Update on 200 Amsterdam Avenue Injunction

Joint Statement from the Municipal Art Society of New York and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development

May 14, 2018

The Municipal Art Society of New York and the Committee for Environmentally Sound Development are pleased to announce our first victory in our legal challenge to the 200 Amsterdam Avenue development.

Two weeks after filing suit on April 25th, we have obtained a Stipulation and Court Order preventing the developer from continuing construction and then arguing that its rights have “vested” as a result of this additional work—that is, that construction has progressed to the point that the project can no longer be halted. The developer continues now at its own peril.

The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) is currently considering an administrative challenge to the project, and no doubt the losing party will appeal the decision to the New York County Supreme Court. This Stipulation insures that neither the BSA nor the court will be constrained from providing the necessary relief: ordering the Department of Buildings (DOB) to revoke the building permit.

The Stipulation also insures that, if the BSA takes longer than we expect, we can still move to halt construction beyond the building’s foundation while we await the decision. The developer is now required to notify us at least 10 days before it completes the foundation. If the BSA has not yet decided, we will be back in court that day to enjoin all further work. If the BSA decides against us, whether earlier or later, we will be in court that day as well—challenging its decision and seeking the same injunction.

We are hopeful that we will ultimately win the BSA appeal, with a decision that fully protects the public interest. From its egregiously gerrymandered zoning lot, to its dishonest characterization of open space, to the shadows it will cast on the surrounding neighborhood, this tower sets a dangerous precedent for the city as a whole.

For more information, please contact Meaghan Baron (mbaron@mas.org | (212) 935-3960). For more information on the lawsuit, see our recent press release.

Aerial illustration of the gerrymandered zoning lot and proposed tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue

For more information on the controversy surrounding 200 Amsterdam Avenue, see the following news coverage:

Politico (May 9, 2018): Fight over planned Upper West Side tower heads to court as opponents look to slow construction

West Side Rag (March 29, 2018): Powerful Forces Clash at Zoning Hearing Over Tower on Amsterdam Avenue

Curbed (March 27, 2018): Planned Upper West Side skyscraper abuses zoning rules, opponents allege (again)

Patch (March 26, 2018): City Misinterpreted Zoning Rules For UWS Tower: Report