Developers

Much hullabaloo was raised by housing advocates when Comptroller Scott Stringer put out a report claiming the HPD was sitting on 1,125 vacant city-owned lots. About half of those are in Brooklyn, 363 in Queens, 112 in the Bronx and 98 in Manhattan. You can see a map of those vacant lots here.

The reality is not all those lots are buildable. What is the difference between a bad lot and one ripe for housing? (more...)

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Recently the DOB changed some of its application fees for residential buildings. Some fees went up, some went down. The news fees were originally laid out by LL56 of 2016, but only implemented into DOB systems on March 5, 2018. For the new fees, the DOB created of new classification and pricing tier for buildings above and below 7 stories and 100,000 square feet.

New Building Fee Increases

The minimum fee goes up from $100 to $280 for new buildings that are 7 stories or less and 100,000 square feet or less that are not 1,2 or 3 family dwellings. (more...)

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In early 2018 the Regional Plan Association (RPA) put forward its solution to New York’s longtime affordable housing crisis—remove residential FAR limitations in Manhattan. On its face the idea seems radical. The FAR cap, a New York State addition to the Multiple Dwelling Law, prevents developers from building to the sun, peppering medium density to mid-rise districts with Towers of Babel. Upon closer look, the idea to remove FAR caps in Manhattan attempts to pick up where the recently passed Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) falls short. (more...)

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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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