Building Arcade NYC Zoning Bonus

by | Last updated Feb 6, 2021 | General Architecture, NYC Zoning

A building arcade is a covered portion of a building that is otherwise open to a street or public area.


What is a Building Arcade?

A building arcade is a covered portion of a building that is otherwise open to a street or public area. These are called arcades because historically they were built with a series of arches supporting a roof.

The primary goal of this post is to identify the significance of an Arcade with regards to the New York City Zoning Resolution Floor Area Bonuses.


Qualifying Building Arcades

The NYC Zoning Resolution offers a Floor Area Bonus in certain cases for buildings with an Arcade. The following is a general outline of some required qualifications:

  • An arcade must be open and unobstructed for a height of at least 12 feet.
  • Must be open for its entire length with the exception of columns.
  • Arcades must be open to a street or to a public open space on the property.
  • The depth is to be between 10 feet and 30 feet.
  • Is should extend at least 50 feet or the full length of the street line if less than 50 feet.
  • On a corner lot it shall be at least 500 square feet and at least 10 feet in its smallest dimension.
  • It must be at street level or at the level of a public space on the property.
  • Arcades must be accessible to the public at all times.
  • Parking cannot be within an arcade or within 10 feet of one.


You may also want to read about the NYC Plaza Zoning Bonus.


Building Arcade and the NYC Zoning Resolution

As an architect, I study Building and Zoning Codes closely, but these are complicated and quite involved issues. In this article, we reviewed some of the basic concepts with regards to the NYC Arcade Zoning Bonus. This post does not assume to cover every possible issue or condition, but provide a general overview of the topic.


Thank you for reading our blog post on Building Arcades.

I hope this was helpful. If you would like to speak with an architect about a potential project you can contact us at Fontan Architecture directly.


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Jorge Fontan
Jorge Fontan

This post was written by Jorge Fontan AIA a Registered Architect and owner of New York City architecture firm Fontan Architecture. Jorge Fontan has earned 3 degrees in the study of architecture including two degrees from the City University of New York and a Masters Degree in Advanced Architectural Design from Columbia University. Jorge has a background in construction and has been practicing architecture for 15 years where he has designed renovations and new developments of various building types.