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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The New York City Council has approved a special permit to allow 12 additional parking spaces for a planned residential condominium building at 200 Eleventh Avenue.

The building will have 18 floors and 16 apartments and the city's zoning regulations only permit any new building south of 60th Street in Manhattan to have no more parking spaces than 20 percent of the number of residential units.

The building at 200 Eleventh Avenue at 24th Street is unusual in that its parking spaces are not in an underground garage but will be in 15 of its 16 apartments.

The building has been designed by Annabelle Selldorf for Youngwoo & Associates and will use the "En-Suite Sky Garage System that uses an internal elevator to bring residents in their cars to garage rooms immediately adjacent to the apartments. "We are thrilled that 200 Eleventh Avenue will be the first condominium in America to offer this incredible amenity," Glauco Lolli-Ghetti, a director of Youngwoo & Associates, said today.

His firm said that "sensors and monitors at the elevator's entrance are alerted when a car is present, recognize each resident's car, welcome and direct them into the elevator." The system was conceived by the developer and designed by Ms. Selldorf with elevator engineer Jon Halpern with assistance from Bradley Rickert of Siemens.

Prices for the apartments begin at about $6 million and occupancy is planned for Fall 2008.

The New York City Planning Commission voted August 8, 2007 to approve a special permit for 12 additional parking spaces.

Community Board 4 voted 31 to 10 with one person stating he was present but not eligible May 2, 2007 to recommend that the special permit not be granted.

Several speakers at the community board meeting had argued that while the number of requested parking spaces would not have a serious impact on the community a granting of the requests would set a bad precedent since the city's zoning laws.

The resolution passed by the board noted that "the application is admittedly novel," adding that it is "contrary to PLANYC's recently announced program to reduce vehicle trips and presence in mid-Manhattan" and "if granted, would by permitting accessory parking for some 90 percent of the apartments, set a dangerous and unwarranted precedent undercutting the intent of the Zoning Regulation if applied to larger buildings."

The city's recent rezoning of West Chelsea and the High Line area did not alter the city's zoning regulations relating to parking even though Chelsea, as well as other parts of Manhattan, have witnessed an evaporation of parking lots as they have been gobbled up for development in recent years.

The garage "rooms" may be the building's most unusual feature, but its most visible feature will be its unusual facade that its website maintains was "inspired by neighboring industrial lots, the concepts of Erwin Hauer and structural forms found in nature."

The building's facade has a base that will clad in gunmetal glazed terracotta while the setback tower design has very large multi-paned windows at the base of which curved stainless steel spandrels protrude.

On June 18, Borough President Scott Stringer issued a recommendation approving the application for a special permit on the condition that it be limited to 13 spaces.

The planning commission's approval noted that it "recognizes that there is limited existing public parking in the immediate vicinity and that there is limited capacity within these facilities." It also noted that "The development of the High Line elevated rail structure into public open space and continued growth of the West Chelsea art gallery district may create further demand" and therefore it "believes the proposed garage would appropriately serve the needs of the residents of the residential building" and "the small increase would not unduly inhibit traffic and pedestrian flow."
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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