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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Saturday, October 21, 2017

After many challenges, the Department of Buildings have given the go-ahead for the construction of what will be the tallest building on the Upper West Side, a 668-foot tall residential tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue.

According to the Gothamist, “In July, the development's opponents officially filed a challenge, arguing that project's air rights were ‘gerrymandered’ from a neighboring lot in order to give developer SJP Properties the 10,000 square feet it needed to put up the entire tower. The DOB slapped 200 Amsterdam with a Notice of Intent to Revoke in July, halting work on the site, while they reviewed whether the building complied with the city's Open Space Requirements.

That review is apparently over, as Crain's first reported: the DOB has lifted the notice and allowed the construction of the building to go forward, pending the filing of new permits. The DOB said that SJP Properties furnished them with additional information about the building's zoning calculations that answered their concerns, and that the company wouldn't have to make structural changes to the project.”

On Tuesday evening, September 26, City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, who represents the Upper West Side area where the building would reside, issued a statement criticizing the decision of the DOB. 

Rosenthal said, "I strongly object to the Department of Buildings’ action lifting the halt on the proposal at 200 Amsterdam Avenue. The many questions about the building’s use of Open Space that were raised in the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development’s challenge simply have not been answered to my satisfaction."

She also said that she does not feel that the size of the project will be a good fit for the neighborhood, and she swore to continue opposing the development by working with community groups.

The Committee for Environmentally Sound Development activist and candidate for City Council William Raudenbush said, "We're very disappointed. It's very important the Upper West Side pay attention, because this is the future of our whole neighborhood. When you look to the south and the buildings along Central Park, you wonder what's next. The Upper West Side values its quality of life and its sunlight."

Regarding the DOB’s approval of the development, SJP sent a statement to the Gothamist, saying, “Following a thorough review and audit of our application for 200 Amsterdam, the New York City Department of Buildings has determined the zoning for the site is valid and that the building's design complies with the zoning in all aspects. Designed by Elkus Manfredi Architects with interiors by Cetra Ruddy, 200 Amsterdam will be contextual to the classic architecture of the Upper West Side. We look forward to delivering a world-class building, and working closely with the local neighborhood and community officials throughout the construction process.”

By Mark Snyder