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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

080177ZRM and 080178ZSM,  applications  submitted by Park Avenue Hotel Acquisition, LLC for the transfer of development rights from 375 Park avenue and a special permit for 610 lexington avenue

WHEREAS, Park Avenue Hotel Acquisition, LLC, the applicant and developers of 610 Lexington Avenue on the southwest corner of 53rd Street and Lexington Avenue, have filed two applications with the Department of City Planning:

WHEREAS, The proposed text amendment would apply to new developments or enlargements utilizing development rights pursuant to Zoning Resolution 74-79 in C5-3, C6-6, C6-7 and C6-7T districts within the Special Midtown District (Third to Fifth Avenues East 39th to East 60th Streets, and other specified locations); and

WHEREAS, The applicant's original proposed use of the building when the Landmark Preservation Plan for the Seagram Building was presented to Community Board 5 in November 2005, and approved by the Board, was to be 14 stories of hotel space and 44 stories of condominiums and did not require a loading berth; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has changed the use of the building to be 47 stories of hotel space and 10 stories of condominiums making its use mainly commercial and necessitating a loading berth under the Zoning Resolution; and

WHEREAS, The applicant expects 12-16 deliveries per day to service the hotel; and

WHEREAS, 610 Lexington Avenue is on southwest corner of Lexington Avenue at East 53rd Street and both of these thoroughfares are extremely busy with high volumes of traffic; and

WHEREAS, The applicant is requesting a text change to Section 74-79 of the Zoning Resolution to waive the requirement of a loading dock at this location; and

WHEREAS, After the committee expressed concern about the lack of a loading berth in the building during the March 2008 meeting, the applicant requested an opportunity to find a solution; and

WHEREAS, The applicant did go back to the drawing board and proposed an on street solution which involved changing the existing parking regulations to create a Loading Zone at the curb in front of the hotel and to have deliveries occur in the evening after rush hour, a solution that will require enforcement by the NYPD and which has been shown to be ineffective in the past; and

WHEREAS, The design of the building does not include an off street loading berth, and there is no agreement for sharing of a loading berth and/or driveway with the adjacent Seagram Building, making it necessary for passenger and bulk loading, including hotel garbage, to take place on the sidewalk and street(s), and

WHEREAS, Community Board 5 remains concerned about the immediate and long-term impacts of the proposed text amendment to Section 74-79 of the Zoning Resolution for the Special Midtown District, the principle of amending the Zoning Resolution for one building and the precedent that would be set in the Special Midtown District for future applications with similar modifications; therefore be it

RESOLVED, That Community Board Five recommends denial of applications 080177ZRM and 080178ZSM as submitted by the Park Avenue Hotel Acquisition, LLC, due to concerns about text amendments to the Zoning Resolution and the lack of a loading berth at this highly congested location at 610 Lexington Avenue/375 Park Avenue.

The above resolution passed by a vote of 36 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstention.

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