Shaoul Ready to Start Work Securing Controversial Rooftop Addition

photo(47)Daniel Maurer

Benjamin Shaoul has filed an application for renovations that will allow him to keep a controversial rooftop addition at 516 East Sixth Street.

The application, filed Wednesday, requests permission to renovate the five-story building and add a “new sixth floor.”

Of course, Mr. Shaoul already added the sixth floor, along with seventh-floor cabins, to the building in 2006. Tenants sued the Department of Buildings for issuing the permit for that construction, arguing that it violated the state’s multiple dwelling law and ran afoul of fire and elevator rules. The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation, among other opponents, argued that the extension corrupted the architecture of the 153-year-old tenement as well as the character of the streetscape. In 2010, the Board of Standards and Appeals ruled that the sixth-story addition could stay, but the seventh-story cabins had to go.

Last year, Mr. Shaoul requested a waiver from the Board of Standards and Appeals, to the chagrin of State Senator Daniel Squadron. In September of this year, the board voted to reinstate permits allowing the enlargement, according to the G.V.S.H.P.’s Off the Grid blog.

Which brings us to the latest filing.

Ken Fisher, a lawyer for Mr. Shaoul, said the application with the Department of Buildings would allow his client to make changes requested by the board. “The addition to the building was built pursuant to plans approved by the Buildings Department, which came into question after it was completed, but the upshot was that the Board of Standards & Appeals allowed the sixth floor to remain, with some modification above, which this permit will accomplish,” he told The Local.

The application proposes a new sprinkler system, and the work is expected to cost $1,000.