The Existing Building. The project site is a three-story structure built in 1922 for retail, office and manufacturing use. The construction consists of a combination of load bearing masonry walls, and piers, steel beams and columns and wood joists. The building has a full cellar on the southern half of the site, but a slab on grade on the northern portion. The building is typical of its time. It has deteriorated largely because of water penetration. It needs a completely new exterior envelope on the 2 exposures, (replacement of lintels, removal and replacement of the brick veneer, all new windows) and improvements to the roof and sidewalk. A recently completed structural analysis has determined that although the structure has adequate capacity for the current loads, settlement, which has occurred on the northern half of the building, could eventually jeopardize the buildings structural integrity if repairs are not completed. The minimum repair recommendation requires providing additional connectivity between all existing columns and beams and addressing the problem of water penetrating to the steel structure of the facades. If the additional connectivity is completed, the overall structure would have additional capacity roughly equivalent to loads associated with a roof terrace, (no plantings). Any additional weight would require its own foundations.
Zoning /Landmark / New York City Transit Regulations
Under its current designation in the NYC Zoning Code, the building can be built up to15,000 SF. For Commercial use, the allowable FAR is 5.0. The existing building occupies the entire site and has an gross floor area of 9000SF.
The existing building is located in the NoHo Historic District Extension and is considered a Contributing Building. This designation is based on the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commision definition of characteristic buildings in this specific district. The style of the building is consistent with the building fabric to be preserved, in this case industrial. The Landmarks Commission has a fairly broad definition of contextual in this district, for example they approved a building made of shipping containers.
The building is located adjacent to a subway station. Additions to the existing building or a new building would be subject to NYCT review. The main impact of this is that new foundation elements will be more expensive than in typical construction.