200 Amsterdam tower gets permits, again

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH | Construction on the contested Upper West Side skyscraper at 200 Amsterdam Ave. will continue.

On Tues., June 25, the Board of Standards and Appeals upheld its 2018 ruling allowing developers to build the 668-foot tower at Amsterdam Ave., in Lincoln Square.

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer called 200 Amsterdam “an affront to the Zoning Resolution,” adding, “I am extremely disappointed that the B.S.A. voted to uphold their support for the project.”

A design rendering of the top of the planned residential tower at 200 Amsterdam Ave.

Opponents of the tower, which include some Upper West Siders, Brewer, Councilmember Helen Rosenthal, Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal, the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development and the Municipal Arts Society, argue that the development violates city zoning law by use of what critics call a gerrymandered lot.

“The reluctance to follow the letter of the zoning is astounding, especially when the Department of Buildings has acknowledged that the zoning lot is problematic. I hope that the forthcoming proceedings will bring some much-needed vindication,” Brewer added.

“The B.S.A. and this administration are well aware that a majority of the City Council and all elected officials representing the Upper West Side oppose this site’s use of gerrymandered lots — yet we have absolutely no say over a project in our own community,” said Rosenthal. ” I wholeheartedly support Olive Freud and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development’s plan to file an immediate appeal with the New York State Appellate Court, and I urge all concerned parties to support the Committee’s efforts.”

On March 15, Justice M. Franc Perry overruled the city’s decision to grant a permit for the building, and ordered the B.S.A to reevaluate the permit. But developers SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan continued constructing the tower. The Municipal Arts Society even fought for a temporary restraining order to halt construction but was unsuccessful during a hearing on a potential injunction on April 30.

The developers stand by their argument that the decision is lawful.

“The zoning for 200 Amsterdam has been consistently interpreted for more than 40 years,” SJP Properties said in a statement. “Three completed buildings on the same block have the exact same zoning.”

The developer added that the opposition to 200 Amsterdam Avenue is “unconscionable.”

Construction on the tower is set to be completed by this summer with units expected to be up for sale starting in the fall.