Rendering of 50 West 66th Street courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta
Construction of Extell’s controversial supertall on the Upper West Side can move forward, the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals ruled Tuesday. In an unusual 2-2 split decision, the BSA said the mechanical space planned for the tower at 50 West 66th Street is appropriate, rejecting a challenge from the preservation organization Landmark West. The group had argued that Extell abused the zoning code by including tall mechanical floors in its design in order to boost the overall height of units at the building, without increasing square footage.
, Wed, September 18, 2019
Rendering of 50 West 66th Street courtesy of Binyan Studios/Snøhetta
Extell’s Snøhetta-designed Upper West Side tower at 50 West 66th Street has cleared one set of legal challenges but the building’s contested use of mechanical spaces remains an issue. As Crain’s reported on Tuesday, the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals voted down challenges to the building’s split zoning lots—upholding the Department of Buildings permits for the project—but voted to further scrutinize the tower’s use of mechanical floor spaces by initiating a review of whether Extell is “appropriately occupying” those spaces.
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Rendering of 50 West 66th Street; courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta
The New York City Council on Wednesday voted to close a zoning loophole that has allowed developers to fill multiple floors of a tower with mechanical equipment without counting the floors as part of the building. The so-called mechanical void loophole enabled taller residential towers, and therefore higher, more expensive units, without actually creating more housing. The amendment approved by the Council will count mechanical voids taller than 25 feet as zoning floor area, as Crain’s reported.
Rendering courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta
Following a revised design and review by the FDNY, developer Extell has been granted permission to proceed with plans for the Snøhetta-designed tower at 50 West 66th Street, Gothamist reports. This comes a few months after the Department of Buildings threatened to pull the building’s permits over concerns that the project was misusing mechanical voids in order to boost the overall height of units in the building. The DOB approved Extell’s revised plans last Thursday, allowing the project to go forward despite a 12-to-1 City Planning Commission vote yesterday to crack down on the mechanical void loophole.
Rendering courtesy of Binyan Studios/Snøhetta
Less than two months after rejecting a challenge against the tallest tower planned for the Upper West Side, the Department of Buildings has decided to pull permits for Extell Development’s 775-foot tower at 50 West 66th Street, as NY1 first reported. In December, opponents argued that the Snøhetta-designed structure was misusing structural voids—where a building’s mechanical equipment is stored—to add height without increasing square footage. They said the 160-foot mechanical spaces were designed not out of necessity, but presumably to boost the overall height of the apartments—and their price tags. Now, the DOB has made a surprise reversal, ruling that these spaces do not meet the current standards of the New York City Zoning Resolution.
The city’s most important residential projects include a glittering showcase of superlatives that continue to eclipse all that came before, with claims that include tallest (Central Park Tower), skinniest (111 West 57th Street ), most expensive (a $250 million penthouse at 220 Central Park South) and loftiest outdoor lounge (Fifteen Hudson Yards) and pool (Brooklyn Point) almost being a requirement for selling the fabulously luxurious apartments and amenities that lie within. Though some of this year’s contenders appeared on previous years’ lists, their sales launches and toppings-out in 2018 proved that their arrivals on the city’s skyline–and among its residential options–are no less impactful than the anticipation that preceded them.
We’ve narrowed our picks down to a list of 12 headline-stealing residential structures for the year. Which do you think deserves 6sqft’s title of 2018 Building of the Year? To have your say, polls for our fourth annual competition will be open up until midnight on Wednesday, December 12th and we will announce the winner on the 13th.
VOTE HERE! And learn more about the choices.
Courtesy of Binyan Studios/ Snøhetta
The Department of Buildings this week rejected a challenge against the tallest tower planned for the Upper West Side, as first reported by Crain’s. Community groups argued that the design of Extell Development’s 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street violated the city’s building code, but the department overruled those objections. Read more
Rendering via Snohetta / Binyan Studios; construction photo via CityRealty
With the neighboring Jewish Guild for the Blind officially demolished, construction has now begun on Extell Development’s skyscraper at 50 West 66th Street. Designed by Snøhetta, the mixed-use skyscraper is set to rise 775 feet, making it the tallest building on the Upper West Side. The 69-story tower will feature a facade of excavations, that are meant to evoke the “chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy,” according to the architects. As CityRealty reported, the new tower will sit next to some of the borough’s most illustrious buildings, including 15 Central Park West and The Century.
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Despite some initial construction hiccups, plans for the 668-foot residential tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue continue to move forward. According to YIMBY, the tower’s developers, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan, have unveiled new renderings of the Upper West Side building, including an up-close shot of its crown. Designed by Elkus Manfredi, the exteriors feature an aluminum curtainwall and metal panels. New York firm CetraRuddy will take on the interiors of the 112-unit condominium building.
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Architecture firm Snøhetta revealed last month their design for a 775-foot condominium tower at 50 West 66th Street, slated to be the tallest building on the Upper West Side. Developed by Extell, the condo will rise 69 stories and contain 127 units, featuring series of “sculptural excavations” that are “evocative of the chiseled stone of Manhattan’s geologic legacy,” according to the architects. As the New York Times reported, critics of the project from the UWS community say the tower would violate zoning restrictions in the area. Local advocate groups, joined by Council Member Helen Rosenthal and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, are pushing back against the construction of Extell’s ultra-luxury tower. In a statement, Rosenthal said, “We will fight this project with every tool at our disposal.”
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