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