New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Land Use

Letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio proposing $15.24 billion in potential savings and revenue in order to invest $827 million in spending on programs that support children, families, seniors, and our planet

Monday, June 15, 2020

As we face unprecedented times and a budget that must-see painful cuts, we should look for possible waste and opportunities for revenues and savings. I have proposed $15.24 billion in potential savings and revenue for our city’s budget in order to invest $827 million in spending on programs that support children, families, seniors, and our planet that will reduce costs and generate revenues. 

FOX 5 WNYW Ruling on Manhattan skyscraper could affect future development by Fox 5

Ruling on Manhattan skyscraper could affect future development

NEW YORK - After a New York State Supreme Court judge ordered 20 stories or more be removed off the top of the largest residential skyscraper on the Upper West Side, developers fear the ruling could set a dangerous precedent.

"This was a bad ruling—with hundreds of millions of dollars spent, thousands of jobs on the line," said Paiman Lodhi, a senior vice president with the Real Estate Board of New York.

But Eddie Small, a reporter for The Real Deal, said this was a special case.

"It's an extremely unique case on an extremely unique zoning lot," he said. "And this ruling won't necessarily impact very many other big projects in New York City."

Small said the community groups currently have no plans of using their victory as a basis for litigation against other projects. But others are.

Councilman Ben Kallos is seeking to have a 847-foot skyscraper on the Upper East Side cut down by almost half the footage and plans to file a motion based on this case.

Our Town Cutting Supertalls Down to Size by Emily Higginbotham

Cutting Supertalls Down to Size

Politicians, community advocates and developers are looking to the future of Manhattan development following an unprecedented court ruling this month ordering the removal of 20 floors from a nearly finished Upper West Side tower. One lawmaker is already at work to use the decision to cut the height of another supertall across town.

Council Member Ben Kallos, who represents part of Midtown and the Upper East Side, was one of the several elected officials who turned out to celebrate Judge Franc Perry’s decision to revoke the building permits for the 59-story tower at 69th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Quickly, Kallos, who is running for Manhattan Borough President when Gale Brewer leaves the post in 2021, got his wheels turning and saw that Perry’s ruling opened a window to reargue the legality of the 847-foot Sutton Tower being constructed at 430 East 58th Street in his district.

“In both cases, I think what we have in common is if you have a Department of Buildings and a city that is complicit in allowing people to break the law, whether or not people can profit off their crimes,” said Kallos. “What jurisprudence typically says is, no. If you do something wrong, you shouldn't get to profit from it.”

ConstructionDive Manhattan developers could be forced to demo 20 floors from top of luxury condo by Kim Slowey

Manhattan developers could be forced to demo 20 floors from top of luxury condo

Dive Brief:

  • A New York State Supreme Court judge has revoked the building permit for a 668-foot-tall residential tower in Manhattan, a decision that could force the developers to remove 20 floors from the top of the nearly complete structure, Bisnow reported. Attorneys for developers of the 200 Amsterdam property, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America, said they would appeal the verdict.
  • The complaint, brought by the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development (CFESD) and the Municipal Art Society of New York, alleged that the New York City Department of Buildings was incorrect in its decision to issue a permit for the building because the property sits on a "gerrymandered zoning lot" and was "cobbled together" out of six existing lots in order to meet zoning requirements. The lawsuit said both the DOB and the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which upheld the DOB's decision to issue the permit, were wrong in their interpretation of zoning laws and contradicted a previous New York State Supreme Court order. 
  • Scott Mollen, the attorney representing SJP and Mitsui, said there are at least 20 other buildings in Manhattan that were constructed under a building permit similar to that of 200 Amsterdam. If the developers lose the appeal, he said, it could have similar repercussions for other developers and even force tenants in other buildings to vacate their units.​

City Land Court Orders Developers To Lose 20 Stories in Upper West Side Condominium Development by Jason Rogovich

Court Orders Developers To Lose 20 Stories in Upper West Side Condominium Development

Advocates applaud decision while developers find decision deeply flawed. On February 15, 2020, the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development and the Municipal Art Society of New York,  won an Article 78 case regarding the construction of a 668 foot, 52-story condominium building located at 200 Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. New York County Supreme Court Justice W. Franc Perry’s ruling requires the developers, SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America, remove up to potentially 20 floors of the development.

The developers, in order to build higher and larger than what is normally permitted “as-of-right,” sought a transfer of development rights through a Zoning Lot Merger. A Zoning Lot Merger is not technically a transfer of development rights, but a shifting of development rights within a unified zoning lot. In many cases, but certainly not all cases, zoning lots can be contiguous to the tax lots. In this case the developer entered into agreements to transfer the development rights from two tax lots and portions of four other tax lots, resulting in a 39-sided zoning lot. On September 27, 2017, the Department of Buildings issued the developer a building permit to construct the high-rise condominium building with the additional development rights.

Bisnow The 'Dangerous' Ruling To Cut Down Skyscraper Could Reset Playing Field For NYC Developers by Miriam Hall

The 'Dangerous' Ruling To Cut Down Skyscraper Could Reset Playing Field For NYC Developers

A stunning decision from the New York State Supreme Court that could force developers to tear down already-built floors from their Manhattan skyscraper could have massive implications for other buildings in the city under construction — and possibly some that are already built.
 

 

Upper East Side Patch Tower Ruling May Endanger Upper East Side Development: Report by Brendan Krisel

Tower Ruling May Endanger Upper East Side Development: Report

 

UPPER EAST SIDE, NY — A recent court ruling that could force Upper West Side developers to chop floors off of a controversial Amsterdam Avenue development may have a ripple effect on the other side of Central Park, according to new reports.

Upper East Side City Councilman Ben Kallos may use the ruling as the basis of a challenge against the super-tall development planned for 430 E. 58th St. in the small Sutton Place neighborhood, he told the New York Post. The building has long been the bane of neighborhood preservationists, who proposed and passed a Sutton Place rezoning plan to implement strict building height limits.

 

 

 

New York Post Court order ‘beheading’ UWS tower could impact another super tall building by Sam Raskin, Jennifer Gould Keil, Nolan Hicks

Court order ‘beheading’ UWS tower could impact another super tall building

An opportunistic lawmaker hopes to use a controversial ruling that would knock 20 stories off of a nearly-complete Upper West Side condo highrise to cut another building in Midtown down to size.

“We’re going to file a motion to [re]argue based on this,” said Councilman Ben Kallos (D-Manhattan), who represents a swath of Midtown and the Upper East Side.

The lawmaker’s target is an 847-foot pencil-thin skyscraper currently under construction at 430 East 58th Street that he would like to see cut down to just 400 feet.