The Bauhouse Group plans to build a 900-foot tower on East 58th Street. However, the developer is facing a rezoning threat from a group from Sutton place.
The Real Deal reports that a request for rezoning was filed in the Department of City Planning. The group from the community named East River Fifties Alliance, which was backed up by local politicians, filed the request to enforce height caps on new buildings. The area of focus was in the east of First Avenue from 52nd Street to the 59th Street. Currently, Sutton Place zoning does not have any height limits.
Joseph Beninati, spearheads the Bauhouse Company that aims to construct the $650 million, 270,000-square-foot, 80-storey tower that will feature 115 condos. The building was designed by Foster + Partners. The company received demolition permits last November and is hoping to finish construction in 2019.
The site was purchased for $70 million and a spokesman for the company says that they will continue their plans and that the tower will be done even before any possible rezoning could be implemented.
Bloomberg Business adds those people in the Sutton Place group express their concerns of the soon to rise building which has already started demolition. One of those in particular is Phyllis Hattis who happens to be a private art collector of one of many Pablo Picasso paintings. She says that without the air and gleaming into her 48th floor apartment is like losing her collection.
Councilman Ben Kallos says that they are racing the clock to discontinue construction. Kallos also adds that their frustration as a community that they cannot do anything about it because of the "as of right" for the 55-year old zoning rules imposed on the 10 block stretch. Alan Kersh, president of the East River 50s Alliance along with Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer seeks to have building constructed in a more "contextual" design with that of the neighborhood.
The group that filed the request says that the no restriction laws on height caps for buildings are outdated. This was because the 55 year old zoning laws were made where the possibility of tall buildings could be possible in such a small area based on engineering capabilities at that time.
If approved the new zoning law will limit new buildings to 260 feet or just 25 stories high. This was compared to real estate market close by. This height will also include much-needed affordable housing in the project of developers according to Attorney Christopher Rizzo of Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP.
What do you think about the filing of a request by the community in Sutton Place?