Locals led by intrepid and hilarious TV personality Pat Kiernan appear to have won a battle to stop a tall, skinny “sliver” building from being built on West 75th Street.
Tall and skinny people might look good, but tall, skinny buildings are more of a mixed proposition. Developers have been proposing them in recent years for the simple fact that there’s not much land left to build on in the neighborhood. That means, in some cases, you have to build taller buildings on smaller lots to cash in.
But Upper West Siders have been fighting this trend. And it appears they have won a battle to stop a 141-foot-tall building (the middle building in the rendering above) from being located on a 25-foot-wide lot at 207 West 75th Street.
A letter dated May 25 from a lawyer representing the project obtained by West Side Rag shows that the developers have withdrawn their application to the Board of Standards & Appeals. The letter says:
“As a direct result of recent developments between the applicant and the adjacent property owner, 215 W. 75th Street Owners Corp, which, if finalized, will provide a viable approach to obtaining a reasonable return, the Applicant is hereby withdrawing the above referenced application for a variance.”
The property now has a two-story building with a tanning salon on the ground floor as well as rental apartments. Last May, it was sold for $5 million to an unnamed buyer, listed as “The Philippe at W75 St NY, LLC” in city records. The developer wanted to tear the building down and start from scratch, and said making the building tall was the only way to ensure a reasonable return on investment.
Kiernan (at right), who was president of the co-op board at 215 West 75th, told the Upper West Side community board at a hearing last year that the building “is not welcome in our neighborhood,” citing congestion, loss of light and the general sense that the building would stick out like a sore thumb. As we wrote in November, the community board recommended that the BSA reject the plan.
When we contacted him this week about the withdrawal letter, Kiernan said he couldn’t discuss what “recent developments” have occurred between the developers and the co-op board. (Kiernan, by the way, just bought a place in Brooklyn, but we still love him.)
A source tells us there is no deal yet, but that they have been negotiating. We also got no answer from the lawyer for the developer, Gale Brewer, and others.