Sutton Place Condo Kerfuffle Continues Neighborhood Group Pushes Back Against Tower Development

Sutton Place in Manhattan (Michael J Owens, via Wikimedia Commons)

A neighborhood group opposed to a condo development project on Manhattan's East Side is still making some noise after it  filed a lawsuit over the summer.

As reported in amNY, the East River Fifties Alliance organization was represented along with over 200 protesters at a City Hall rally this past weekend. The rally was organized by Human-Scale NYC to voice concerns about luxury development’s impact on the city, with the participants unified in their “concern that a boom of luxury development from Harlem to Crown Heights to Long Island City is prompting small businesses to shutter, residents to leave their longtime homes, and an increasingly gilded city to shun those who cannot afford it,”  according to amNY,

Amid the gathering of demonstrators was Lisa Mercurio, a founding member of the East River Fifties Alliance, who told amNY that “Towers for nonresident billionaires and real estate investors are forming impenetrable walls surrounding our waterfronts and parks.”

The source of the East River Fifties Alliance’s ire is Sutton 58, a 67-story condominium project developed by Gamma Real Estate at 430 East 58th Street. At the time, the Alliance, which was organized to halt the project's construction, responded after the city's Board of Standards and Appeals granted Gamma a six-month extension to finish constructing the building's foundation, Crain's reported that the Alliance filed a lawsuit to stop the tower.

According to the article:

“Project opponents argue that the board improperly gave Gamma Real Estate six additional months to complete its foundation and be grandfathered into the old zoning rules. In particular, the suit alleges that the board failed to do an independent review of the development, and Gamma skirted construction rules to complete as much of its foundation as possible before the new zoning took effect in late December.”

The Alliance requested that the judge order the project to cease, and to see to it that any further construction in the area adheres strictly to these zoning rules.

Crain’s reported that should Sutton 58 be constructed to its full height of nearly 800 feet, it would be twice as tall as the highest building in the zoning area.

Mike Odenthal is a staff writer at The Cooperator.

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