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Do I need an amended Certificate of Occupancy (C of O) to install a bank in an existing space that is designated as retail?

Building’s Bulletin 25 of 2009 (BB 2009-025) allows changes between occupancy group M (Mercantile or Retail) and group B (businesses) without the need to obtain a new C of O when certain conditions are met. The conditions are as follows:

  • Must be a change within the same zoning use group i.e. Use group 6e to Use group 6b; and
  • The space must be located on the level of exit discharge and accessed directly from the exterior of the building or through a protected lobby; and
  • The change may not include proposed egress alterations; and
  • The proposed and exiting occupant load must be 74 or less; and
  • The existing live load as stated on the Certificate of Occupancy must meet the minimum requirement of the new proposed group; and
  • All requirements that would be necessary with a change in occupancy or use (Sprinklers, Fire Alarm, Accessibility etc…) must be provided; and
  • The new proposed use or occupancy is not prohibited by zoning and does not create a non-compliant zoning condition.

If all of the above conditions are met then the bank is permitted to be installed in the retail space without the need to obtain a new or amended C of O.