The next building vying to be the tallest on the Upper West Side won its case before a city board on Tuesday, but it will receive an extra review of the “mechanical voids” in the middle of the building. Extell’s building at 50 West 66th Street is set to rise 775 feet, but has drawn opposition from some city organizations, including Landmark West and the City Club.
Four separate sections in the middle of the building — totaling more than 200 vertical feet — are purportedly meant to hold heating and ventilation systems. But they’re really a way of boosting the building’s height beyond what city rules would have allowed, opponents contend.
The city’s Board of Standards & Appeals, which rules on zoning, dismissed some of the City Club’s arguments on Tuesday, but said that the mechanical void issue should be explored further, according to Crain’s.
While the initial challenge focused on the height of the mechanical floors, the board has now agreed to separately review whether Extell is “appropriately occupying” the mechanical floor space with equipment necessary to the operation of the apartment tower..“The question before us is,” [Board Chair Margery] Perlmutter said, “when you look at the planning of each mechanical floor, is the amount of mechanical equipment shown on the drawing the amount that you would associate with a building this size?”
The city passed a law in May, after Extell received approvals, that limited the size of mechanical areas to 25 feet, beyond which they would count against the zoning area height.
The next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 17.