Recent Posts
Connect with:
Saturday / November 17.
Home

Had a developer proposed building a megatower in the middle of a narrow tree-lined street anywhere else in the five boroughs, he’d be laughed clear across the nearest river.  But the small piece of Manhattan encompassing most of the 50s, east of First Avenue, is the only residential area in the city with no height limits on buildings.  None at all.

ERFA town hall meeting to to oppose megatower invasion of Sutton Place

Hence, Gamma Real Estate’s plan to shoehorn a ludicrous spike smack into the middle of E. 58th Street, just off First.  Although the Kalikow family is trying to portray its massive project as a done deal, it is not quite.

The East River 50s Alliance (ERFA) has submitted a sophisticated rezoning plan for the neighborhood that would impose sane height limits on new construction while promoting more affordable housing than Mayor de Blasio would require under current rules.

City Councilman Dan Garodnick has a hearing tomorrow to discuss the impact of Donald Trump’s presidency on our neighborhood. Basically, the cost and inconvenience of it all.

Unlike the area surrounding 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, midtown was designed to be a public grid. We have shops, offices and residents living there. Forcing several blocks around Trump Tower into periodic lockdown seems highly unreasonable.  It has already taken a toll on Tiffany’s, Gucci and other nearby Fifth Avenue merchants. Hence, the Christmas shopping season was painful

Let us celebrate the city’s decision to stop an obscene abuse of the zoning laws.  A developer had attempted to use a four-foot-wide lot to build a tall luxury condominium on Third Avenue near 88th Street. The city stopped him. Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts is doing a victory lap, as well it should.

But rather than regard this decision as a war being won, we we should see it as an isolated case involving an egregious example.  The developer’s zoning tricks were so outrageous that even the deBlasio administration couldn’t let it pass.