City Council greenlights Water Street arcades

Landlords can covert 110,000 sf

<em>From left: 77 Water Street, One New York Plaza and 100 Wall Street </em>
From left: 77 Water Street, One New York Plaza and 100 Wall Street

The City Council on Tuesday approved plans to rezone portions of the Financial District that will allow landlords to fill unused space with retail.

Under the proposal, 20 Buildings Along Water Street can fill in 110,000 square feet of pedestrian arcades. In exchange, the landlords are required to upgrade nearby plazas. The City Council approved the plan with a few changes, including that any of the arcades larger than 7,500 square feet must go through the ULURP process in order to build retail shops, DNAinfo reported. Chain drug stores and banks can also only respectively take 50 and 30 feet of frontage.

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The Downtown Alliance and the Economic Development Corporation submitted a land-use application for the rezoning in January. The proposal suggested that additional office space could be added to the mezzanine levels of 75 Wall Street, 77 Water Street, 2 New York Plaza, 7 Hanover Square and 175 Water Street.

The zoning proposal came six years after the Downtown Alliance issued a report suggesting that filling in the arcades was a possible fix for what is an “underwhelming pedestrian experience” on Water Street. [DNAinfo]Kathryn Brenzel