning Resolution, has a built FAR of 8.87 and is legally non-complying with the permitted FAR under M1-5B zoning. The building, which contains JLWQA units, is also legally non-conforming with the use provisions under M1-5B zoning as it exceeds the maximum lot coverage requirement of 3,600 square feet. Pursuant to ZR Section 74-782 (Residential conversion), the New York City Planning Commission granted a Determination of Residential Loft Occupancy in 1988 to allow the building to have JLWQA units. In addition, the structure is legally non-complying with the required sky exposure plane as it rises without setback to a height of 122 feet and encroaches into the required setback of 20 feet at six stories above Bleecker Street. The building provides a total of 3,269 square feet of recreation space on the roof area and currently meets the required recreation space of 2,218 square feet.

The proposed penthouse additions consist of an east penthouse addition near the Crosby Street frontage, with approximately 998 gross square feet, and a west penthouse addition near the Broadway frontage, containing approximately 1,073 gross square feet. The proposed penthouse additions would be combined with existing units on floors 8 and 9 to form an east triplex unit fronting Crosby Street, and a west duplex unit fronting Broadway. Reconfiguration of the building would involve a deduction of 1,075 zoning square feet through new mechanical deductions and the reallocation of 1,306 zoning square feet of existing floor area from floors 1 through 9, from alterations or combinations of the existing market rate units on these floors. The building would increase in gross floor area, from 62,128 gross square feet to 63,194 gross square feet, yet decrease by 1 unit.

The proposed one-story penthouse additions would reach approximately 15 feet in height and would increase the overall height of the building from 122 feet to 134 feet (142 feet with the proposed bulkhead). The additions would encroach over the 20 foot setback required on Bleecker Street. In addition, the configuration of the penthouse additions and other roof structures, including a water tank, elevator bulkhead, and lateral bracing for the elevator, would limit the amount of recreational space that could be located on the roof. The building's service areas would total 1,611 gross square feet of floor area and occupy approximately 32% of the total rooftop area. The proposed east and west penthouses would total 2,372 gross square feet of floor area and occupy approximately 40% of the total rooftop area. The proposed development would also not provide recreation space on the roof, and would reduce the recreational space requirements of 30% of gross roof area per ZR Section 42-14(D)(1)(e). The Proposed Action would waive the height, setback and recreation space requirements, in order to allow the Applicant's proposed development on the Project Site.

Absent the Proposed Action, the Project Site would remain in its existing condition.

The analysis year for the proposed project is 2018.

Contact: Olga Abinader, New York City Department of City Planning, 120 Broadway, 31st Floor, New York, NY 10271, Phone: (212) 720-3493, E-mail: oabinad@planing.nyc.gov.


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