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. Developers typically build sliver buildings on tiny lots in high-rise zoning districts of Manhattan.
The Zoning Code doesn’t specifically restrict sliver buildings from any district, as buildings are subject to the height and bulk regulations of their district. However, districts permitting taller buildings (higher residential and commercial districts) are subject to the restriction in Section 23-692.
Residential districts subject to 23-692 are R7-2, R7D, R7X, R8, R9 and R10.
Commercial districts subject to 23-692 include C1-6, C1-7, C1-8, C1-9, C2-6, C2-7, C2-8, C4-4D, C4-5D, C4-5X, C4-6A, C4-7A, C5-1A, C5-2A, C6-2A, C6-3A, C6-3D, C6-3X, C6-4A and C6-4X.
However, heights are restricted in the following circumstances:
However, the above heights can be exceeded if any of the following applies.
Street walls under the above circumstances have to be fully contiguous at every level with abutting street walls. This means that where the abutting building sets back, the sliver building must also set back. It cannot be closer to the street wall at any point.
The following rules must also apply to sliver buildings in these districts:
Select areas in Brooklyn may now be permitted to create lawful cellar apartments.