UES tower dispute heads to appeal
by MICHAEL GAROFALO
Opponents of a controversial Upper East Side condominium development rallied this week in advance of a key appeal hearing in their fight against the project. Critics claim that the development at 180 East 88th Street, if affirmed by the city, would create a roadmap for other builders to skirt the intent of the city’s zoning resolution.
Construction is in progress on the building in question, a planned 32-story, 523-foot-tall condominium tower near the southwest corner of Third Avenue and East 88th Street. Local land use groups Friends of the Upper East Side Historic Districts and Carnegie Hill Neighbors, with the support of local elected officials, have appealed the Department of Buildings’ decision to approve of the project. The Board of Standards and Appeals, the agency responsible for reviewing the matter, was scheduled to hold its first hearing on the appeal July 17.
The dispute centers on the building’s L-shaped zoning lot, which fronts on Third Avenue and is set back from East 88th Street by a ten-foot-wide gap. This 10-foot by 22-foot area fronting on East 88th Street, which according to the plans of developer DDG Partners’ will one day be used to access the building’s main entrance, is in fact a separate zoning lot.
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Photo Caption: Council Member Ben Kallos and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer joined local activists for a rally in advance of a July 17 appeal hearing on the Department of Buildings’ approval of a condo development at 180 East 88th Street. Photo: Michael Garofalo