It turns out the Landmarks Preservation Commission was merely the smaller hurdle the Chetrit Group had to clear to carry out its planned Hotel Chelsea renovation. DNAinfo reported that the developer is working to get Department of Buildings approval for the rooftop addition even as the structure already exceeds the area’s zoning limits.
The landmarked building at 222 West 23rd Street has a total floor area that’s nearly 37,000 square feet larger than the 129,953 zoned for the site, and exceeds the maximum 145-foot height by five feet. Hotel Chelsea achieved these outsized proportions because it was built in the 1880s, before the zoning resolution went into effect, but a 16-foot-high, 3,865-square-foot rooftop addition would further push the limits.
The DOB has shot down multiple applications for the Gene Kaufman design for the rooftop, which would be used as a 150-person bar. Those applications also contained discrepancies when listing the building’s existing square-footage, which ranged from 166,770 to 170,033 in various filings. Community Board 4 sent a letter to DOB urging it to reject the application because the hotel is overbuilt.