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Itkowitz PLLC Helps Tenant Get a Physical Culture Establishment Special Permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals for a Luxury Spa

December 12, 2018

As I have said before in these pages, we don't do a lot of leasing anymore. I like to concentrate on litigation and consulting. But occasionally an old client of my husband and partner will insist on him doing their lease or lease renewal. In this case, we represented a luxury spa looking to open a new location in Manhattan. Because the spa is offering full-body massages by licensed massage therapists, it was necessary for the business to receive a special permit called a “physical culture establishment” (“PCE”) permit from the Board of Standards and Appeals (“BSA”). 

The rest of this story was written by the associate attorney on the matter, Ashley Winters, who did all the hard work! Take it away Ashley:

We worked with the owner, the architect on the project, and BSA for over seven months to gather paperwork, get permits, receive feedback and approvals, and revise our application. Finally, when it came time to present our application to BSA and the community for a vote, the Board immediately voted to approve without question or comment. Because we spent the extra time making sure the application was done correctly before it came to a vote, we saved a significant amount of time by getting the response we wanted the first time around. 

What’s the lesson? Give yourself plenty of time to prepare application materials, put the application together, communicate with BSA members, and await community and Board approval. Even for relatively simple applications, the process is a long (and somewhat painful) one full of hoops and hurdles to overcome. Be prepared and allow for extra time to get the permit. 

Thank you, Ashley.

Respectfully submitted,

Michelle Itkowitz

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