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


Looks like a chintzier 25 Park Row.


OK so far. I’m glad the NIMBYs lost, but I’m not impressed


This tower’s best feature has always been its top portion with the setbacks.


Materials arent superb but it’s fine


I like the corner segments a lot. But the rest is leaving me cold. The white pillars just don’t work—period.


looks decidedly whiter than the renderings depicted. That’s not a bad thing, just an observation.It almost looks like terracotta. They might have opted for a different color to give it less of a post modern and more of an ultramodern aesthetic.

It could just be the lighting, but I was thinking it would be more of a sandstone color/texture. Might be an example of value engineering, but I think it still looks pretty good.


Looks cheap :roll_eyes:


Like LIC or Downtown Brooklyn quality. Ha! UWS deserves something like 250 W81.


The West Side Rag has reported that the NY Supreme Court today validated the arguments challenging the zoning lot at 200 Amsterdam. The case has been remanded to reconsider the issuance of the building permit in light of the court decision. It’s not looking good for completion of the project. And note that under a prior agreement between the parties any losses associated with having to stop the project at this point fall on the developer.


Exhibit A why NIMBYs are NYC’s cancer. The project will be built. The developers will appeal and probably win, and if they don’t, the BSA will grant them the variance, as BSA has to grant variances if a later ruling provide an undue financial hardship.

I will never understand why people who hate highrises live in Manhattan. It’s crazy. Every single major highrise going up on the UWS right now is currently being litigated. Totally nuts.


Déjà vu I thought we went through all this nonsense already?


Crawdad—This result is not crazy, mere Nimbyism, or an indication that lots of people living around this building dislike big buildings. In fact most of them, including me, live in high risers. The issues here can’t be fairly discussed by a knee jerk reaction. As I said on this chain quite some time ago the zoning lot methods used here are bizarre and irrational. They should be banned. We’ll see what happens on appeal. But by ceding future losses the developer may have made it easier for the courts and the city to say “you lose.” Time will tell.


Yes the zoning lot method that allowed this should be banned, but the new ban should not apply retroactively to developments that were already approved and under construction


That normally would be the rule. But that may have been waived here. That may explain why preliminary injunctive relief was never ordered and why this court declined to issue a stop order but simply remanded telling the zoning folks to do what they should have at the outset. In addition, the building size still can reduced to lessen the legal impact. We’ll see. The dispute is a cousin to others about empty utility spaces raising height of buildings like one nearby on 65th.


If I were the developer I would seriously consider cutting my losses and do a size reduction. I wouldn’t be surprised if there is a contingency plan around somewhere. Otherwise it would have been foolish to sign the interim partial settlement.


What’s wrong with zoning lots again?


Zoning lots generally are contiguous with the building project and available for use by residents of the building. In this case the lot was a maze like construction going into parking lot median strips and other illegal areas in the Lincoln Square Complex. One of the requirements, that residents be able to walk on or frolic on such areas, is clearly impossible. Here’s an image of the lot approved by the zoning folks that was just overruled.


We need to drop the pretense that the city’s zoning is in any way rational and this is some exception. Frankly the whole 10,000-page 1961 NYC zoning code is bizarre and irrational. The entire system needs to be scrapped and started from scratch, with comprehensive city-wide planning. Instead of a comprehensive, rational plan, we have a kludge driven by political considerations where wealthy, politically powerful neighborhoods block any attempt to modernize the code while seeking complicated cut-outs for their own neighborhoods to exclude development, so the NIMBYs are ultimately responsible for the irrationality of the whole thing.

Want examples of the arbitrary and irrational nature of the zoning? There are many wealthy neighborhoods in Manhattan where new buildings have height limits well below what was built in the 1920s. In fact, 40% of Manhattan couldn’t be built under the current zoning:

In an age of global warming when Manhattan and Brooklyn are choked with cars, the zoning code demands huge parking garages in new buildings in Williamsburg and Harlem, even next to subway entrances. Many of them sit half-empty. The parking requirements for retail in Bushwick are higher than in many parts of Jersey.

When you have a zoning code that is so byzantine and arbitrary and broken and with no rational basis, I don’t blame anybody for gaming the system. Ultimately there’s no reason that buildings of this size shouldn’t be allowed to rise in this neighborhood, with its excellent transit connections and other high-rises in the vicinity. The sad reality is that constructing any building in NYC requires complex legal maneuvering on the part of architects, developers, and zoning consultants. Gaming the system is necessary. The difference here is one of degree.


Hard to quarrel with the notions that the existing statute is byzantine or that developers will look for openings to allow them to do what the want. That doesn’t mean that the courts should give up trying to limit some of the most irrational end runs. I think that’s the issue with 200. Amending or replacing some or all of the present rules also makes sense. In the meantime we should try to do the best we can with making some sense out the present scheme. Doesn’t mean the system will be fixed but the alternative of ignoring cases like this one is worse.


Putting aside the permit squabbles for a moment construction continues apace today. The facade is still looking to be a mixed bag and the rear core wall overlooking the PS 199 playground is an ugly cement monster.