UWS Condo Project Tops Out Despite Legal Battles 200 Amsterdam Avenue Continues to Move Ahead

Lincoln Center/Upper West Side (iStock.com)

An Upper West Side condo development that has been the subject of controversy over zoning recently reached a milestone.

Curbed reported yesterday that the 668-foot-luxury tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue topped out at 52 floors. real estate company SJP Properties who, along with Mitsui Fudosan, is developing the project, announced the news in a statement: “200 Amsterdam, our prized new development in the heart of Lincoln Square, has reached its top residential floor today (52), Construction commenced in the fall of 2017 and has continued unabated since.”

On its website, SJP stated that the Elkus-Manfredi Architects-designed building will contain 112 luxury apartments, promising “state-of-the-art” amenities and wide views of the Midtown skyline and Central Park. The apartments range from one to five bedrooms starting at $2.95 million.

But opponents of 200 Amsterdam criticized how the air rights were obtained by a previous developer from nearby properties to make the development site, Crain's New York Business reported – a process that has been compared to gerrymandering,

SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan purchased the site from the previous developer in 2015.

The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) first approved the project a year ago. But that decision was later remanded by a judge for a reevaluation a judge following a legal challenge by the non-profit Municipal Arts Society and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development, according to Curbed.

“This gerrymandered zoning lot is an affront to the letter and spirit of the Zoning Resolution and should never have been granted a building permit,” said MAS President Elizabeth Golden in a statement at the time.

This past June, the BSA approved the tower again, which prompted criticism by Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer in a tweet: “200 Amsterdam is an affront to the Zoning Resolution and I’m extremely disappointed that the BSA upheld their support for the project.” And in response to the board's greenlight, the MSA filed another Article 78 challenge, which is a proceeding used to challenge the decision by an administrative agency or government body.

SJP said it plans to launch sales for 200 Amsterdam in September.

David Chiu is an associate editor at The Cooperator.  

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