New zoning designation under review for old Fur District

April 25, 2011 06:36PM

City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden sent the proposal for a new zoning designation, to be used first for part of the old Fur District in an effort to encourage growth of the area’s Class B and C office space, for public review. Edison Properties wants to use the designation to develop the area bounded by West 28th and 30th streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues. The neighborhood has affordable office space that could attract new media, architectural firms, creative arts and other emerging businesses but lacks retail and residencies necessary for a thriving, mixed-use 24/7 neighborhood, according to Burden. The proposed designation would permit development at 10 floor area ratio (FAR) for commercial and manufacturing buildings and prohibit the conversion of commercial buildings with more than 50,000 square feet to residential in order to keep a commercial base. Meanwhile, to encourage permanent community growth, large hotels would need special permits, lots with at least 50 feet of frontage would dedicate half of their ground floors to retail, and sites with less than 50,000 square feet would be permitted for residential developments. Additionally, the zoning designation under review states that no building in the area could rise beyond 290 feet, and provides incentive for the development of affordable housing. “This carefully crafted zoning district balances important employment and housing goals in districts with existing Class B and C office buildings, while ensuring that new development will be consistent with the built character of the area,” Burden said. TRD