Lumbering Giant

Shelly Friedman, perpetual lawyer to developers of controversial projects, has put in for a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals to change the zoning at 46-48 Bond Street, now serving as a parking lot parking and outdoor material storage for Great Jones Lumber Yard.

Developer Don Copoccia wants to build a 12-story residential and retail building that would presently violate height and setback requirements for the zone; they want to transfer air rights from adjacent buildings to get the apartment complex up.

According to Department of Buildings records, the new building, if the variance comes through, will be 129 feet high for a total of 40,235 square feet.

Friedman made his client’s case before Community Board 2 last week; they get to make a recommendation on the variance to the B.S.A. Mostly they seemed amenable, but asked for a revised the design to have a minimum of 1,200 square feet in each apartment unit; restore the cobblestone streets adjacent to the building; and to carefully weed out undesirable tenants from the ground-floor retail space that aren’t “neighborhood-friendly”. So no nightclub.

The building is being designed by Meltzer/Mandl Architects, whose other projects have included the nearby 57 Bond Street residential development.

They wouldn’t cough up any renderings.

One sticking point: the board was adamant the building not exceed 120 feet in height; the current plan is for a 129-foot tall building. Friedman said he’d bring the 129-foot design to the B.S.A. anyway, in case on that point they were willing to bigfoot the community board.

“There were concerns about the height, but we don’t believe those concerns are warranted,” he said. “It’s as of right.” (He means that the developer needs no special variance to build up to 129 feet).

– Matthew Grace Lumbering Giant