By Carol Tannenhauser
New York State Supreme Court Justice W. Franc Perry ruled on Thursday that the building permits for 200 Amsterdam Avenue, the nearly completed 668-foot building at 69th Street, “should be revoked, and the building reduced to conform with zoning regulations,” according to Scott Mollen, an attorney for the developers, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America. The number of floors to be removed was not specified.
“Honestly, it’s epochal,” wrote Chuck Weinstock, who represents the two nonprofits that brought the lawsuit, the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development and the Municipal Art Society of New York, in an email obtained by WSR. “No judge has ever ordered a developer to take down a building like this, based on a lawsuit by a private party, not the city itself.”
The developers had previously won other rulings in the case, but had been told they were building the additional floors at their own risk while challenges proceeded. They have already been marketing units to buyers.
The zoning lot for 200 Amsterdam was cobbled together from a large number of surrounding lots, a tactic that opponents said was an abuse of the process.
Mollen said “We believe the ruling is absolutely incorrect in numerous ways, and we intend to promptly appeal.” He said the city may also appeal.
This is a breaking story. We will update as details come in.
Update, 1:50 a.m.: A spokesperson for the Municipal Art Society of New York emailed WSR the following:
Justice Perry ruled in our favor in the Article 78 lawsuit brought by the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, invalidating the building’s gerrymandered zoning lot and ordering the owners of 200 Amsterdam to remove approximately 20 floors from the 668-foot tower to bring it into compliance with the Zoning Resolution.
Read about the woman who spearheaded the community opposition to 200 Amsterdam here.