The city Department of Buildings lifted a hold on a controversial tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue at 69th Street, making it more likely the project will move ahead. If building permits are granted, it will be the tallest building on the Upper West Side.
Although elected officials and some neighbors oppose the project, and succeeded in stopping it for months, this was a significant win for the developer.
“On Tuesday, the department said it had received information addressing its concerns, though the submission did not involve structural changes to the building itself. With the audit wrapped up, the developers will need to refile for new permits, which they are likely to do as quickly as possible, especially since two elected officials have since joined in opposition to the plan,” Crain’s reported.
A public relations rep for the developer pledged that “200 Amsterdam will be contextual to the classic architecture of the Upper West Side. We look forward to delivering a world-class building, and working closely with the local neighborhood and community officials throughout the construction process.”
George Janes, who drafted the zoning appeal, tells us there are still options for opponents.
“Yes, there are still options to appeal the decision. This is a step in a process that can extend for several months. There still need to be decisions made on the exact way forward, but expect that this decision will be appealed.
The process first involves appealing the DOB decision directly to the DOB, which I expect to fail, but is a part of the process.
Then, any DOB decision can be appealed to the Board of Standards and Appeals, which is a NYC commission with oversight of DOB decisions. They are independent from the DOB, so I am hopeful that the issue will get a fair hearing there. If that appeal fails, then it needs to go before a court, which is a more difficult process.
Clearly, this is early in the part of the process, so things are still quite fluid, but I would expect an appeal within 15 days.”
Councilmember Helen Rosenthal reiterated her opposition, arguing that “the substantive concerns about the proposal’s bizarre, gerrymandered zoning have not been addressed.”
“I continue to believe that this project is out of scale, out of context, and runs counter to existing zoning regulations. I will continue to work with community groups to push that case, and will explore all available options to do so.”