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Industry hails 200 Amsterdam ruling as win for recovery

The city’s development community has hailed a court’s decision to allow SJP to finish its 200 Amsterdam tower.

Opponents had sued to force the developer to chop off the top of the 52-story residential condominium building on the Upper West Side, challenging its previously issued building permit.

Today (Tuesday) , New York State’s Appellate Division, First Department, issued its decision ruling in favor of the building’s developers by unanimously overturning a lower court’s ruling, which had sought to retroactively apply a draft zoning interpretation to the already-constructed building.

STEVE POZYCKI

“Today’s unanimous decision is an unequivocal affirmation that 200 Amsterdam’s permit was lawfully issued under the Zoning Resolution,” said Steven J. Pozycki, chairman and CEO, SJP Properties.

“This ruling is a crucial victory for the Upper West Side and New York City’s economic recovery. We believe in the resiliency of New York City and are looking forward to relaunching sales and delivering 200 Amsterdam, which is nearing completion and on track to welcome residents this coming summer.”

200 Amsterdam was developed on a lot that consists of full and partial tax lots with an approved building permit from the Department of Buildings (DOB).

The DOB permit has remained in place since 2017 and construction has continued unabated.

The Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), which has the authority to review DOB determinations, twice upheld 200 Amsterdam’s permit. DOB and BSA based their approvals on a 40-plus-year precedent that has allowed construction of numerous other buildings across the city.

According to a statement from the developer, the latest ruling “ensures that New Yorkers can rely on legally sound permits without fear of new interpretations being enforced retroactively, which is especially important for the City’s economy at this critical time.”

Ahead of the November 2020 oral argument in the case, the Association for a Better New York, the New York Building Congress, and the Real Estate Board of New York filed amicus briefs in support of the developer and the City outlining the importance of reversing the lower court’s ruling in order to preserve New York’s development and economic future.

“Today’s decision is not only a win for development, but also for the thousands of construction workers in New York,” said Carlo A. Scissura, president and CEO, New York Building Congress.

“Construction and development make up the backbone of our city, and if not for today’s ruling, we would have seen a chilling effect on new projects and jeopardized the existence of already constructed and occupied buildings during an unprecedented recession.

“The building industry will play a critical role in revitalizing our economy through job creation and tax revenue, and we are happy that today’s ruling supports this effort.”

200 Amsterdam is set to open in the summer 2021.

James Whelan, president, the Real Estate Board of New York, said, “As New York continues to fight COVID-19, we need predictable and transparent city regulations to create a sustainable economic recovery, especially in development.

“The real estate and construction industries are vital to New York’s livelihood, creating thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenue. At a time when we need jobs and economic activity more than ever, today’s decision ensures that our economic recovery will not be undermined and affirms that New York is open for business.”

And Laura Colacurcio, vice president of the Association for a Better New York, said, “In order for the city to thrive, New Yorkers must have confidence in their governing agencies’ ability to implement and enforce existing law.

“We applaud the Appellate Court’s decision to uphold the law and protect New York City’s economic development future at a time when it is needed most. Now it is time to work with our both partners in development and communities across the city toward an equitable and sustainable economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic,”

200 Amsterdam is nearing completion. Interior work is well underway and the building’s façade, including the art-deco inspired limestone arrival and the ornamental crown lighting, will be fully completed in the first quarter of 2021.

The building is targeted to open in the summer 2021.

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