A Chelsea community board is demanding compensation from the Related Companies for allegedly keeping the city in the dark about six housing units — at least one of which was rent-regulated — when applying for demolition permits.
Related plans to build a single-story commercial building at 520 West 28th Street. The board claims that Related filed 12 forms between December 2014 and August 2016 falsely claiming there were no rent-regulated units at the four-story building 500 West 28th Street and arguing that the building “was exempt from anti-demolition restrictions because it was not a multiple dwelling.” The building was subsequently demolished.
“This information is false and should have raised concerns from DOB,” the board writes in a letter it plans to send to the Department of Buildings. “However, the demolition of this residential building was allowed to proceed.”
The Community Board wants Related to build new, permanently affordable units to make up for the demolished apartments. The site, which Related bought in October 2013, sits adjacent to its condo development 520 West 28th Street and was vacant for several years.
The Community Board has some leverage because Related is currently seeking approval for a mixed-use development at nearby 536-522 West 23rd Street. Related met with the board last week.
Community Board member Joe Restuccia told DNAinfo that Related has agreed to build “replacement units” but the number and location of the units hasn’t yet been decided.
“There was an administrative error that we were unaware of at the time, but we believe the application complied with the zoning regulations in regard to unsafe conditions,” a Related spokesperson told DNAinfo. [DNAinfo] — Konrad Putzier