Special Permit for Use and Bulk Modifications for Cultural Use in Certain C6-2 Districts

In order to support a concentration of cultural uses and public open spaces in the C6-2 District bounded by Flatbush Avenue, Hanson Place, St. Felix Street and Lafayette Avenue, for buildings intended to be occupied in whole or in part by cultural uses, the City Planning Commission may permit the maximum community facility floor area ratio to be increased from 6.5 to 7.0, may permit modifications of the special street wall location regulations of Section 101-41, and the height and setback regulations of Section 23-641 as applied to the residential portion of a building, and modifications of applicable sign regulations in accordance with this Section.

For the purposes of this Section, “cultural use” shall be defined as public or non-profit libraries, theaters, museums, visual or performing arts spaces, or art, music, dance, theatrical studios or other comparable uses and space occupied by such cultural use shall qualify as community facility floor area.

In order to grant such special permit, the conditions of paragraph (a) and the findings of paragraph (b) of this Section shall be met. In addition, special regulations pertaining to the certificate of occupancy of such building shall apply as set forth in paragraph (c).

(a)        Conditions

(1)        A letter from the Office of the Mayor shall be submitted certifying that:

(i)        a preliminary agreement has been executed providing for a cultural facility consisting of at least 40,000 square feet of interior gross square feet in the building to be transferred for cultural uses and for the construction of the core and shell of such cultural facility by the applicant; and  

(ii)        floor plans have been provided to the Office of the Mayor which demonstrate that the cultural facility is well-suited for cultural uses; and  

(2)        A legal commitment in the form of a declaration of restrictions shall be executed and delivered to the City for recording upon the approval of the permit, restricting use of the floor area to be occupied by cultural uses to cultural use for the life of the related development, provided that in the event the majority of the zoning lot containing such floor area is in the ownership of a not-for-profit corporation under contract with the City to provide economic development services at the time of the grant of such permit, execution and recordation of such declaration of restrictions shall be made at the time of the transfer of ownership of the majority of such zoning lot for purposes of facilitating the related development.

(b)        In order to grant such permit, the Commission shall find that:

(1)        the building, including such cultural uses, is designed and arranged on the zoning lot in a manner that results in ample visibility of and access to the cultural uses from surrounding streets;

(2)        any street wall modifications will facilitate access to open space on the lot and result in a development that activates the pedestrian environment;

(3)        any bulk modifications will result in a better distribution of bulk on the zoning lot by providing for increased light and air to open space on the zoning lot;

(4)        the appearance of bulk is minimized through an enhanced articulation of the base and tower elements of the building, an enhanced relationship between the building and the open space on the zoning lot, and an enhanced amount and arrangement of the fenestration of the building; and

(5)        any modifications to sign regulations will result in greater visibility for the cultural uses provided on the zoning lot.

The Commission may prescribe appropriate additional conditions and safeguards in order to enhance the character of the development and to minimize adverse effects on the character of the surrounding area.

(c)        Certificate of occupancy

The Commissioner of Buildings shall not issue a temporary or permanent certificate of occupancy for more than an amount of floor area in the building equal to the floor area to be occupied by non-cultural uses minus 40,000 square feet of floor area unless the Department of Buildings has received a letter from the Office of the Mayor certifying that a deed transferring ownership of a majority of the zoning lot has been recorded and that such deed or other recorded document provides for:

(1)        the construction by transferee of the core and shell of the cultural facility described in paragraph (a)(1)(i) of this Section;

(2)        the creation of a condominium unit for such cultural facility and the transfer of ownership thereof to the City; and

(3)        a right of the transferor to re-enter and re-acquire the zoning lot should the applicant fail to complete the construction of the core and shell of the cultural facility.

Should the certification by the Office of the Mayor not be issued within 30 days of the recording of the deed or other document with the stated provisions, a copy of such deed or document may be provided to the Department of Buildings in satisfaction of such certification.