495 11 Avenue Owner Realty LLC, the New York City Police Department (NYPD), the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC), are proposing a series of land use actions to activate a city-owned site in the Hell’s Kitchen area of Manhattan, referred to as the 495 Eleventh Avenue site or the “project site,” with a new mixed-use development comprised of residential dwelling units (DUs), community facility space comprised of supportive housing DUs, commercial office and retail supermarket spaces, a hotel, restaurant, building amenities, including a laundromat, and NYPD vehicle and equipment storage (the “Proposed Project”). The project site is located on a block bounded by West (W.) 40st Street to the north, Eleventh Avenue to the east, W. 39th Street to the south, and Twelfth Avenue to the west, and has a lot area of approximately 24,687 square feet (sf) (0.57 acres). Since 1992 the project site has been used as an NYPD parking facility.
In partnership with the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), EDC released a request for proposals (RFP) in December 2015 seeking a developer for the project site, which was the former site of the New York Butchers’ Dressed Meat Company, and currently serves as a surface parking lot for NYPD vehicles. In parallel, EDC has prepared a land use application with a series of land use actions that would facilitate this development. Thus, pursuant to City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR), an EIS will be prepared which will analyze a Reasonable Worst-Case Development Scenario (RWCDS) that considers the worst-case development potential for environmental effects in each technical area. For the purposes of presenting a conservative analysis, the RWCDS anticipates that the project site would facilitate approximately 701,749 gross square feet (“gsf”) of mixed-use development on the Project Site, comprised of approximately 276,445 gsf of residential floor area providing 275 DUs (of which 83 DUs would be restricted to households with incomes up to 80% of area-wide median income); approximately 49,748 gsf of community facility use comprised of 75 supportive housing DUs; approximately 349,115 gsf of commercial floor area comprised of 307,068 gsf (755 keys/rooms) of hotel use, 25,168 gsf of office use, a 14,108 gsf supermarket, and a 2,771 gsf restaurant; approximately 25,568 gsf for NYPD vehicle and equipment storage providing 55 spaces; and approximately 873 gsf for building amenities and mechanical space to include a laundromat. The build year for the proposed project is 2024.
A previous iteration of the Proposed Project included commercial office and student dormitory use. Following completion of an Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) on March 23, 2018, a Positive Declaration was issued by the NYC Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination. The Positive Declaration directed that a Draft EIS (DEIS) be prepared in response to the determination of potential significant adverse impacts disclosed in the EAS based on the findings of the environmental review. A public scoping meeting was held on April 30, 2018 at 6:00 PM at Beacon High School located at 522 West 44th Street, New York, NY 10036. The scoping period for the previous iteration of the Proposed Project ended May 10, 2018, to which EDC oversaw preparation of the Final Scope, which incorporated all relevant comments on the Draft Scope and revised the extent of methodologies of the studies, as appropriate, in response to comments.
Because the Proposed Project development program has been modified since the issuance of the March 2018 EAS and the subsequent scoping process, a new EAS document has been prepared to reflect the revised programming and the public scoping process will be initiated for public review and comment. Following the public scoping process, a DEIS will be prepared in accordance with the Final Scope.
The proposed project would require multiple City approvals. Some of these approvals are discretionary actions requiring review under the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and CEQR. It is anticipated that the following approvals are required:
In addition, the developer may seek funding from the New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC).
On October 2, 2019 the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development (ODMHED), as lead agency for the CEQR environmental review, issued a Revised Environmental Assessment Statement (EAS) and a Revised Positive Declaration for the project indicating that there was the potential for adverse environmental impacts due to the project and directed that an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) be prepared. At the same time, a Revised Draft Scope of Work for a Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was issued for public comment. A public scoping meeting has been scheduled for Thursday, November 7, 2019 at 6:00 P.M. and will be held at Hartley House, 413 West 46th Street, New York, NY 10036. The comment period for the Draft Scope of Work will remain open until November 18, 2019.
The environmental review documents can be downloaded from CEQR Access.