The IFC Center has threatened to leave its Greenwich Village home if it doesn't get the required zoning variance for a planned expansion, Crain's reports. The indie movie theater is set to undertake a $10 million expansion that will see the addition of six theaters to its existing space, but it needs an approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals to move forward.
The point of contention is the vacant lot behind their building at 323 Sixth Avenue. About 16 percent of that lot is currently zoned for residential, and some local residents want it to remain that way. Representatives for the theater argue that they can't build to their full potential without the zoning being changed.
Currently the Center has five theaters, and it wants to expand its space by 20,000 square feet and create enough room to seat 948 people. The theater's planned expansion has been propelled by increasing demand with the Center having to turn away as many as 4,500 people due to sold out shows, according to Crain's.
The expansion plan has already received the approval of the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission. The Center will have to renew its lease soon, and the owners could walk away from the space if they don't get the go ahead from the BSA.