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

Carter's View

Last Friday, the Department of Buildings revoked the building permit for the tower under construction at 303 East 51st Street where a crane crashed and killed seven people in March. Work had been been stopped at the site since the collapse.

A June 14, 2008 article by William Neuman and William K. Rashbaum in The New York Times said that "officials said that revised plans recently submitted by the developer did not resolve zoning violations that had led the city to question the project's status even before the crane accident on March 15."

"Residents in the area around the East 51st Street building where the crane crashed into the street had long complained about the planned 43-story tower," the article stated, adding "But it was not revealed publicly that the city also had reservations until after the accident when Patricia J. Lancaster, then the buildings commissioner, said that the project did not conform with zoning regulations and that it never should have received permission to be built as it was designed."

Ms. Lancaster would later resign because of the controversy.

"On May 20," the article continued, "the city sent the developer a letter, spelling out numerous ways that his plans did not meet zoning requirements, including problems with the configuration of the tower and how square footage was calculated. He submitted revisions, but the city said they were not enough to bring the building into compliance, which led officials to revoke the permit - an action rarely taken on high rise projects in Manhattan."

Work has been stopped at the building site, at 303 East 51st Street, between Second and First Avenues, since the collapse, and the decision to revoke the permit would require that the developer apply for a new permit or appeal the decision to the Board of Standards and Appeals.

Plans for the 117-unit condominium tower planned for 303 East 51st Street by Kennelly Development Company LLC, which is headed by James P. Kennelly, had been recently changed.

Initial plans called for the development site called for a 40-story building highlighted by pilasters but they were revised by architect Garrett Gourlay so that the tower would be 43 stories and clad in a "silvery" glass with many balconies, the fronts of which would be angled slightly differently to created not a fractured effect but one that adds a vertical dynamic to the facades.

Kennelly Development's other residential projects include Block Hall at 21-23 South William Street in the Financial District, a recent conversion of a Tudor Revival-style former club building, and the Sycamore at 250 East 30th Street, a recently completed new condo apartment building.
Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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