Talk about getting it in under the wire!
A controversial proposed development at 711 West End Avenue received building permits just before the Landmarks Preservation Commission voted to include it in a new historic district, a blow to opponents who had been trying to scuttle the project. The most recent design we’ve seen shows that the developers want to place a new building as high as ten stories on top of an existing seven-story rental building.
Complaints about the proposed building vary — some, including Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal, consider the new development a modern eyesore on an historic block. Parents at nearby PS 75 have said the new development will cause more traffic problems at an already dicey corner. Tenants in the building are split on whether they’ll receive any benefits for what could be years of disruption.
Late last year, Rosenthal had urged the LPC to speed up the historic designation meeting to keep this building from getting built. Since then, the building had been denied building permits on multiple occasions. When the LPC hearing was announced, it looked like the developers might lose their chance to resubmit the permit applications.
But it looks like they made just in time. In fact, some of the building permits for the building at 95th street and West End were issued on the exact same day as the landmark hearing. If the building had received historic designation prior to the permits being issued, the project would likely have been slowed or stopped. As it is now, it’s not clear whether opponents will be able to stop the project. A website put up by opponents, including parents at nearby PS 75, indicated that confusion: “Although some permits were apparently approved yesterday (just in time to avoid being subject to the LPC’s ruling) it’s not clear which ones, and what the developers’ claims will be to push forward as-of-right construction.”
The new development has a somewhat unorthodox design, according to the most recent plans we’ve seen. The developers want to place the new building on top of the current building, but they told tenants it won’t be supported by the current building, because they’re installing “a separate structure of steel columns and beams placed around the exterior of 711 West End Avenue.” The permits say that the new development will have nine stories, with terraces on the roof, and 55 total apartments.
The renderings below are the most recent ones we’ve seen. The developers and architects have not responded to our requests for more information.