Developers

In 2012, New York City’s Zone Green program amended the Zoning Code to allow wall thickness to be deducted from floor area provided the walls are energy efficient. City Planning claims New York buildings are responsible for 80 percent of the city’s carbon emissions. This floor area deduction gives both older and newer buildings an opportunity to insulate their walls and save on energy costs.

Zoning computes floor area from the outside of the building’s edge, encompassing the entire thickness of the wall. (more...)

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Sliver buildings are taller buildings that have less than 45 width feet street frontage. The height allowances for sliver buildings are generally determined by the width of the street or 100 feet, whichever is less. Sliver buildings are not to be confused with towers. Towers are much taller than sliver buildings so they may appear thinner, but they lie on much larger zoning lots with wider street frontage. (more...)

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You rarely see liquor stores alongside churches and schools in New York City. It’s not a zoning restriction. It’s actually a law imposed by the New York Liquor Authority called the 200 Foot Rule.

200 Foot Rule

The 200 Foot rule prohibits liquor licenses from being issued to establishments located “on the same street and within 200 feet of a building that is used exclusively as a school, church synagogue or other place of worship.” The 200 Foot Rule applies to liquor only. (more...)

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It’s no coincidence that New York City has seen a proliferation of yoga studios in the last several years. This is largely due to the Department of Buildings distinguishing yoga studios from their “physical culture” brethren–the massage parlors, bathhouses and gyms that require BSA approval.

According to Zoning Resolution 73-36, physical culture establishments are only allowed in districts C1-8X, C1-9, C2, C4, C5, C6, C8, M1, M2 or M3 by BSA approval. (more...)

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Prospective building owners should do their homework before pulling the trigger on a purchase. There could be restrictions on the property or fees unrecognized in the sales price. Large buildings will typically get a due diligence report from an expediting company. Here are five things owners have to look into before buying New York City property.

Is the site on a zoning lot merger?

Buildings on a zoning lot merger may be restricted from expanding. (more...)

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Hostels, those bunked up dormitories filled with weary travelers easily recognized by their Ghostbuster sized backpacks, are common in many European and American cities. In New York City only a handful remain. Is New York City hostile to the hostel?

The major piece of legislation that stamped out hostels was New York State Senate Bill 6873-B, commonly known as the “Illegal Hotels Bill.” The bill is famously cited for making the short-term rentals found on apartment share sites illegal. (more...)

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The Obama Administration recently published a Housing Development Toolkit that aims to promote urban development by emboldening developers and bypassing bureaucracy. In many instances, New York City, with its recently passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH), is a step ahead of the Toolkit’s core objectives. Other recommendations are impractical or politically untenable for the city. Here are the ten principles in the Housing Development Toolkit and their potential for implementation in New York. (more...)

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