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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Under the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA), corner lots in R6-R10 contextual districts will now be permitted 100% lot coverage. Previously these corner lots were limited to 80% coverage.

The ZQA also grants 100% lot coverage to R6-R10 buildings in either of the following circumstances.

  • Buildings within 100 ft. of the street corners.
  • Buildings on interior or through lots, on the short side of the block, coinciding with all or part of a street line less than 230 ft.

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New York City’s Lobbying Law requires lobbyists to register with the city. On June 30, 2016 the city concluded an amnesty program allowing lobbyists to register without penalties. The New York State amnesty has been extended to September 30th, 2016. It’s clear the city wants to enforce lobbying practices, including in real estate and construction.

What is a lobbyist?

A lobbyist is anyone who is part of a lobbying firm retaining clients. (more...)

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