Overbuilt Buildings

An overbuilt building is one that exceeds the floor area ratio (FAR) allowed by current zoning. This occurs for two main reasons:

  1. A building was constructed before the 1961 zoning resolution, which introduced FAR as a mechanism to manage a building’s bulk
  2. A building was constructed according to one zoning district and a down zoning occurred after its construction (ex. a building was constructed using all permitted FAR in 2000 in an R9 district – which allows an FAR of 7.52 – and that R9 district was rezoned in 2010 to an R8 district – which only allows an FAR of 7.2 – so the building is overbuilt by 0.32 FAR)

Generally, the fact that a building is overbuilt is of significance because it translates to a low likelihood that the building will be modified in the future. This is because, if it were demolished the building could only be rebuilt to the FAR permitted by the current zoning district. So the costs associated with demolishing a building and then constructing a building will less square footage generally isn’t economically advantageous for the property owner.

– Bob Tuttle, NYC Dept. of City Planning

There are approximately 673 overbuilt buildings within Community Board 6. For further information on the whereabouts of these buildings, please refer to the Google map of overbuilt buildings in Community Board 6.​ Each of the overbuilt buildings are categorized by name, address, landmark status and historical district.

Finding overbuilt buildings, schools, cultural institutions, and parks in CB6 using the Google Map

The toggle icon on the upper, left-hand corner of the menu bar below allows you to change views from among different categories: schools, cultural institutions, parks, and overbuilt buildings.  Note that the default setting highlights all categories. In order to isolate individual categories, click the toggle bar, then deselect the categories you want to exclude.