A rendering of the development at 437 West 13th Street and Amanda Burden, chair of the City Planning Commission
Romanoff Equities received approval today for a shorter, but still contentious, new 10-story office and retail building at 437 West 13th Street in the Meatpacking District, adjacent to the High Line. The original proposal called for a 215-foot, 12-story glass tower, exceeding the manufacturing zone’s maximum floor area ratio of 5. The developers argued that the additional size — their proposal’s F.A.R. was 7.73 — would allow them to recoup the costs of an expensive foundation made necessary by soil conditions on the site and a portion of the land made unusable by the location of the High Line. Over the course of three public hearings on the matter, during which community groups argued that the tower would outsize its neighbors and replace a historic Meatpacking building, the proposal was scaled down to 201 feet, and then to 175 feet, or a 6.18 F.A.R., at which point it was unanimously approved by the Board of Standards and Appeals.
Even so, the approved proposal is 24 percent larger than traditional zoning laws would allow for that space…. [more]