vacant-land-ho

Vacant Land Ho!

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.


fees-go-up-and-down

Fees Go Up and Down

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.


building-to-the-sky

Building to the Sky

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.


zone-green-walls

Zone Green Walls

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.


sliver-of-a-chance

Sliver of a Chance

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.


the-church-and-the-liquor-store

The Church and the Liquor Store

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.


bending-the-rules

Bending the Rules

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.


before-you-buy

Before You Buy

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.


why-the-hostelity

Why the Hostel-ity?

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?


nyc-ahead-of-white-house-development-toolkit

NYC Ahead of White House Development Toolkit

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.


how-much-is-a-lot

How Much is a Lot?

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.


lobby-design

Lobby Design

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.


why-opt-in-to-quality-housing

Why Opt-in to Quality Housing?

The Quality Housing Program was established in 1987 to help maintain the architectural character of New York City neighborhoods. The program includes rules concerning height, bulk, lot coverage, street line and more. Quality Housing is mandatory in contextual R6-R10 districts, but only optional in non-contextual R6-R10 districts.


nyc-industrial-residentialization

NYC’s Industrial Residentialization

The redevelopment of industrial areas for residential use has been a trend throughout New York City’s recent history. Thirty years ago it was happening in neighborhoods like Soho and Tribeca. Today luxury residential development has expanded to industry parts of Dumbo and North Brooklyn.


escape-from-parking-in-new-york

Escape From Parking in New York

After lengthy debate, City Council approved Mayor de Blasio’s Zoning for Quality and Affordability plan (ZQA). A key component of the plan is the relaxation of parking requirements for multiple dwellings. By eliminating parking requirements, the mayor aims to make it easier for developers to maximize zoning lots for affordable and senior housing.


nyc-mandatory-inclusionary-housing-proposal

NYC’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing Proposal

New York City’s “Housing New York” plan to build and preserve 200,000 high quality, affordable units is under City Planning review. If passed, the plan will have significant impact on development and zoning in New York.


are-nyc-new-micro-apartments-much-smaller

Are NYC’s New Micro-Apartments Much Smaller?

New York City’s adAPT program, which sidesteps existing Building and Zoning Codes to build prefabricated micro-apartmentbuildings, launched amid much controversy. Proponents claim the micro-apartments are appropriate for today’s renter—young, single and on the go. Detractors are apprehensive about the compromise of space in a crowded city saturated with pint-sized living spaces.


constraints-of-non-conforming-use

Constraints of Non-Conforming Use

New York City has undergone several zoning changes over the years. When a district undergoes a major zoning change, a building’s use doesn’t necessarily have to fall in line. The building can remain in the district under what’s called non-conforming use.


third-stairway-to-egress

Third Stairway to Egress

The Department of Buildings will soon enforce Section 403.5.2 of the Building Code requiring buildings to have a third egress stair. Applications filed on or after July 1, 2015 will be subject to the code. The enforcement date of Section 403.5.2 was postponed to give City Council time to pass a zoning text amendment discounting the floor area from the additional stairway.


the-state-of-the-dob

The State of the DOB

New Commissioner Rick Chandler gave a State of the DOB address at the Yale Club on December 9th, 2014. Over the last few years, the DOB has seen a boost in job and permit filings. On Tuesday, Mr. Chandler offered solutions for the DOB to streamline its operations and deal with this increase.


hub-to-lose-executive-director

Hub to Lose Executive Director

The tenure of Development Hub Executive Director Edwin Tang on September 30, 2014. Mr. Tang leaves behind a remarkable legacy at the DOB. He was instrumental in rolling out the Development Hub and overseeing its operations. His departure comes at a time when the Hub is experiencing a massive influx of job applications before the 2014 Building Code takes effect.


land-lease-redevelops-nycha-parking-lots

Land Lease Redevelops NYCHA Parking Lots

Crumbling infrastructure and an untenable fiscal situation has led the NYCHA to turn its parking lots into cash. As part of its Land Lease program, the NYCHA seeks to solve its budget woes by leasing its parking lot areas to developers who will develop market rate housing.