Friday, 3 June 2016

Plans to Convert Landmarked UWS Church to Condos Halted For Good

The Board of Standards and Appeals voted against the project on Thursday

The city's Board of Standards and Appeals has put a final nail in the coffin on a plan to convert a landmarked Upper West Side church into condos, YIMBY reports. After years of back and forth on part of the developers to convert the former First Church of Christ, Scientist building at 361 Central Park West, the BSA voted against the planned conversion on Thursday.

There was a constant change with the number of units, and by the time of the hearing, it had gone down from 39 to 34 apartments, according to YIMBY. A representative for the developer wanted more time, but the BSA commissioners were suspicious of the developer's motives.

The project was approved by the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission back in March 2015. The developers could build a residential project as of right at the site, but they needed several waivers from the BSA in order to move forward. The agency wasn't having any of it, and after meeting three times previously and not rendering a decision, the agency finally voted three to one to reject the proposal.

Local residents have been opposed to the project right from the start and several spoke against the development at the BSA hearing. The Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer was also opposed to the development and would rather see it used a community facility.

With the residential conversion off the table, it's unclear what the future holds for this building, which was declared an NYC landmark in 1974. Some have suggested it be used as a church again, or as Brewer suggested a community facility.


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