Are there any real books or ebooks out there regarding commercial New York City zoning, laws, requirements, limits? Other than the NYC website, we are looking for a resource we can use to see if a piece of land can be developed.
Rather than reading a book maybe take a local zoning attorney to lunch or pony up a few hundred for a consult. That should give you the real inner workings from start to finish and what kind of hurdles that you will face.
Just remember with development your money will be "dead" for a very long time with costs going out over and over and nothing coming in until you finish the product and hold for cash flow or sell off to do more projects.
NYC zoning is a complex topic, any book would be a waste of time. I agree with Joel, time to start looking for folks with years of experience and pick their brain: developers, architects, lawyers, planners, etc.
There is a book published by the NYC planning dept called "Zoning Handbook" http://www.nyc.gov/html/dcp/html/pub/zonehand.shtm... it gives graphic examples of each zoning district. Its pretty much what you can get on their website so might not be worth it unless you want for convenience.
The handbook is only a graphic guide, but the actual zoning manual is online or you can purchase it, but its very expensive.
I am an architect and have some experience with zoning reviews for development sites. If you want i could do a first review to get 90% sure about a property,but before purchase i always recommend a zoning/building code consultant should be hired to confirm.
Kevin I believe the handbook may be a good guide for making clear the land use on the property you are looking at. For any variances to use you need to hop the train and go get approvals if engaging a consultant is not on the table now. Get the gist right! After they slap you around a bit and you're still standing a world of possibilities might open up before your eyes. If projects are being done in the same area just go ask developer or owner, How'd you do that?
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