Special Regulations on Permitted and Required Uses

In order to preserve, protect and enhance the character of the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict as the showcase of New York and national retail shopping, and to allow for uses that are consistent with the character of the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict as a major shopping and tourist destination, the following special limitations are imposed on the location and kinds of uses and signs permitted within the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict. These requirements and limitations shall apply to developments, enlargements, extensions or changes of use.

(a)        Restriction on ground floor uses

Uses within stories located on the ground floor level or on a floor within five feet of curb level, except for lobby space, shall be limited to uses listed in Use Group F.

(b)        Minimum retail space requirement

Any zoning lot, or portion thereof, located within the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict shall contain uses listed in Use Group F with a floor area ratio of not less than 1.0. When existing uses listed in Use Group F are retained, their floor area may be counted toward such requirement. In order to count toward the requirement, retail or service establishments shall be located on levels up to but not exceeding a height of six stories or 85 feet, whichever is less, or not more than five feet below curb level.

(c)        Use Group F

Use Group F comprises a group of establishments selected to promote and strengthen retail business in the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict.

Antique stores

Art galleries, commercial

Artists' supply stores


Beauty parlors

Book or card stores

Candy stores

Clothing or clothing accessory stores, with no limitation on floor area per establishment

Department stores

Eating or drinking establishments including those which provide outdoor table service or have music for which there is no cover charge and no specified showtime

Eating or drinking establishments with musical entertainment but not dancing, with a capacity of 200 persons or less

Florist shops

Food stores, including supermarkets, grocery stores, meat markets or delicatessen stores

Furrier shops, custom

Gift shops

Jewelry shops

Leather goods or luggage stores

Millinery shops

Music shops

Newsstands, open or enclosed

Optician or optometrist establishments

Package liquor stores

Photographic equipment or supply stores

Record shops

Shoe stores

Sporting or athletic stores

Stamp or coin stores

Stationery stores

**Studios, television or radio

Tailor or dressmaking shops, custom

Television, radio, phonograph or household appliance stores

Toy stores

*Travel bureaus

Variety stores

Watch or clock stores or repair shops

Any use or uses marked with an asterisk (*) shall occupy, in the aggregate at the ground floor level, no more than 15 percent of the linear street frontage of the zoning lot on or within 50 feet of Fifth Avenue and no more than 10 percent of the total lot area of the zoning lot within 50 feet of Fifth Avenue.

Any use or uses marked with two asterisks (**) shall be permitted on the ground floor level only if:

(1)        the building has frontage on Fifth Avenue; and

(2)        all portions of the street wall of the building are set back from the street line of Fifth Avenue by a minimum of 40 feet.

(d)        Modification of use regulations on a zoning lot with no frontage on Fifth Avenue

For a zoning lot which has no frontage on Fifth Avenue, the mandatory retail use regulations of this Section may be modified for that portion of the zoning lot located more than 100 feet from the street line of Fifth Avenue, provided that the City Planning Commission certifies that the ground floor space is occupied by a community facility use which maintains front wall transparency up to a height of one story above the abutting sidewalk level generating pedestrian interest and activity, and is compatible with the character and objectives of the Fifth Avenue Subdistrict. In no event shall the street line frontage occupied by such use exceed 30 feet.

(e)        The following special sign regulations apply to existing as well as new establishments or uses:

(1)        The aggregate area of all signs in ground floor store windows are restricted to not more than one-third of the window area. Below a level of 10 feet above curb level, signs shall not be permitted on the exterior of any building.

(2)        The display of banners or pennants from the exteriors of buildings is prohibited.

For the purposes of this Section, any signs, including banners and pennants, which do not comply with the above regulations may be continued for one year after April 28, 1983, provided that after the expiration of that period, such non-conforming sign shall terminate. A sign which the Chairperson of the City Planning Commission certified as an integral part of the building shall not be required to terminate.