THE VIEW AT BRYANT PARK aka 14-20 West 40th Street. An application pursuant to 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution, using the Knox Hat Building known as “The Knox Building”, an individual landmark.
WHEREAS, A special permit is being sought to modify the requirements of Zoning Resolution 74-711 to permit a transfer of approximately 17,000 sq ft of available floor area from the M1-6 zoning district to the C5-3 zoning district; modify the setback requirements; modify the requirement to provide less than the amount of pedestrian circulation space required for lots greater than 20,000 sq ft, and modify the requirement to permit the building along West 40th Street to provide less than the required minimum street wall (within 10 ft of the street line) equal to 80% of the frontage up to a height of 85 ft; and
WHEREAS, This is a project of the 40th Street Development LLC, in contract to purchase the property from HSBC Bank, whose predecessor was the Republic National Bank; and
WHEREAS, The ornate Knox Building on 40th Street and Fifth Avenue, named after a famous hat maker, was designed by John H. Duncan in 1902 and remodeled into a bank building for the Republic National Bank by Kahn & Jacobs in l965 and in 1981 was incorporated into a new Republic National Bank on 39th Street and Fifth Avenue; and
WHEREAS, The proposed new building, the View at Bryant Park, on the south side of 40th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues, would rise to the height of 32 stories and overlook the Public Library and Bryant Park and would be approximately 86,000 sq ft of residential condos and 100,000 sq ft of hotel space; and
WHEREAS, At this time Community Board Five is looking only at the new building's harmonious relationship to adjacent landmarks and to landmarks in the neighborhood; and
WHEREAS, It is also the Board's concern to look at the applicant's preservation, restoration and continuing maintenance plan for the Knox Building pursuant to the variances granted under Zoning Resolution 74-711; and
WHEREAS, The proposal will come back to the Board when the zoning resolutions are discussed, and the project goes before the City Planning Commission and other city agencies; and
WHEREAS, The proposed project is surrounded by a number of individual landmarks, including the New York Public Library, Bryant Park (a scenic landmark), American Radiator Building (now the Bryant Park Hotel), Bryant Park Studios, and the Knox Building; and
WHEREAS, The preservation, restoration and continuing maintenance plan presented by the applicant for the Knox Building includes:
WHEREAS, The applicant brought to the Board an original photo of the Knox Building when it was built, as was requested; and
WHEREAS, There is no final shadow study to determine the extent of the shadow that will be cast over Bryant Park by the new building; and
WHEREAS, The preservation and restoration plan was considered adequate to the requirements of the zoning law and had an adequate program for continuing maintenance; and
WHEREAS, The new building appears "to have a minimal adverse effect on the landmark structures and will not impact negatively on neighboring and adjacent landmarks, therefore be it
RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends approval of the application for The View at Bryant Park located at 14-20 West 40th Street pursuant to 74-711 of the Zoning Resolution, using the Knox Hat Building known as "The Knox Building", an individual landmark.The above resolution passed with a vote of 27 in favor, 11 opposed, 1 abstention.