Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. Overcomes Opposition By Community Board And Borough President To Secure Difficult Zoning Approval

Rosenberg & Estis, P.C.

Approvals for Special Permits Enables Penthouse Enlargement and Ground Floor Retail Use


For Immediate Release Rosenberg & Estis, P.C. has secured two difficult zoning approvals that will allow a penthouse enlargement and ground floor retail use in two SoHo properties despite opposition from the local Community Board and the Manhattan Borough President’s office. The City Planning Commission approved, and both the City Council and the Mayor accepted, special permits for 61-63 Crosby Street and 5 Mercer Street. Frank E. Chaney, of counsel with Rosenberg & Estis, represented the owners of 61-63 Crosby Street and 5 Mercer Street. The City Planning Commission approved Chaney’s two applications, which then underwent a 25-day period during which the City Council and the Mayor had the option to overturn the approvals. Neither did, so the City Planning Commission approvals became final. Both properties applied for a ZR §74-711 Special Permit, 61-63 Crosby Street to allow retail use on the ground floor and cellar, and 5 Mercer Street to allow the penthouse enlargement of the building containing artist’s lofts and use of the ground floor and cellar as retail stores. Under the current SoHo zoning rules, both the enlargement and ground floor retail are prohibited except by special permit, an arduous two-year process. “These may be the last two applications of their kind given the city’s current proposed rezoning of SoHo and NoHo, which will remove restrictions put in place half a century ago in what was ultimately a failed effort to preserve SoHo as a manufacturing center,” Chaney said. “The restrictions on ground floor retail long ago ceased to be effective and have only added time, cost and uncertainty to securing approvals for things that ought to be as-of-right – and will be in the future if the proposed rezoning is approved.”

Frank E. Chaney

Frank E. Chaney

Of Counsel


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