New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

The Real Deal

The Real Deal Midtown East condo tower could face big height cut following court order on 200 Amsterdam by Staff

Midtown East condo tower could face big height cut following court order on 200 Amsterdam

From left: 200 Amsterdam Avenue, New York City Council Member Ben Kallos and 430 East 58th Street (Credit: Google Maps, Getty Images)

Council member seeks to halve height of 430 West 58th Street

Last Thursday, a judge issued an extraordinary court order requiring the deconstruction of 20-some floors on a Upper West Side condo tower. While the developers have already announced plans to appeal, the decision has renewed hopes for opponents of similar supertall towers elsewhere in Manhattan.

City Council Member Ben Kallos, whose district covers much of Midtown East and the Upper East Side, told the New York Post that his office is going to file a motion to reargue a zoning exemption for Gamma Real Estate’s 430 East 58th Street, using the UWS decision as a basis.

“We’re relying on the judiciary to enforce the law even if the Department of Buildings or the developers don’t think it applies to them,” Kallos said. The council member would like to see the condo tower’s height reduced from 847 feet to less than 400, an even more drastic reduction than that facing 200 Amsterdam Avenue.

The Real Deal NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030? by Erin Hudson

NYC lawmakers to fix property taxes … in 2030?

Last week, Helen Rosenthal and Ben Kallos introduced a bill mandating evaluation of the system in 2030. The idea is to prevent it from becoming warped over time, as has occurred since the last major change was made four decades ago.

The law would create a commission appointed by the mayor and speaker to analyze the system in terms of “equity, efficiency, transparency, ease of administration, and compliance.” It would be required to hold two public hearings and issue a report with an analysis and recommendations by November 2030. The process would repeat every 15 years.

The Real Deal Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds by Decca Muldowney

Ben Kallos wants to crack down on unsafe sidewalk sheds

The city is cracking down on that scourge of New York City: unsafe sidewalk sheds.

While sidewalk sheds are meant to protect pedestrians from falling debris at construction sites, a spate of accidents in which sidewalk sheds have done more harm than good, Council member Ben Kallos has introduced a bill to tighten safety regulations. Kallos’ told Gothamist that his office has found seven sidewalk shed incidents in which pedestrians were injured since 2017.

The Real Deal A community group claimed victory over Gamma’s Sutton Place tower. It might be short-lived by Kathryn Brenzel

A community group claimed victory over Gamma’s Sutton Place tower. It might be short-lived

To the relief of an Upper East Side community group, Gamma Real Estate’s tower won’t violate new zoning rules until at least next year. But there’s no guarantee that the developer won’t build beyond that.

The Real Deal Gamma gets green light to build Sutton Place condo tower by Kathryn Brenzel

Gamma gets green light to build Sutton Place condo tower

“The city has been complicit in ignoring the law in order to help a developer beat the community,” Council member Ben Kallos, who helped lead the charge for the rezoning, said in a statement. “If [Jonathan] Kalikow’s behavior is any indication of what the city is prepared to let developers get away with, then no law on the books will prevent developers from abusing the system and winning, until the courts step in.”

The Real Deal Pols and community groups sue DDG to block UES project by Editorial Board

Pols and community groups sue DDG to block UES project

Carnegie Hill Neighbors, Friends of the Upper East Side Historic District, City Council member Ben Kallos and State Sen. Liz Krueger filed the lawsuit. The courts will allow construction to continue while the case proceeds.

Work on the project, currently at the 16th story, is expected to be finished by early next year. [Crain’s] – Eddie Small

The Real Deal With or Without Grandfather Clause, Gamma Says 800-Foot Tower is Happening by Kathryn Brenzel

With or Without Grandfather Clause, Gamma Says 800-Foot Tower is Happening

Last week, the City Planning Commission approved a controversial rezoning of 10 blocks in Sutton Place but included a clause that would exempt Gamma’s project from the change. Local Council member Ben Kallos, who is a co-sponsor of the rezoning application, is pushing to have the grandfather clause removed before the full council votes on the measure. The rezoning will impose “tower on a base” standards in the area, which means that 45 to 50 percent of a building would need to be built below 150 feet.

Kallos said the grandfather clause might be a “red herring” for extending the rezoning process for another two weeks or so. A change to the application, like removing the clause, would send the measure back to City Planning for review, giving Gamma more time to complete the foundation.

The Real Deal City Planning Clears the Way for Sutton Place Tower. But Can it Survive the City Council? by Kathryn Brenzel

City Planning Clears the Way for Sutton Place Tower. But Can it Survive the City Council?

The application now heads to the City Council, where chances don’t look great for Gamma to escape the zoning change. Local Council member Ben Kallos, who backed the a local community group’s efforts to rezone the area, indicated that he plans to remove the grandfathering clause from the application. The City Council tends to defer to the local council member when it comes to land use applications. The council is expected to vote on the zoning change by the end of the month.

The Real Deal NYCHA’s private lifeline by Konrad Putzier

NYCHA’s private lifeline

Local City Council member Ben Kallos claimed Fetner plans to cluster the affordable apartments on lower floors and reserve the upper flowers for higher-paying tenants. But representatives for Fetner and NYCHA deny that.

Kallos said he would support the infill program only if it was fully affordable and argued that the $25 million Fetner paid the agency for the land was far too low. “It would be a violation of anyone’s fiduciary duty at a company to sell off all of your assets, leaving you without the money you need to maintain your existing properties and no plan to get out of it,” he said. “There are some apartments in my district that cost $25 million,” the council member added.