81-645 Special Permit for a Public Concourse
For qualifying sites, the City Planning Commission may permit an increase in the amount of floor area ratio permitted on such zoning lots, up to the amount specified in Row G of the table in Section 81-64 (Special Floor Area Provisions for Qualifying Sites), as applicable, where an above-grade public concourse, in the form of an open or enclosed, publicly accessible space for public use and enjoyment, is provided on the qualifying site. Such publicly accessible spaces shall include amenities that are characteristic of public plazas or public atriums, as applicable, for the comfort and convenience of the public.
As a pre-condition to applying for such special permit, an applicant shall demonstrate that the maximum as-of-right floor area ratio for qualifying sites set forth in Row E of the table in Section 81-64 has been achieved prior to, or in conjunction with, the special permit application.
In order for the City Planning Commission to approve a special permit application for additional floor area, the Commission shall determine that such development or, where permitted, enlargement, complies with the conditions and application requirements of paragraph (a), the findings of paragraph (b) and the additional requirements of paragraph (c) of this Section.
(a) Applications shall include information and justification sufficient to provide the Commission with the basis for:
(1) evaluating the benefits to the general public;
(2) determining the appropriate amount of increased floor area to grant; and
(3) determining whether the applicable findings set forth in paragraph (b) of this Section have been met. Such application materials shall also include initial plans for the maintenance of the proposed improvements.
(b) The Commission shall find that:
(1) to the extent practicable, the open or enclosed public concourse will:
(i) consist of a prominent space of generous proportions and quality design that is inviting to the public;
(ii) improve pedestrian circulation and provide suitable amenities for the occupants;
(iii) front upon a street or a pedestrian circulation space in close proximity to and within view of, and accessible from, an adjoining sidewalk;
(iv) provide or be surrounded by active uses;
(v) be surrounded by transparent materials;
(vi) provide connections to pedestrian circulation spaces in the immediate vicinity; and
(vii) be designed in a manner that combines the separate elements within such space into a cohesive and harmonious site plan, resulting in a high-quality public space; and
(2) the public benefit derived from the proposed public concourse merits the amount of additional floor area being granted to the proposed development or, where permitted, enlargement, pursuant to this special permit;
(c) Prior to obtaining a foundation permit or building permit for a development or, where permitted, an enlargement on a qualifying site, from the Department of Buildings, a written declaration of restrictions, in a form acceptable to the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission, setting forth the obligations of the owner to construct, maintain and provide public access to public improvements provided pursuant to this Section, shall be recorded against such property in the Office of the Register of the City of New York (County of New York). Proof of recordation of the declaration of restrictions shall be submitted in a form acceptable to the Department of City Planning.
No temporary certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Department of Buildings for the portion of the building utilizing increased floor area granted pursuant to the provisions of this Section until the required improvements have been substantially completed, as determined by the Chairperson, and such improvements are usable by the public. Such portion of the building utilizing increased floor area shall be designated by the Commission in drawings included in the declaration of restrictions filed pursuant to this paragraph.
No permanent certificate of occupancy shall be granted by the Department of Buildings for the portion of the building utilizing increased floor area until all improvements have been finally completed in accordance with the approved plans, as determined by the Chairperson.