A controversial proposal to develop a new 10-story building over the top of a current building is in jeopardy because of a city agency’s decision to deny the developers’ application for a new tax lot, according to a spokesperson for Assemblymember Daniel O’Donnell and a lawyer for the tenants.
Developers have proposed constructing a brand-new building that would be built on top of 711 West End Avenue, a seven-story building at 95th Street and West End Avenue that is filled with rent-stabilized tenants. The new condo development, a joint project between the owner SJP Properties and P2B Ventures, would have its own support structure of steel columns and beams, so it would essentially float above the current building instead of being supported by it, the developers say. The developers had wanted a separate tax lot for the new building.
The Department of Finance is “denying the application for a separate tax lot,” according to Yannis Trittas, the spokesperson for O’Donnell.
Stephanie Cooper, a lawyer who lives in the building and has done legal work for the tenants association on this project, says the denial of the tax lot imperils the entire project, because it could greatly increase the taxes on the project and force the developer to seek approval from current tenants. “It would have tax and financial implications that are considerable.”
After consulting an engineer, Cooper and other tenants contend that the project could have dangerous consequences for the safety of the current building and imperil tenants. They have been fighting the proposal for well over a year.
A spokesperson for the developers, however, sent the statement below indicating that they remain in discussions with the Department of Finance. (It’s not clear if the developer has been updated about the Department of Finance’s decision. O’Donnell and Councilmember Helen Rosenthal are planning a press conference on the issue on Monday.)
“Conversations between the development team and the Department of Finance (DoF) are ongoing and there are a number of taxation options available to move this permitted project forward. We are very encouraged that the condominium plan as outlined to the DoF has been met with support from many residents of 711 West End Avenue who are excited for the much-needed improvements that will result to the building and neighborhood in connection with this project. In continuing our commitment to a transparent process and improved communications, we are currently preparing materials for a series of events to update the building’s residents on our progress and to ensure that every resident has an opportunity to meet with our construction and engineering experts over the next several weeks to learn more about the extensive safety measures that will be adhered to in advance of construction commencing.”