The city Board of Standards & Appeals, which rules on zoning challenges, was deadlocked about whether to allow developer Extell to build a 775-foot tower at 50 West 66th Street.
The board voted 2-2 on Tuesday on a challenge from Landmark West about the developer’s use of so-called “mechanical voids” that have the effect on increasing the building’s height. A tie means the city’s original ruling in favor of the developer will stand.
Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer said that Extell is “abusing the mechanical floor deduction to boost the building’s height.” Extell has said that the building follows city rules.
A law passed last year would make it harder for developers to boost heights with mechanical space in the future, according to Gothamist.
In May, the City Council passed a new plan backed by the de Blasio administration that would count mechanical space toward a building’s allowable floor area once it exceeds a height of 25 feet.
According to plans approved by the Department of Buildings in April, Extell’s project will have a contiguous mechanical void space that measures a total of 176 feet in height.
Landmark West told Crain’s that the group will consider whether to challenge the ruling.