CB3 Committee Signals Support for Stalled East Broadway Building
An update on 183 East Broadway, the stalled “sliver” building that was idled by the Department of Buildings in early 2009. The owner has come before Community Board 3 at least five times in recent months, seeking support for a variance to complete the 7-story apartment building.
The developer, Wai Sun Realty, says it didn’t know 183 East Broadway was too big for the lot — and the Buildings Department didn’t raise any red flags until months after construction began. In the past CB3 has refused to offer an opinion. But this past week, the zoning & housing committee forwarded a draft resolution to the full board. It reads:
Whereas CB #3 Land Use & Housing Committee has had extensive deliberations on the requested variance for 183 E. Broadway, and Whereas 183 E. Broadway has numerous zoning violations and is unfinished, an eyesore and a blight on the community due to its non-completion, and Whereas the owner has stated that the development initially received DOB approval after 8 meetings, and later after construction was underway, DOB’s decision was determined to be incorrect, and Whereas the CB #3 Committee is uncomfortable that there is considerable uncertainty about the DOB rulings and want this matter reviewed in the correct forum – Board of Standards and Appeals, and Whereas the CB #3 Committee is concerned that our position on this particular variance not set a precedent for other housing development in the neighborhood, and Whereas the CB #3 Committee acknowledges that the owner has a long history in the community as a provider of jobs, and when asked to provide some community benefits responded affirmatively by offering to rent the community facility space, the building’s basement and first floor, to a not-for-profit organization at an agreed upon below market rent, and Whereas the CB#3 Committee urges transparency in the selection of the not-for-profit for the community facility space, and requests the owner consider a longer term lease than 10 years and/or the right to renew after 10 years with similar terms, Therefore the CB#3 Committee recommends that the full Community Board #3 approve the requested variance for 183 E. Broadway.
(This is a draft resolution and has not yet been voted on by Community Board 3. This may be changed, adopted, or denied)
The full CB3 board will vote October 26th. It is up to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to decide whether a variance will be granted. The community board’s approval is not required, but is one of many factors the BSA considers in making its decisions.