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Construction On Upper West Side's Tallest Building Can Proceed, City Says

By Jackson Chen | September 27, 2017 5:39pm | Updated on September 28, 2017 12:24pm
 The DOB lifted its halt on the 200 Amsterdam Ave. project Tuesday.
The DOB lifted its halt on the 200 Amsterdam Ave. project Tuesday.
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New York YIMBY

UPPER WEST SIDE — Plans for a 668-foot-tall luxury development at 200 Amsterdam Ave. can now move forward as the Department of Buildings lifted its hold on the project on Tuesday.

After residents questioned how such a massive structure could be built in the neighborhood, the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development filed a zoning challenge that caused the DOB to halt the project from acquiring additional necessary permits in July. 

In its hold, the DOB requested that the developers —  SJP Properties and MItsui Fudosan American — provide documentation on how they satisfied height requirements and how the jigsaw-shaped zoning lot would meet minimum open space standards.

The department said the developers resolved their objections by providing the requested documentation and can proceed by refiling permit applications for the project. The agency added that no structural changes with the building were necessary in clearing up the hold.

But the committee and its president, Olive Freud, are still determined to block construction of the high rise.

"The community is not going to put up with that building," Freud said. "We're going to do everything we can to stop it."

Freud said her group aims to challenge the DOB's decision through the Board of Standards and Appeals, and is willing to take legal action if the project continues moving forward after that.

The residents have also engaged Borough President Gale Brewer and City Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal in their efforts to stop the project.

"I strongly object to the Department of Buildings’ action lifting the halt on the proposal at 200 Amsterdam Avenue," Rosenthal said in a statement. "The many questions about the building’s use of Open Space that were raised in the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development’s challenge simply have not been answered to my satisfaction."

With the hold out of the way, an SJP spokesperson said the building will move forward and be contextual to the Upper West Side's "classic architecture."

"Following a thorough review and audit of our application for 200 Amsterdam Avenue, the New York City Department of Buildings has determined the zoning for the site is valid and that the building's design complies with the zoning in all aspects," the spokesperson said in a statement. "We look forward to delivering a world-class building, and working closely with the local neighborhood and community officials throughout the construction process."