Authorization for retail uses within existing arcades

The City Planning Commission may authorize a horizontal enlargement of the ground floor and second floor levels within an arcade located within Area B on Map 9 in Appendix A of this Chapter. In order to grant an authorization, the Commission shall find that:

(a)        the requirements of Section 91-831 (Ground floor requirements) are met;

(b)        a compensating amenity is provided pursuant to the provisions of Section 91-832 for plazas, Section 91-834 for indoor public spaces or Section 91-835 for alternative improvements;

(c)        sufficient unobstructed space exists adjacent to the proposed enlargement to facilitate pedestrian circulation; and

(d)        the enlargement will maintain a visual or physical connection to Water Street from another street, public park or publicly accessible open area.

As part of the authorization, the Commission may modify the requirements for the location of new building walls of paragraph (a) of Section 91-831 (Ground floor requirements).

For zoning lots with one or more publicly accessible open area, unless an alternative improvement has been identified in Section 91-835, an improvement to all publicly accessible open areas pursuant to the provisions of Section 91-832 shall be required as the compensating amenity required by finding (b) of this Section, and a certification for design changes pursuant to Section 37-625 shall not be required. Where a publicly accessible open area was improved and is fully compliant with a prior certification pursuant to Section 37-625 that was granted before January 19, 2016, the further improvement of such publicly accessible open area shall not be required.

The provision of a compensating amenity as part of a prior certification pursuant to Section 91-83 (Retail Uses Within Existing Arcades) or a prior authorization pursuant to this Section may satisfy the requirement of finding (b) of this Section for a compensating amenity.

As part of the authorization, a horizontal enlargement of the ground floor level may be permitted within the area between a street wall and an arcade that did not generate a floor area bonus prior to June 21, 2016. The provisions of Section 91-831 (Ground floor requirements) shall not apply to such portion of the horizontal enlargement.

As part of the authorization, a horizontal enlargement of the ground floor level may be permitted along existing building walls that do not face an arcade. The locational requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of Section 91-831 and the frontage prohibitions of paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of Section 91-831 shall apply to such enlargement. Where the enlargement is located adjacent to a publicly accessible open area, the use and transparency requirements of Section 91-831 for new building walls facing a publicly accessible open area shall apply.

For a horizontal enlargement of 7,500 square feet or greater, a special permit pursuant to Section 91-85 shall also be required. For the purposes of calculating the total area of the horizontal enlargement that is subject to the special permit, the aggregate area of the horizontal enlargement permitted by prior certifications pursuant to Sections 91-83 and 91-837 (Subsequent design changes) and prior authorizations pursuant to this Section shall be included in such calculation, except the area of an indoor public space shall be excluded from such calculation.

Where any portion of the arcade remains open and accessible, such remaining arcade area shall maintain a minimum level of illumination of not less than five horizontal foot candles between sunset and sunrise. Any non-transparent portion of a building wall between columns that fronts on such arcade area shall be treated with artwork, planting or decorative material. Additional requirements for transparency in paragraph (c)(3) of Section 91-831 may apply.

All plans for arcades, publicly accessible open areas, required open areas and indoor public spaces, once authorized, shall be filed and duly recorded in the Borough Office of the City Register of the City of New York, indexed against the property in the form of a legal instrument, in a form satisfactory to the Commission, providing notice of the authorization pursuant to this Section. The filing and recording of such instrument shall be a precondition to the issuance of a building permit. The recording information shall be included on the certificate of occupancy for any building, or portion thereof, on the zoning lot issued after the recording date. Where a compensating amenity required by paragraph (b) of this Section is located on the same zoning lot as an enlargement, no temporary or final certificate of occupancy shall be issued for any enlargement unless and until the compensating amenity has been substantially completed in accordance with the approved plans, as verified by the Department of City Planning to the Department of Buildings.

Where a compensating amenity is located within a street or public park pursuant to Section 91-835 (Alternative improvements), the applicable legal requirements of Section 91-836 (Additional requirements) shall apply.

Where a zoning lot is subject to a variance or special permit that was granted by the Board of Standards and Appeals, the requirements of paragraph (b) Section 91-836 shall apply.  

The Commission may prescribe appropriate conditions and safeguards in connection with the grant of such authorization.