Advocacy Update: Both City and State Move to Address Zoning Loopholes and Curb Supertalls

On Wednesday, May 29th, the New York City Council voted to amend the Zoning Resolution to cap exempt mechanical void space within new buildings in residential neighborhoods.

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Third Avenue and 74th Street Tower Heads to the BSA

A proposed development at 1297-1299 Third Avenue, on the same block as the iconic J.G. Melon restaurant, has drawn significant attention from neighbors and community groups and will head to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) next Tuesday, January 29th.

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Voiding the Voids on the Upper East Side

FRIENDS has been sounding the drum about the mechanical void loophole for over two years, along with sustained joint efforts from civic-minded advocacy groups like Landmark West!, the Municipal Art Society, Carnegie Hill Neighbors, and CIVITAS, as well as invaluable and tireless support from our fellow local champion, Council Member Ben Kallos.

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The First Hungarian Reformed Church

A New Yorkville Landmark in 2019?

On Tuesday, January 22nd, the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) voted to calendar The First Hungarian Reformed Church at 346 East 69th Street for potential Individual Landmark designation.

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Image Credit: Michael Korfhage

Breaking News: De Blasio Administration to Finally Propose Void Solution

Following the Department of Building’s (DOB) reversal of prior zoning approval at 36 West 66th Street last week, it seems the city is prepared to move forward on proposing a solution to close loopholes in the zoning resolution related to unregulated mechanical void space in new developments.

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Join FRIENDS for Winter 2019 Events!

Calling all Yorkville fans! Did you miss FRIENDS of the Upper East Side’s launch party for our new book Shaped by Immigrants: A History of Yorkville? 

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Another Win for First Avenue Estate

In the Spring of 2017, FRIENDS led the effort of local and national preservation groups, along with elected officials, to file an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the City of New York in the ongoing battle to stop the demolition of two historic buildings, part of the City and Suburban Homes First Avenue Estate.

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Final Decision for 180 East 88th Street

In a vote of 4-1 last week, the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) voted to deny our appeal of 180 East 88th Street. In their comments, Commissioners acknowledged the deficiency of the Zoning Resolution’s text regarding this issue, but eventually conceded that the Department of Buildings (DOB) acted within its right to approve the subdivision of the zoning lot that created the micro-lot. 

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A Victory in the Fight Against Zoning Loopholes

The Department of Buildings (DOB) has filed an Intent to Revoke its prior approval for a 39-story, 775 foot tall tower at 50 West 66th Street. Extell, the developer, first filed for a 25-story, 260 foot mixed-use structure back in 2015.

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The “Ghostly Remnant” of St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum on East 90th Street

In “The Ghostly Remnant,” published yesterday in Our Town, journalist Douglas Feiden explores the curious development history of an apartment building on East 90th Street that bears the uniquely preserved facade of the Chapel of St. Joseph’s Orphan Asylum.

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FRIENDS of the Upper East Side 2020