This is the tower Extell Development wants to build on 66th Street between Central Park West and Columbus Avenue. It would rise 775 feet and contain 127 condos.
Construction was halted months ago as preservation groups challenged the project.
The complaint is that Extell circumvented zoning rules by inflating the space needed for mechanical equipment, areas that do not count toward a building's allowable height, to create a taller building with better views and pricier units.
Tuesday the City Board of Standards and Appeals voted two to two on the objections, a victory for the developer, because the challenge needed a majority to succeed.
“It’s a denial by effect of stalemate,” said a board member.
The two board members who voted to let the project resume said that the buildings department followed city rules when it approved the plan for mechanical space. However, those board members say the rules need to change.
“I’m okay with what was represented as mechanical space occupied by mechanical equipment but I’m aware that the buildings department really needs to improve its analytical method,” said Margery Perlmutter, Chairwoman of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals.
The other two board members said Extell’s justification for reserving 200 feet of height for mechanical space was weak.
“It is clear to me that much of the mechanical deductions are without merit,” said Salvator Scibetta of the New York City Board of Standards and Appeals.
Even though they lost, the tower's opponents say they are pleased two board members were on their side.
They noted that all board members usually vote together, but not this time.
“It’s a psychological win and we’re going to go home and pop some Champagne,” said Jan Constantine, Save Central Park NYC.
“Hopefully there will be change moving forward which will regulate the space it will end this giveaway and in many ways Extell killed the golden goose,” said Sean Khorsandi, Executive Director of Landmark West.
The buildings department says it’s pleased that board upheld the permit, saying it was properly reviewed and issued.
Extell did not respond to our request for comment.
Opponents of this planned tower can appeal the Board’s decision to an actual court. With it they would ask for a temporary restraining order. But they say they have not decided what their next step will be, only that they are not giving up this fight.