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City Rejects Incomplete Plans for New Sutton Place Tower

By Noah Hurowitz | January 23, 2017 8:28am
 A view of East 58th Street where the new Sutton Place condominium tower will be constructed. On the left is the Sovereign condos.
A view of East 58th Street where the new Sutton Place condominium tower will be constructed. On the left is the Sovereign condos.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

SUTTON PLACE — The developer planning a new skyscraper for Sutton Place was dealt a setback when the Department of Buildings rejected the initial application for a permit because it was incomplete, records show.

The rejection, which an agency spokesman described as a common occurrence in new building permits, may not be a nail in the coffin for Gamma Real Estate’s plans for a 850-foot residential tower at 430 E. 58th St., but it is the latest setback for a project that has been plagued by issues since the project announcement in 2015.

See Also: Developer Rushes to Get Tower Plan OK'd Ahead of Rezoning Effort, Neighbors Say

The project has faced fierce opposition from neighbors since its inception, when the initial developer, Joseph Beninati of the firm Bauhouse Group, began buying up properties and air rights from adjacent buildings. Beninati’s plan fell apart when he failed to receive enough financing, and in early 2016 he defaulted on a slew of loans and contracts, including an investment from Gamma.

In December, Gamma bought the property at foreclosure auction and quickly filed an application for the new plans, and a spokesman for Gamma told DNAinfo New York that Gamma hopes to have a better relationship with neighbors than Beninati.

“Unfortunately the previous borrower ruined the relationship with the community, and we hope to rectify that,” he said, without elaborating.

But opponents of a Sutton Place skyscraper say the clock is ticking for Gamma thanks to a grassroots rezoning application, currently awaiting certification from the Department of City Planning, which would impose a height limit on new buildings in the neighborhood.

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly incorrectly named Peter Kalikow as a spokesman for Gamma Real Estate. Peter Kalikow the real estate developer is not associated with Gamma Real Estate.