Appealing permit for bar
Neighbors protest plans at 1300 Park
by Amanda Palasciano
Reporter staff writer
Dec 23, 2012 | 3058 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
PASSING THE BAR – Three attorneys squabble at a zoning board meeting over permits for a proposed bar at 1300 Park Ave.
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Neighbors are unhappy about an application for a bar/restaurant in the bottom of the five-story 1300 Park building. The commercial space, which was once home to lounges Tonic and Martini Blue, has been vacant for over five years. However, during the summer, the owners who make up 1300 Park LLC, put in an application for a bar/restaurant.

The proposed lesee was rumored to be a New York City nightclub owner. Residents who remember the Tonic days, and even the ones who simply heard about them, banded together to keep the peace they’ve grown accustomed to.

There have been multiple snafus along the way for both the neighbors and the owners of the commercial space.

To permit the permit

Back in 2008, the owners of the 1,766 square foot commercial space at 1300 Park acquired their zoning permit, but never acted on it. The space remained empty. Over the summer, 1300 Park LLC applied to the city for a conditional use permit for a new bar/restaurant, having found an interested party to lease the space.

However, new zoning officer Ann Holtzman denied the application. Her predecessor was the original issuer of the 2008 permit that has sat dormant.

Legal counsel for the owners of the space, planned to appeal the denial at a zoning board meeting on Tuesday. Residents from the 1300 block of Park Ave planned to voice their concerns at the same meeting with the help of attorney Michael S. Rubin.


“We've had five years of peace and quiet and that's our new normal now.”– Concerned resident


Unbeknownst to Holtzman, the Permit Extension Act, a state regulation put in place in 2008, extended certain permits through Dec. 31, 2012 based on the country’s economic decline.

Due to this extension, attorney for 1300 Park LLC Jeffrey Kantowitz withdrew the appeal on Tuesday based on the stipulation that their permit still stands.

Because of this, the zoning board was forced to allow for a building permit, now that the old zoning permit will still be upheld. Residents who oppose the bar, and their attorney, now have 20 days to appeal the decision.

Attorney for the board Dennis Galvin commented after the meeting.

“There is no action we can take at this time,” said Galvin. “There is no determination at this point. This deprived the board of jurisdiction, so it couldn’t be heard. We will take the paperwork from the neighbors and evaluate if there is a future for this.”

Close to a dozen residents from 1300 Park and 1302 Park had come to the meeting. They seemed displeased.

One resident said, “The day Tonic closed was a happy day uptown. We were glad to be rid of it. We've had five years of peace and quiet and that's our new normal now. The area has new condos and new residents and young children. We can't go back to the way it was. We've moved on.”

Rubin plans to appeal the decision in the coming month. Another zoning board meeting will be held at that time.

Amanda Palasciano may be reached at

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