The go-to move for building taller than zoning allows is snatching up some air rights, but at 180 East 88th Street in Yorkville, developer DDG Partners found an obscure loophole to increase their building’s height. Back in 2014, as the Times explains, DDG received approvals to slice off a four-foot-wide lot from the 30-foot-deep site. This became an official taxable lot, but because it provided a buffer between the building and the street, it allowed the building to avoid typical zoning for structures touching the street, rising to its 521-foot height (60 feet taller than would have been permitted otherwise) and having its entrance on Third Avenue. Now that the motive has become clear, local residents and elected officials are not happy, and adding fuel to the fire is the fact that DDG contributed at least $19,900 to Mayor Bill de Blasio.
180 East 88th Street
In spite of a bristling array of glass spires erupting into our man-made mountain range and a global high-rise boom remodeling world cities into alien, cutting-edge anonymity, Manhattan stubbornly manages to appear tellurian. But Joseph McMillan’s integrated real estate investment and design company DDG has emerged as one firm genuinely committed to nurturing and progressing our architectural zoo of a city. Their past projects–345 Meatpacking, 41 Bond Street, XOCO 325, and 12 Warren– transcend common architectural styles, clad in a unique palette of materials and composed of an uncanny mashup of parts informed by context, nature, and technology.
DDG’s latest exotic specimen comes to the architecturally conservative Upper East Side ‘hood of Yorkville, at 180 East 88th Street (1558-1556 Third Avenue). The 32-story, 521-foot development will not only be the team’s first uptown building, but also their first high-rise. DDG purchased the three-lot parcel from Muss Development for $70 million in 2013, and groundwork earnestly began last spring.