City Planning gives the go ahead for controversial 800-foot Sutton Place tower
The original rendering of 3 Sutton Place by Foster + Partners
The City Planning Commission approved a resident-proposed plan to curb the development of supertall, skinny towers in Sutton Place on Wednesday, capping the height of future buildings. However, because of a clause inserted by the commission, projects already under construction will be grandfathered into the current zoning rules. This comes as good news for Gamma Real Estate, the developer currently constructing an 800-foot-tall residential tower, now called Sutton 58, at 3 Sutton Place. Gamma needs to finish the foundation planned for their luxury condominium tower before the city votes on the rezoning proposal, to be immune from new height restrictions (h/t Crain’s).
Last June, a group of residents from the neighborhood called the East River Fifties Alliance, proposed a 10-block rezoning plan that would set a 260-foot height limit for mid-block sites in the Sutton Place neighborhood. An updated version was later approved for a vote by the CPC in October, requiring buildings follow “tower-on-a-base” rules, which means 45 to 50 percent of the building must be built below 150 feet.
Although the commission approved the group’s revised proposal, Alan Kersh, the president of the ERFA, said it will urge the CPC to remove the grandfathered clause to prevent Gamma’s supertall from rising.
“The East River Fifties Alliance (ERFA) is pleased that the City Planning Commission has approved our proposed zoning text amendment to apply tower-on-a-base standards to the East River Fifties,” Kersh said in a statement to Patch. “We strongly believe, however, that the Commission’s grandfathering of Gamma Real Estate’s project to construct a supertower at 430 East 58th Street was inappropriate.”
As 6sqft previously reported, Gamma won a foreclosure auction and closed on the acquisition of 3 Sutton Place in April. In addition to Stephen B. Jacobs as the executive architect, the developer has hired Thomas Juul-Hansen to design the skyscraper.
The rezoning proposal has garnered support from elected officials, including Councilmember Ben Kallos, who represents the Upper East Side. Kallos told Crain’s: “I disagree with the grandfathering clause, and I plan to remove it from this application and move forward.” The plan will now move on to the City Council, with a vote expected by the end of the month.