Parents at PS 75 on West 95th street are fighting a plan to build a 10-story building on top of an apartment complex at 95th street and West End Avenue. Tenants in the building and local politicians have also criticized the project, and the Buildings Department has so far denied its applications for a permit.
The parent group held a protest Tuesday that was attended by Assemblyman Daniel O’Donnell — they say that the intersection, where a woman was hit and killed by a vehicle last year, is already too busy for another large project.
“Last year, Mayor de Blasio launched his “Vision Zero” pedestrian safety program at P.S.75 on the corner of West 95th St. and West End Ave. This intersection, along with other West End Avenue intersections nearby, has a consistent pattern of traffic deaths.
The NYC Department of Buildings is now poised to approve a multi-year and rare heavy construction project on the same narrow and accident-prone street, disregarding the obvious dangers to children, administrators and teachers.
Vision Zero requires cooperation among several city agencies, but DOB is not among them. Large-vehicle traffic, congestion, and other construction impacts are a growing concern for schools as NYC experiences a renewed construction boom.”
The building in question, 711 West End Avenue (or 701-711 West End Avenue in building documents), was still awaiting a building permit as of Tuesday. The developers are attempting to add a 10-story structure onto the current six-story building. Developers P2B Ventures did not respond to questions about the project, and architecture firm PBDW Architects, which applied for the building permits, would not answer questions. The design at right is the most recent rendering we’ve seen; it was posted several months ago by a building resident who asked that we not use his name. The developers said no more recent rendering was available.
The project was rejected by the Buildings Department because of “mechanical deductions, floor area calculations, height, bulk, parking, egress, and other issues.” But parents say the developer is reapplying and could gain approval soon. The Buildings Department indicated that the project does not need special permits beyond Buildings Department approval: “if the plans are in compliance with all applicable Construction Codes and the Zoning Resolution the law allows the applicant to pull permits for a construction project.”
Rosenthal wrote in a letter to the Buildings Department that the applications have “misreprentations,” including stating the building is not occupied and that the new building is a different building from the current one (her full letter is below). Rosenthal’s previous attempt to stall or stop construction by fast-tracking an historic district that includes the building doesn’t appear to have worked.
O’Donnell also spoke out about the traffic issue.
“A school wedged between a highway entrance and a highway exit needs extra support to keep its students safe. Mayor de Blasio clearly agreed when he held the press conference inaugurating Vision Zero on a corner here,” he said in a statement. “Adding an active construction site across the street from this site is just a recipe for disaster. Apart from the noise and dust that will make PS75 an inadequate learning environment for a minimum of two years, the additional strain on traffic in the area will mean more worry for parents and more possibility for heartbreaking accidents. This dangerous construction project must not be allowed to imperil our community’s children so profoundly.”