City says 668-foot UWS supertall complies with zoning rules despite community protests

July 18, 2018

Rendering of 200 Amsterdam Avenue via SJP Properties/ Elkus Manfredi

The city’s Board of Standards and Appeals found Tuesday that a 668-foot-tall tower proposed for a zoning lot at 200 Amsterdam Avenue does, in fact, comply with zoning rules, The Real Deal reports. The decision gives developers SJP and Mitsui Fudosan the green light to proceed with development of a condominium tower on the site at 69th Street despite a growing body of community groups opposed to the project. The Committee for Environmentally Sound Development had challenged the Department of Buildings’ approval of the project on the grounds that developers assembled an illegal zoning lot in the form of a 39-sided polygon 10 times larger than the actual building’s planned footprint with the intent of building a larger tower.

SJP Properties, Mitsui Fudosan, 200 Amsterdam Avenue, Elkus Manfredi, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side tower

The BSA voted down the committee’s application to revoke the project’s building permit. The zoning lot was created by winding around the block to pick up parts of five different tax lots and include unused development rights from neighboring owners, which the committee claimed went against a city zoning resolution that requires the combination of whole tax lots. Public officials including Council member Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer had joined the zoning challenge.

The committee brought a suit against the developers in April, hoping to halt construction until the BSA made a decision. In May developers said they would continue with construction but wouldn’t try to use the building’s status to influence the BSA or the court in their favor.

As 6sqft previously reported, the project at 200 Amsterdam Avenue was slated to be the neighborhood’s tallest tower, surpassing the current title-holder, Trump International, by more than 80 feet, until Extell increased the height of their proposed tower at 50 West 66th Street to 775 feet tall. That tower has also faced opposition from community members and local officials.

SJP Properties, Mitsui Fudosan, 200 Amsterdam Avenue, Elkus Manfredi, Lincoln Square, Upper West Side tower

The BSA’s decision is a victory for the developers, who said in a statement, “Throughout an exhaustive DOB audit and subsequent BSA review, we have consistently demonstrated that 200 Amsterdam was meticulously designed in strict accordance to the NYC zoning code. The BSA’s decision today is further validation that this building fully conforms with all requirements.”

The Municipal Art Society, which had joined the committee’s lawsuit, said in a joint statement with the committee, “The gerrymandered building lot at 200 Amsterdam Avenue is an affront to the spirit and the letter of our zoning code. We intend to continue fighting on behalf of neighborhoods across the five boroughs threatened by this dangerous precedent.”

[Via TRD]


All renderings via SJP Properties/ Elkus Manfredi

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