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Zoning Update Elsewhere in Turtle Bay

Work at 931 First Avenue, which was built in 1892 as an elementary school and later became the U. N. School, then a "temporary" women's shelter, is slated to begin after a lengthy delay while financing was arranged. Stabilizing steel braces have been inserted at the corner and ends of the old facade prior to razing the rest of the venerable structure - a difficult, delicate operation. Within and above the saved facade will rise a 19-story apartment tower culminating some 205 feet above street level. It will be clad in brick of colors matching the existing facade. The ground floor is expected to have retail space.

The Macklowe Organization is assembling two Turtle Bay sites, one at the southeast corner of Second Avenue and 53rd Street (one building is already down), the other the full block east side of First Avenue, 50th to 51st Streets. The zoning in both cases is unambiguous: a 10.0 maximum floor to site area ratio (FAR); mandatory tower-on-base; no plaza bonus; no air right shifted from the low-rise-zoned properties to the east; primarily residential development. The probable end result: a 25-28 story apartment structure with ground floor retail space on each site.

Demolition is commencing on properties held by Saint Agnes Church on the south side of 44th Street between Lexington and Third Avenues. Here zoning is dense commercial. If air rights over these properties and the church itself have not been previously sold (a tall office tower stands to the west), an extremely high (40-60 story) office tower could rise here.

Given the strong economy, developers are casting covetous eyes upon the low-rise building still lining Turtle Bay's First and Second Avenues. Handy to the booming Midtown business district, they are prime targets. TBA will remain watchful to see that all building, be it new or renovation, is legal. Above all, we stand firm against any commercial incursion into our residential streets and avenues.

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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
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