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Land Use, Housing & Zoning

ULURP Applications C 210453 ZSM & C 210454 ZSM - The Applicant, 415 Madison Avenue LLC, is seeking special permits

Re:       ULURP Applications C 210453 ZSM & C 210454 ZSM - The Applicant, 415 Madison Avenue LLC, is seeking special permits pursuant to Zoning Resolution (ZR) Section 81‐645 (Special permit for a public concourse) and ZR Section 81‐685 (Special permit to modify qualifying site provisions) (the "Proposed Actions") to facilitate development at 415 Madison Avenue in the East Midtown area of Manhattan (Block 1284, Lot 21; the "Development Site"). The Development Site is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of Madison Avenue and East 48th Street, and is in a C5‐3 zoning district in the Southern Subarea of the East Midtown Subdistrict in the Special Midtown District. The Applicant is in the process of obtaining two non‐discretionary certifications pursuant to ZR Sec. 81‐643 to allow the Applicant to rebuild overbuilt floor area in a new development, as well as a certification pursuant to ZR Sec. 81‐642 to allow for floor area to be transferred to the Development Site from a landmark in the area (St. Bartholomew’s Church). In addition to these certifications, the Applicant is seeking the special permits pursuant to the East Midtown Subdistrict regulations to facilitate the proposed project.

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, September 09, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, 415 Madison Avenue (“Applicant”) is a commercial office tower located at the corner of Madison Avenue and East 48th Street, built in 1955 and owned by Rudin Management; and

WHEREAS, The building was built in 1955, prior to the 1961 Zoning Resolution and is currently overbuilt; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant, 415 Madison LLS, a subsidiary of Rudin Management, wants to demolish the building to build a new tower using the new zoning provisions from the East Midtown Special District enacted in 2018; and 

WHEREAS, The Proposed Actions and the non‐discretionary certifications would together facilitate the development of a new 40 story, 605 foot tall commercial development, totaling approximately 343,100 gross square feet (gsf) (24.6 FAR) on the Development Site with a ground floor retail pavilion and an open air public concourse (the “Proposed Development”); and 

WHEREAS, The LIRR concourse is being constructed in connection with the East Side Access project to connect the LIRR to Grand Central Terminal, pursuant to an agreement between the Applicant and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Under an agreement with MTA, the Applicant must also construct an entrance leading to the below-grade LIRR concourse and MNR passageway on the ground floor of the Proposed Development along East 48th Street. The below-grade transit concourse and entrance from the street would also be constructed on the Development Site absent the Proposed Development; and 

WHEREAS, The Applicant wishes to retain the overbuilt density as permitted under ZR Sec. 81‐643, Under these certifications, new development on the Development Site is permitted to incorporate approximately 40,900 sf of existing non-complying floor area, upon payment into the Public Realm Improvement Fund created by the East Midtown Subdistrict text; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant wishes to transfer development rights from individual landmark St Bartholomew’s Church, This certification permits the transfer of approximately 36,100 sf of development rights from the St. Bartholomew’s Church landmark to the Development Site; and

WHEREAS, Air rights appurtenant to St Bartholomew have been acquired by JPMC and are being sold by JPMC to 415 Madison under a separate agreement reached between JPMC, 415 Madison LLC and MTA; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant is seeking a 3 FAR bonus in exchange for a 2400 sqft public open air concourse located within the footprint of the development site, the Applicant believes that this concourse would improve the public realm by adding circulation space along the sidewalk leading to the LIRR East Side Access entrance to be constructed on the Development Site.; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant is seeking a special permit pursuant to ZR § 61-685 to allow for modification of height and setback and mandatory district plan elements (as outlined in ZR §§ 81-66, 81-42, and 81-43) allow for non-compliance with retail continuity, and Day Light Exposure; and  

WHEREAS, The proposed development provide improvements to the public realm, in conjunction with a major transit improvement negotiated under a separate agreement by the applicant or its representatives and the MTA, it would facilitate the sale air development rights from a landmark hence promoting its conservation, and it would enhance the building stock of East Midtown; therefore be it 

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the proposed special permits as well as the non-discretionary certifications.

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