Nosy Neighbor: Is This Rooftop Addition Legal?

11 Sixth Ave 4514Could you inquire what’s going on with the rooftop addition at 11 Sixth Ave.? A lot of the neighbors are unsure if it’s legal or not. —Anonymous

Let’s start with background: 11 Sixth Ave. is the small, two-story building between Walker and White, where the Brite Buy liquor store used to be. In November, owner Gregory Nardello appeared before Community Board 1 to seek a 4 a.m. liquor license so the as-yet-unnamed* diner/café could be open 22 hours, closing 4 a.m. to 6 a.m. (When he first went before CB1 in July, the place was called Tribeca Grand Café, and you can imagine how that went over across the street.) The plans call for an enclosed sidewalk café and a seven-table mezzanine. Anyway, the committee voted 2-2-2, so the full board had to decide, and I don’t attend those meetings.

First, I walked over to check it out. Workers on the roof were adding bricks to the south side, and there was an ugly cinder-block wall along the back that I didn’t recall being there—and that wall, I have to assume, is what first got the neighbors’ attention. Back home, I went to call the nosy neighbor, to see if the wall was indeed the tip-off, but the voicemail was from a blocked number.

Sure enough, Google Maps shows no cinder-block wall.

11 Sixth Ave Google MapsThe documents on the Department of Buildings website aren’t that illuminating, at least to this amateur. The plans to convert the building to a restaurant date from 2011, as you can see from the overview of permits. None of the documents requests permission for an enlargement; on several,  the “no” box is checked, while others leave “yes” and “no” blank.

The only indication of work on the roof is on the Schedule A, which lays out the changes by floor. You can see the “add” under “proposed” on the mezzanine level, and on the roof, “change” next to “mechanical room.”

11 Sixth Ave schedule AA subsequent filing “respectfully request[s] to submit revised plans […] to reflect revised architectural layout”—whether that involves the roof, I can’t tell. The plans themselves don’t show up on the DOB site, at least not anywhere I’ve ever found. (If anyone out there knows otherwise, please let me know!)

Hoping owner Gregory Nardello might be willing to talk, I left a message at the number on the liquor-license application. I did not heard back.

Finally, I called the DOB press office. After a few days, I got this email as a response:

Our inspectors responded to complaints of work without a permit at 11 Sixth Ave in Manhattan. At the time of inspection, it was reported that the work being done at this location conforms to the plans submitted to the Department. No violations were written.

UPDATE: The construction might be OK by the DOB, but CB1 is going to be pissed. The owner has not disclosed that there will be rooftop seating and live performance on the ground floor. Read the update.

UPDATE 4/24: I’ve just heard that this post is based on an old design. Awaiting the new one, which I’ll post as soon as I get it.

NOTE: While this post is accurate (except for the stricken part above), the follow-up one was not. Please read this correction for an explanation.

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