Donald Trump Jr. may be the face of many disturbing developments in our nation, but he is not the face of Sutton Place. NY1 needs to know that.
Picture at top is a gruesome sketch of the proposed Sutton Place supertower.
In a story on Sutton Place’s fight against a proposed supertower, the news channel flashed a picture of Donald Jr. as a typical resident. It is true he lives in the neighborhood, the Sovereign to be exact. But let’s dispose of the stereotype that this relatively quiet enclave in far-east Midtown is wall-to-wall fat cats.
Sadly, that’s the story being pushed by Jonathan Kalikow, the mogul developer. His Gamma Real Estate wants to squeeze a ludicrous 78-story tower on narrow E. 58th Street, between First Avenue and Sutton Place.
The Kalikow dynasty tries to play class war
As Kalikow told The New York Times, stopping his billionaire tower “would set a horrendous precedent in New York, enabling rich folks to stop a nearby building they don’t like.”
Dear Jon Kalikow, You don’t get to play class warfare, okay?
He, like others trying to force supertowers onto residential areas, seems to think that calling the opposition rich people trying to keep others out will work.
People who live around Sutton Place know their neighborhood to be an economic mix. Sure, there are a lot of well-to-do people there, and the name Sutton Place has a classy ring. But the area is also home to walkups and older rent-stabilized buildings in which working and middle-class New Yorkers live.
Sutton 58 would displace 80 families.
Here’s the ugly truth about supertowers and affordable housing: Our affordable housing occupies the very soft sites that developers crave to assemble land for their monster buildings. Gamma has already demolished three walkups to build its planned “Sutton 58” supertower.
In the end, it would displace 80 families of mostly moderate means. We’re talking teachers and other regular folk.
And idiocy of idiocies, developers get variances to go bigger by promising to build affordable housing, In this case, Gamma would put the units a mile away in a less affluent neighborhood.
The East River 50s Alliance has been doing sophisticated battle against the supertower blight. And it’s been scoring some successes of late. The city has finally certified its rezoning plan, but there’s still far to go in making it law. But ERFA must also do rearguard battle against lazy news coverage portraying the opponents as all rich people from the Upper East Side.
Supertower foes need moral support — and money
“We’re working hard to convey to reporters who are covering this story that it’s not just about a few tony buildings,” Alliance president Alan Kersh told a recent meeting of local activists.
In fact, ERFA’s rezoning plan would require builders getting bonuses for affordable housing to place that housing right there. Do you think Kalikow has any interest in putting affordable housing in a tower he’s marketing to the world’s billionaires?
ERFA badly needs money to continue the battle. Go to ERFA.nyc and give what you can.
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