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Stop Work Order Lifted, Plans Approved at UES Tower Despite Public Outcry

By Shaye Weaver | January 4, 2017 2:06pm
 Workers on scene at 1558 Third Ave/180 E. 88th St. on Jan. 3, 2017.
Workers on scene at 1558 Third Ave/180 E. 88th St. on Jan. 3, 2017.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

UPPER EAST SIDE — A developer who was hit with a stop work order after trying to skirt zoning rules to build a taller condo tower has now gotten city approval to move forward with the project even though it only made minor changes to its plan.

The Department of Buildings decided to approve the plan for an L-shaped 32-story condo high rise at 180 E. 88th St./1558 Third Ave. on Dec. 21 — seven months after an audit found that the developer, DDG, had illegally divided an existing lot into two sections with one 4-foot-wide lot for the "sole purpose of evading zoning restrictions."

DOB approved the plan and the stop work order on the property was lifted after DDG increased the size of the 4-foot lot by 6 feet, changed the East 88th Street address to a Third Avenue address, moved exit and entry points to Third Avenue instead of East 88th Street, and decreased the overall square footage of the building by 1,200 square feet, the plans show.

The 4-foot lot wasn't providing enough space to allow development on it, which is why the developer was approved after increasing the size to 10 feet from the property line facing East 88th Street, according to DOB spokesman Alex Schnell.

The stop work order on the property was lifted in conjunction to approval of the revised plan, Schnell said.

DDG filed the changes in October, and when asked about whether the changes made the plan compliant with rules on Dec. 19, a spokesman said the plan still needed further changes. Two days later, the plan was approved by a plan examiner, Schnell said.

Now with a green light from the city, DDG will move forward with its plans for a 521-foot-tall residential tower with private terraces, vaulted archways, a wine room, children’s playroom, a game room and basketball court.

DDG plans to wrap up construction sometime in 2018.

Prices for units at the new development were listed on StreetEasy at $3.2 million for a two-bedroom and $15.5 million for a four-bedroom apartment.