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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

200 Amsterdam, 200 Amsterdam Avenue

Between West 69th Street & West 70th Street

84
Carter Horsley
Review by Carter Horsley
Carter Horsley Carter B. Horsley, a former journalist for The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune and The New York Post. Mr. Horsley is also the editorial director of CityRealty.com.
 

This handsome, 52-story tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue on the northwest corner at 69th Street was erected in 2020 by SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America.  It has 112 condominium units. 

It was designed by Elkus Manfredi. 

At 668 feet, it was the tallest building on the Upper West Side when it was built. 

New York State Supreme Court judge W. Franc Perry ruled in February, 2020, that the tower may have to remove 20 or more floors because the developers "gerrymandered" the 39-sided plot to maximize its height.  The judge ruled in a suit brought by the Municipal Arts Society and some other civic groups that maintained the use of "partial lots" should not be allowed. 

The developers are appealing the decision. 

A February 21, 2020 by Matt Pruznick at newyorkyimby.com quoted Steven Pozycki, the chairman of SJP Properties as stating that “This ruling sets a dangerous precedent for the future of development in this city,” adding that “It will send a message to investors that the administration of land use controls in New York City can be upended, and substantial investments can be wiped out, by even a single individual who is unhappy with the building permitted by those controls.” 

“We’re concerned that this technique of assembling zoning lots in this way would be used in other cases across the city and set a very dangerous precedent for the creation of unpredictable developments,” said Elizabeth Goldstein, president of the MAS. “The development is out of scale for what a reasonable citizen would expect to happen in that community based on the zoning resolution and the application of straightforward principles.” 

Paul Selver, partner at Kramer Levin, which is representing the developers, was quoted in the article as stating that “If the whole block was one zoning lot, you could still build the exact same building. The gerrymandering didn’t create this building; the fact that you have a superblock created the ability to build this building. And that superblock goes back to Robert Moses times.” 

According to Selver, the article continued "the origins of the oddly shaped lot go back to 1987, when then-owners of the neighboring Lincoln Towers complex pieced together plots of vacant land for the purpose of development, including portions of existing tax lots. In 2007, this zoning lot was merged with other tax lots to form a larger zoning lot that included the 200 Amsterdam parcel." 

Mr. Selver, the article continued, noted that 200 West End Avenue, 180 Amsterdam Avenue, and 160 Amsterdam Avenue were built right next to 200 Amsterdam on the gerrymandered lot, with work concluding as recently as 2013. “You didn’t hear anybody say a peep,” Selver said. “There was not a sound raised about gerrymandered zoning lots when people were building those buildings.” 

He also noted that the Board of Standards & Appeals upheld the building permit for the project after a two-year review. 

In a March 4, 2020 article by Josh Barbanel in the Wall Street Journal, Josh Barbanel wrote that New York City officials halted a judge's order in February that a developer stop construction and demolish much of a 55-story condominium tower in Manhattan. 

The ruling said the developer of the project known as 200 Amsterdam had to shrink the building because it violated the city's zoning code. 

Under the ruling, the building would have to shrink to less than 80,00 square feet and lose perhaps 40 stories in height, said George Janes, a zoning consultant, who worked with opponents of the project. 

The ruling sent shock waves through the real estate industry.  Developers worried it could spark challenges to other completed or nearly completed buildings where developers had already spent hundreds of millions of dollars.

Bottom Line

A striking, tall slab tower with many setbacks that culminate in a tall, glass crown with pronounced, illuminated piers at a central Upper West Side location.

Description

A handsome glass tower with an illuminated top and attractive metal spandrels with stone mid-sections in between broad stone piers. 

The top setbacks are spaced every four stories. 

The tower is setback on a two-story-high podium base with chevron grills framing the windows beneath a banded top and an inset entrance with an entrance marquee. 

The building has sidewalk landscaping.

Amenities

It has a doorman, concierge services, a fitness center with a 75-foot-long saltwater swimming pool, a golf simulator, a private dining room, a children's playroom, a Little Composers Room for Children, a live-in superintendent, a media room, storage and a package room.  It permits pets.

Apartments

Apartment 44 is a full-floor, four-bedroom unit with 4,672 square feet, a 17-foot-wide entry foyer, a 24-foot-wide living/dining room, a 20-foot-wide kitchen with an island and a 16-foot-wide study. 

Apartment 47 is a full-floor, three-bedroom unit with 3,933 square feet of interior space and 274 square feet in two balconies, a 40-foot-long living/dining room and a 20-foot-long kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 40A is a three-bedroom unit with 2,678 square feet with a 9-foot-wide entry foyer that leads to a 24-foot-long gallery, a 27-foot-long living/dining room and a 22-foot-long kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 40B is a three-bedroom unit with 2,453 square feet with an 11-foot-wide entry foyer that leads to a 17-foot-long gallery, a 30-foot-long living/dining room and a 17-foot-wide kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 25A is a two-bedroom unit with 2,092 square feet of interior space and 123 square feet of outdoor space, 17-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 23-foot-long living/dining room and a 17-foot-wide open kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 23A is a two-bedroom unit with 1,769 square feet, a 13-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 19-foot-long living/dining room and a 17-foot-wide open kitchen with an island. 

Apartment 11B is a two-bedroom unit with 1,812 square feet, a 12-foot-long entry foyer that leads to a 31-foot-long living/dining room and a 17-foot-long kitchen.

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