The soon-to-be tallest building on the Upper West Side might have to be trimmed at the top.
A State Supreme court judge ruled earlier this week that the city must revoke the building permit for the nearly-completed, 55-story condo tower at 200 Amsterdam Ave. — and that its developers must remove a yet-determined number of floors because the structure exceeds zoning limits, according to the nonprofits behind the lawsuit.
The ruling by Justice W. Franc Perry in Manhattan on Thursday was a major victory for the nonprofits, who argued that the 668-foot tower was constructed on an oddly shaped, “gerrymandered” lot that abused zoning rules to maximize its height.
“The directive to partially demolish the building is appropriate given the willingness of the developer to ignore every sign that their project was inappropriately scaled for the neighborhood and based on a radical and wildly inaccurate interpretation of the Zoning Resolution,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the Municipal Art Society, one of two groups that brought the suit.
A lawyer representing the developers, a joint venture of SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America, told the West Side Rag that the ruling would be appealed planned to appeal.
It’s not immediately clear how many floors would need to be removed under the judge’s ruling. The glassy high-rise near 69th Street topped out at 51 stories last August.
“Any New Yorker walking past 200 Amsterdam today can tell this building is grossly out of scale with the neighborhood, said Olive Freud, president of the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, which joined the Municipal Art Society in the suit.
Opponents to the building gained support from Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal and Community Board 7.
Critics have charged that the permit should be rescinded because the developers have misconstrued the language from a 1978 DOB memo on rules for assembling air rights from adjoining zoning lots to allow taller buildings.
“We are very gratified that after a long flight, the gerrymandered zoning lot at 200 Amsterdam has been declared illegal,” Goldstein added.
“This groundbreaking decision averts a dangerous precedent that would have ultimately affected every corner of the city.”
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