Work Temporarily Stalls on One Mega-Development as Another Races Ahead

Developers are moving quickly to construct two buildings that are expected to become the first and second tallest buildings on the Upper West Side.

But work on one of those projects — a development expected to rise 775 feet at 36 West 66th Street — stalled last week when an excavator flipped over. The photo above by Chris Giordano of the 65th-66th Street Block Association shows the machine after the incident. No one was injured, according to a Department of Buildings worker. This week, the stop work order was lifted and work could begin soon, Giordano said. The company did not respond to a request for comment. Neighbors have challenged the project’s zoning.

At 200 Amsterdam Avenue, a 668-foot tall project that was delayed due to community challenges, work has been racing ahead. A crane was installed several days ago and the structure has risen quickly after starting well below the sidewalk. Stephen Harmon has been documenting the day-to-day changes (He calls it “one of the best free shows on the UWS.”). This was how it looked last week:

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 24 comments | permalink
    1. Sherman says:

      I’m glad 200 Amsterdam is finally being built after these ridiculous delays. And yes, it’s cool seeing the giant cranes and the daily progress of the building’s construction.

      Many of the construction workers are actually very friendly. I’ve chatted with some of them about the project.

      • Brian says:

        It’s hard to understand why there is such enthusiasm for these buildings amongst your readers. Are they interested in moving into them? Are they happy the UWS will be littered with these buildings the way they are in the UES? How about the fact that the air rights on 200 Amsterdam were determined erroneously? Or maybe the fact that 200 Amsterdam will put the 199 playground and school in shadow for most of the school day? All these buildings do is add more congestion and trouble to the area which is already overcrowded. These plots could have built more reasonably-sized buildings. This has nothing to do with “progress” or making the area more modern. Clearly 200 Amsterdam is “racing” ahead because they know that they have building permits filed with misleading information….or maybe they know there’s more legal trouble ahead for them?

        • Jen says:

          People invested in real estate. THRey wouldn’t care if their own children have no air or light, forget about the rest. It benefits to people who are making a few bucks from depriving people with less power of simple things like air and light.

          • Chikkun Little says:


            Ever since they started building 200 Amsterdam there is no air and no light!
            We shall all perish! Tear down the building!

            Ooops, wait a mo! The building is now not even one story tall!

            Silly me…but the sky WILL be falling…someday…maybe…or so some say!

        • A.C. says:

          The kids aren’t in the yard until 11:20am, when the shadow from the building will be facing northward and away from the schoolyard. unless they have an outdoor gym period, in which case, they wouldn’t care about there being no sunlight, they’re just hyped to be outside…

          I should know, because I went to the school

        • Woody says:

          You really need to catch up with the latest determinations on the legality of this building.

    2. Arch E. Tekcher says:

      YAYyyyy, 200 Amsterdam!!

      Boo-hoo to all the NIMBY’s !!!!

    3. A.C. says:

      West Side Rag, the Extell project is now 50 West 66th Street. Just pointing out a small error. 36 West 66th street was the address of the original project proposed project back from 2015. When they released the new rendering last November, they changed the address to be 50 West 66th Street. Admittedly, a lot of people get that wrong, so it’s an understandable error, but just to avoid confusion

      Also, while I always support development, it needs to be done in a responsible matter. Don’t rush the projects going up, that’s unnecessarily dangerous. I think the excavator accident is an example of workers biting off more than they can chew to meet a deadline, I could be wrong though.

      But I will still support the project, and I will still advocate for the changing of what goes inside. More units, both affordable and luxury, and I would even make the building a little larger, both in width and height, to accommodate a more even influx of residences. But if the opposers have a concrete number of what they want to see (Height, floors, units, amenities, retail, etc.) Developers, as proven by Alloy and Stephen Levin with 80 Flatbush, will be more open to negotiations and talks.

    4. A.C. says:

      I also do hope that work can continue, and be completed as early as safely and logically possible

    5. Patricia Gilman says:

      Disgraceful – tall buildings are not necessary

    6. Lincoln10023 says:

      Many people, including school age children, walk the very narrow and scary temporary sidewalk that juts out on 200 Amsterdam Ave. You cannot have more than 2 across at anytime, it becomes very difficult to walk there when it rains and umbrellas are open, and traffic (including trucks and buses) is right on top of you with only a plastic jersey barrier protecting you (Note: For 4 days after the crane was installed, these jersey barriers were not filled with any water and even today, they are only about 25-30% filled and are not providing maximum pedestrian protection.) Now, the crane is operational and today the boom is pointed towards Amsterdam and not over the worksite. No over head protection has been provided. Trucks dump blue stone on the other side of the thin plywood wall that separates it from pedestrians and tractors with buckets scoop up the stone with little protection for pedestrians.

      This Westside Rag article has a picture at the 66th street worksite that demonstrates how accidents can happen during construction. I have called local officials and it doesn’t appear that they have grounds to demand more pedestrian protection. I guess we will have to wait for an accident to occur to get some action. Lets hope no one gets hurt when it happens.

      • A.C. says:

        Unfortunately, that’s literally the case for most construction sites in the city, and especially on the Upper West Side. You had to walk in the street for 1 and 21 West End Avenue, and 606 West 57th Street. You had to go out in the street for 200 Amsterdam, 50 West 66th street, 1865 Broadway, 222 West 80th Street, 250 West 81st Street, the list goes on and on. It’s not an uncommon thing. It’s a nuisance, yes it is, but trying to stop a building mid construction will not help matters.

    7. Genius boy UWS says:

      If You fall down… you pick yourself up and start were you left off… 🙂

    8. BillyNYC-UWS says:

      Yahoo!!!! it’s time to get our toys out….

    9. Ellie419 says:

      The size of the building is the main objection here. It will be out of character with the neighborhood. And for all of you people who approve of this, are you going to be moving in to these buildings? How does it benefit you? I see a lot of the UWS looking more like the financial district, dark, tall buildings with no sun visible.

      • A.C. says:

        I honestly don’t know how you could possibly say that. It’s one of two buildings going up, in an area that’s denser than average. The buildings going up north of 72nd street are the same – they are in line with the neighrboohod, they have nothing new to offer really. I like Stern’s building, but it’s not contributing anything new. This building, and 50 West 66th Street is fresh, a fresh change to a neighborhood built during the dark ages of architecture. The Upper West Side is very monolithic. It doesn’t have a building that pops. Just one glass tower. Only one. 25-30 stories. That’s all the Upper West Side needs. Just one. The Upper West Side needs a building that pops. I believe every neighborhood needs a building that pops. That doesn’t necessarily have to mean height. What I’m getting at is texture. I hate the Upper East Side, but one thing it does is that it has a blend of buildings. That’s something I like. A blend of styles, a blend of heights, a blend of dates (Only thing monolithic about the Upper East Side is snobbiness and expensive homes.) The Upper West Side does not have that diversity in architecture. Don’t get me wrong, some buildings are nice, but it gets really boring when you see the buildings, new and old, looking exactly the same. 200 Amsterdam Avenue and 50 West 66th Street look different in the context of their section of the Upper West Side (Along with 1865 Broadway and Waterline Square) Above 72nd Street, something like that needs to go up. The Upper West Side could actually use a 25-30 story glass-curtain wall going up, around a major hub like 79th street.

        Want a suggestion? How about move DSW temporarily to the retail portion of that ugly new building right next to it, build a new facility for underneath that aforementioned tower. 27 stories, 312 feet, 108 units (23 affordable). Retail would be a new facility for DSW (Into the basement) and a publicly owned rooftop garden/solar farm. That would be a perfect addition to the Upper West Side

      • NYC4ME says:

        Re: “like the financial district, dark, tall buildings with no sun visible.”

        OR…’like the financial district, a wonderfully vibrant part of NYC’.
        WHY? Because “FIDI” is:

        1. The birthplace of NYC, where a tiny Dutch trading port evolved into this awesome city;

        2.without a doubt, the financial capital of the world;

        3.a treasure-trove of history, from its Bowling Green (Nieuw Amsterdam), Trinity Church, Stock Exchange, Federal Hall, the African Burial Ground National Monument, the former U.S. Custom House; and, of course, The 9/11 Memorial & Museum;

        4. Water-views (and sunlight) of our magnificent harbor from Battery Park and of the old shipping piers on the East River, home to South Street Seaport and the Brooklyn Bridge

        5. And paradise for an architecture student, featuring buildings of every conceivable style dating back even to the 17th Century.

      • A.C. says:

        Height shouldn’t be your main objection. It never should be. Compare Rafael Vinoly’s 249 East 62nd Street to Alloy’s 80 Flatbush. Which would you rather have? A 510-foot tower that offers just 83 condominiums, this tower that offers 127 condominiums, and a new space for the Jewish Guild for the Blind, or 80 Flatbush, a two-tower complex, one tower 510 feet, the other 840 feet, that provides, in all, 870 apartments, 200 affordable, a brand new elementary school, a expanded and modernized facility for an international high school, a new community center, office space, and retail? I would take the latter, and oh, guess what, it happens to be the largest. It shouldn’t matter what goes up, it should matter what goes in, and yes, 50 West 66th Street is a terrible use of space (I wouldn’t put 200 Amsterdam Avenue in that vein, because the lot itself is actually pretty small.) I would make the most out of the design, ask them to make tiny tweaks, and then have them adjust what goes inside, so more can go in, like I suggested a 225 unit building with 75 affordable apartments, with a height increase to 800 feet, and have it be slightly wider. 75 stories, 795 feet or so. That would be a better idea.

        But I will ask this for the 1,000th time: What do you want instead? You know the last time that question was asked, a height cut followed too, right?

    10. Mark Moore says:

      The new building on 95th between Bdwy and Amsterdam is going up quickly as well.

    11. Sydney Barrows says:

      @Sherman If you were going to lose all your sunlight you’d be singing a different tune. This monstrosity is going to affect hundreds of people’s lives, particularly their ability to receive sunlight and an obliteration of their view when they look out the window.

      Not to mention how all of that is going to affect the value of their apartments.

      Where do you live? Obviously not somewhere where you would be negatively affected. Oh, once they’re done you won’t have the friendly construction workers to talk to, will you? Don’t wait for any of us to throw you a pity party.

    12. Waren says:

      The people who like them are the ones who don’t live near them.

      • A.C. says:

        Not disclosing where I live, but I actually live within a 5 minutes walk of there, and I spend most of my afternoons at Kaufman Center which is about 2-3 minutes away.

    13. jimbo says:

      Is 200 Amst an 80/20??????