M1-5B is the current zoning designation for property along SoHo Broadway between Houston and Canal Streets. The M1-5B zoning district includes most of SoHo (roughly between Sixth Avenue, Houston, Canal, and Lafayette Streets). A similar zoning designation – M1-5A – covers most of NoHo (between Houston Street, Bowery, Broadway, and Astor Place).
The ‘M1’ means that a range of manufacturing is allowed as-of-right and that uses like wholesaling, repair shops, and storage facilities are able to locate in SoHo without review from the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP). The ‘5’ signals the maximum allowable Floor Area Ratio (FAR) – essentially, how big a building can be in relation to its lot size. The ‘B’ signifies a district where special circumstances are permitted.
In SoHo, those special circumstances are called Joint Live-Work Quarters for Artists (JLWQA). M1-5B designates a special use which permits artists certified by the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) to occupy manufacturing buildings. JLWQA spaces are not considered residential. They are designated as a manufacturing use where artists are permitted to live in their work space. Buildings with JLWQA units must have been constructed prior to 1961.To SoHo Zoning Guidebook See All FAQ