NEW YORK | 200 Amsterdam Ave | 668 FT | 55 FLOORS


Aren’t the developers just taking advantage of a loop hole that allows for this to occur (adding more rights via gerrymandering parcels). I do believe it’s legal, even if its kinda a cheap and sneaky way of doing so).


That’s the point of our discussion–there was no problem with their gerrymandering. That’s mostly legal. It’s a much more technical issue. This lot lies in an antiquated zoning district that was meant for 60’s-style towers-in-a-park. This zoning requires open space in order to allow a building to grow bigger. But the open space has to be accessible to the tenants of the building. And it wouldn’t be accessible because it’s on a lot owned by the NIMBYs.


This thing is getting built-- it seems that the Nimby Lincoln Tower owners forgot that they signed away an access easement 12 years ago.

If DOB’s objection/concern was access to the open space (which all seems to be non-parking spaces, by design), this addresses it spot on.


Walked by this morning for the first time since June. The excavation equipment that was there is now gone. Looks like the owners are hunkering down for now.


Upper West Side’s tallest tower back on track
Department of Buildings clears 668-foot project after work temporarily stopped over community objections




Thank god!
Overjoyed by this!


This was never a legal issue. It’s just a few NIMBYs trying to send a warning to other developers by delaying and driving up costs. They do this all the time.


Also, I should add that the “schools are overcrowded” complaint is laughable. The neighborhood NIMBYs are the only reason that schools are overcrowded. Under Bloomberg there was a proposal to build two new elementary schools in this exact area, but NIMBYs fought back, because the schools would have been at the base of new apartment towers.

Gail Brewer was the one who fought the two new towers, and now the area has horribly overcrowded schools. She’s a nightmare for the city.


Crawdad–I think the situation is more complex than you suggest. The building plans are a stretch of the existing rules. Whether they wlll survive administrative and judicial appeals, I think, is still up for grabs. The zoning lot has a lot of strange features which probably are ripe for a judicial look-see. It is not simply a matter of NIMBYs doing their thing. There are interesting land use issues under the extant rules. As for the schools, the plans probably were good but they too had some controversial features, including playground space reductions and years of disruption of the existing school building on 70th Street. In general, I am very reluctant to suggest that people opposing developments are ALWAYS simply being selfish and wrong-headed. Nuance catches the flavor of life in NY much better. And these disputes were and are not simple.


They raised one somewhat valid question (about the open space), but it was clear that the NIMBYs were on a fishing expedition. These wealthy NIMBYs spent money hiring a consultant to think of any and every possible problem with the application, including a lot of clearly absurd and disingenuous complaints. NYC’s zoning ordinance is 4,108 pages long and incredibly complex, so every construction application for a building in NYC probably has some ambiguities.

At this point, it is clear that the NIMBYs will eventually lose, but winning is not their goal. Their goal is to try to delay it to drive up costs, like crawdad said. They’ll take it to court and try to delay this for several more years, and provide a bonanza of legal fees to the lawyers, but it’s just spiteful obstructionism.

As far as the concerns that led to blocking the new schools, yes, there were valid concerns, but you have to look at the benefits vs the costs. Every change has a downside. On balance, building more schools would’ve been good for the neighborhood; more housing is good for the neighborhood–the UWS is a desirable neighborhood because it has the density and urbanity to support all sorts of services and retail. It is one of the few places in America with such a high level of mass transit access and capacity.

NIMBYs are very negative people who look only at the costs and downsides, and if they had had their way, the Upper West Side wouldn’t even exist in the first place, because it’s too dense, because its construction of the many buildings on the UWS was disruptive, because it wasn’t in keeping with the previous neighborhood character of 2-story shacks, because everything should be the way that it’s always been, etc. If you look only at the downsides of any change, you will paralyze the city and no change is ever possible.


Construction has resumed after the zoning protest lost round one. According to the West Side Rag appeals are planned.

Construction equipment is on site, an excavation ramp has been built, and some digging has occurred.




Excavation work in full gear.


Great shot, Chused


As expected, zoning appeals have been filed in a continuing effort to stop construction. See the story in the West Side Rag at


As I’ve said before on this forum I don’t think this is a standard NIMBY case. The challenge may lose of course. But the way development rights were transferred in this case was very unusual. The zoning lot is bizarre. The zoning rules are subject to various meanings. So I’m interested in watching it unfold. As a law teacher it is a very interesting land use problem. Whether the building should go up I’m a bit agnostic about. It’s probably too large given the school situation. But building it won’t be a neighborhood debacle. On the design side I’m not sure either. From renderings I have some doubt that it will be a great building.


There is nothing unusual about this tower’s development rights. It’s now the norm to assemble rights over a series of adjacent properties, using every possible zoning allowance. The lawsuit is standard NIMBY nonsense, and will be dismissed.

IMO it would be nice if this thread focused on the tower and construction not the typical UWS NIMBY stuff. Case has already concluded.


Probably best to politely agree to disagree. Most development rights transfers not involving historic structures are from adjacent, contiguous, whole lots. This one is quite different. So I don’t think this dispute is over until its over. You may be right in your prediction of the outcome. But then again . . . .

And we will also have to agree to disagree about thread subjects. I think rights transfers are now such a major part of large building development in the city that it is fair game for a thread about an apartment of this size. Just recall that 432 Park added about twenty floors because of transfers from adjacent, contiguous lots. That building’s thread would have had quite a different tone if the transfer was not made or was barred. But it was a standard NYC deal.

Be safe and well.


Meanwhile foundation work continues.