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Under current MDLs, would a CO-OP building in SoHo, which has a Certificate of Occupancy and complies with all city mandates, have to change the C.O. if the building converts from Joint Live Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA) to residential?

It would require a full analysis. The real question is, would such a building would be allowed to convert to residential at all?

Joint Living-Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA), or artist lofts, in SoHo are heavily regulated by the NYC Loft Board and other entities to protect the working artists who live there from being priced out.

They fall under an entirely different use group from general residential lofts for a reason (Use Group 17, as opposed to Use Group 2), and are only allowed in certain districts zoned specially for them.

While there are Multiple Dwelling Laws that may allow current manufacturing and commercial use buildings to convert to residential or JLWQA use, to convert a JLWQ to a general residential is a whole different story.

There are certain times when non-artist residents may be permitted to register with the Loft Board. They would have to prove registration and occupancy for JLWQ during that time, and amend the Certificate of Occupancy or try to get a Letter of No Objection. The period of time varies by location.

In addition, some new and existing buildings may apply for residential use under the new SoHo/Noho Neighborhood Plan, a massive rezoning effort that was passed in December 2021. It would require a zoning study and a new Certificate of Occupancy.

For a full analysis of your project for zoning and building code compliance, please reach out to the Outsource Consultants team