200 Amsterdam Forced to Remove 20 Floors
After months of opposition from community groups, the State Supreme Court has made a landmark decision forcing the developer of 200 Amsterdam Ave to remove already built floors from the high-rise luxury residential project. While it is common practice in New York for developers to purchase unused zoning rights from adjacent parcels in order to increase the allowable height, local community groups argued that the developer of 200 Amsterdam used a loop-hole to create a 668-foot tower that violated zoning regulations.
In 2018 the Municipal Art Society filed a lawsuit, claiming the developers “gerrymandered” a 39-sided zoning lot to work in their favor that "is largely composed of portions of tax lots and is not consistent with the DOB’s definition of tax lot and the intent of the [zoning resolution].” Despite a Court Order preventing the developer from continuing construction, they continued at their risk, knowing the court case was ongoing.
The recent ruling by a State Supreme Court Judge means that the skyscraper will have to remove nearly half of its height – up to 20 floors from the almost finished 668 ft building. One of the main arguments from the surrounding community is that the building does not fit in with the rest of the neighborhood, if allowed to stay at its current height, it would be the tallest building on the West side north of 61st street. These groups claim that allowing the developer to continue would set a dangerous precedent for others to violate zoning regulations.
The developer, who will likely appeal the decision asserts that they purchased the site "with the approved zoning already in place... meticulously designed according to the NYC zoning code, with an aesthetic that is contextual to its Lincoln Square neighborhood.”