Tag Archives: new york city

Converting Basements Legally in New York City

In a city where space goes for a premium, people are willing to live just about anywhere—even underground. According to the New York Times, as of 2002, there were about 45,000 basement units housing 110,000 people—an estimate the Times admitted was probably conservative.  More Info

Directive 14

Generally, applying for anything at the Department of Buildings is a big waiting game, and your project is often ready to move forward long before the DOB has given you the green light.  Thankfully, you don’t necessarily have to deal with the DOB if you’re revising your CO, thanks to a shadily-named, but handy, go-around called Directive 14. More Info

Air Rights, Zoning Laws, and the Skyscraper

Despite Manhattan’s incredible population density, much less of the borough’s skyline is dominated by high-rise buildings than one might expect.  Instead, short, stubby, often pre-war buildings sit side-by-side to massive, sleek skyscrapers in a mottled, uneven patchwork throughout the island.   Considering space goes for such a premium in the borough, one might ask why—wouldn’t it make sense to build as upward as possible? More Info

Signs That Your Apartment May Be Illegal

Illegal apartments are extremely common in New York City, especially in the outer boroughs.   Although rents are often a good deal relative to NYC’s sky-high rents elsewhere, illegal apartments frequently have hazardous conditions that violate basic life safety standards set by the Department of Buildings.   More Info