Chelsea community board approves rezoning around FIT

June 02, 2011 06:29PM

Members of a Chelsea community board have unanimously voted in favor of a plan to re-zone the blocks surrounding the Fashion Institute of Technology at Seventh Avenue and West 27th Street, according to DNAinfo, despite concerns that new zoning conditions might mark an end for existing commercial and office spaces in the area.

The new designation, to span West 28th, 29th and 30th streets between Seventh and Eighth avenues, would loosen regulations for new residential units. Developers would be allowed to turn any building smaller than 50,000 square feet into residential space.

Community Board 5 members debated whether this threshold was too high and might drive out Class B and Class C office space,– planners estimate that the change could displace up to 26 firms and 225 employees– eventually deciding it was worth the risk. “This will create the development I think this area should have,” said board member Edward Kilmerman.

The move is being spearheaded by Edison Properties, which wants to build a 400-unit development between 28th and 29th streets on an existing parking lot.

The proposal will go before the full board next Thursday, June 9. [DNAinfo]