FRIENDS Executive Director Talks 

Zoning Loopholes at 249 East 62nd Street

NBC New York Channel 4 News Report: “Upper East Side High Rise Derided as Condo on Stilts.” October 9, 2018
Click HERE or on the image above to view the clip from NBC New York Channel 4 News.
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This past Tuesday, FRIENDS’ Executive Director Rachel Levy was interviewed along with longtime zoning consultant George Janes about the impending development at 249 East 62nd Street. The proposed Rafael Viñoly designed tower– which has been referred to as “Jetsons-esque“– includes a 150-foot height-boosting void in its core, meant to lift residential units higher into the sky. In the interview, she explains that the proposed design deviates from the “relatively predictable forms” produced by tower-on-base zoning “seen up and down our (Upper East Side) avenues.” This void is an example of a notorious zoning loophole now so frequently abused by developers wishing to reap profits from artificially boosted apartments, at the expense of New Yorkers living in residential neighborhoods.
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FRIENDS of the Upper East Side has filed a Community Appeal to challenge the DOB’s insistence that this tower does not violate New York City’s Zoning Resolution. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, and the Manhattan Delegation of the City Council have also called for the City Planning Commission to seek immediate solutions for these zoning loopholes that threaten livability of our city’s residential neighborhoods in a joint letter which can be found HERE. For updates on the appeal and for more information on this development, please visit our website HERE.