Architecture + Expediting MICHAEL ZENREICH ARCHITECT, PC

Architecture and Expediting

Converting a Doctors Office to a Residence

Over the years, many Doctors Offices were built in New York City. Although a Doctors Office is a Commercial Use, the New York City Zoning Resolution classified it as a Use Group 4 Community Facility. This designation allows this commercial use in a Residential District where regular commercial uses are not allowed. At times, the Floor Area Ratio was increased for this Community Facility.


Due to the current state of the Medical Profession, many of these Doctors Offices are hard to sell or rent. Consequently we are getting many requests to convert these offices to Residential Use.

The following is an outline of the process:


A Type 1 application needs to be filed with the Building Department. This type of application allows the use of the Office to be changed to Residential. Type 1 applications can take several months for approval and will ultimately result in an Amended Certificate of Occupancy.


The plans must be prepared by a Registered Architect or Engineer and will show Zoning , Multiple Dwelling Law, and Building Code compliance.


The application must be approved by the ownership of the Building. In the case of a Coop, the Board must provide approval to apply to the Building Department. Coops generally do not permit an application by a potential purchaser, so a Type 1 application would be filed after closing on the unit or can be done by the seller.


There are several items that should be considered.


The space must be made handicap accessible or a waiver of this requirement must be obtained.


If the space has direct access to the street, it does not need a second means of egress otherwise two means are required.


All habitable room must have natural light and ventilation.


Even if a Building is over built by current zoning limitations, conversion is permitted under certain conditions by the Zoning Resolution.

Check the zoning district and floor area calculations to determine if an “as of right” conversion is possible


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