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Owner of 183 East Broadway Seeks Zoning Exemption

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The number of stalled construction sites in New York City dropped slightly last month, from 531 (in October) to 515. We found out a bit more this week about one of those idled sites, 183 East Broadway, a project stopped by the Department of Buildings due to zoning violations.

The developer, listed in city records as Wai Sun Realty, planned a 12-story/21 unit apartment building on a very narrow lot, just three doors down from the historic Forward Building. The owner sent a representative to CB3’s zoning committee Monday for a preliminary presentation, in conjunction with an application to the Board of Standards and Appeals. A “stop work” order was issued in the spring, after the DOB apparently concluded the “sliver building” would have exceeded height restrictions.

Now the developer wants to go up to 7 stories, or 91 feet. In arguing for a variance, the representative said the unfinished project was a “blight on the neighborhood.” Having to remove floors from the top of the building could be a “disaster,” he warned. At one point, construction at 183 East Broadway was temporarily stopped after surrounding buildings were destabilized.

The building extends all the way from East Broadway through to Henry Street. The original plans called for 6 floors for apartments (680 sq/ ft. average), and 6 floors for community facilities (non-profits, medical offices, etc).

CB3 was not asked to sign off on the plan this week – the owners will be back with a formal request at a later date.

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