Related faces opposition to 92nd Street tower

New York /
Jun.June 18, 2009 04:01 PM

A showing of over 100 Upper East Side residents yesterday and speeches made by politicians were a testament to the enormous community opposition the Related Companies faces over its residential tower proposal at 205 East 92nd Street.

Yesterday’s meeting resulted in Community Board 8’s vote to reject the developer’s application for a 421-a tax abatement, which would give it a tax break on the project’s market-rate condominium component, in return for inclusion of affordable rental units.

Residents hope Related will abandon its plans if it cannot get the tax exemption.

But when one resident asked Jesse Masyr, a land use attorney representing Related, at the meeting whether or not the building would be economically viable without the 421-a abatement, Masyr responded that it still would be.

Residents are also fighting to make Related, which aims to get rid of public space to make way for its new building, provide some kind of alternate space. They argued that the area’s families have long relied on the open space, called Ruppert Playground, for recreation.

Related purchased the parcel from the city in 1983, and under the city’s 1968 Ruppert Urban Renewal Project Plan, were required to maintain it as open space, available to the public, for a period of 25 years. This time commitment ended last June, and the developer has filed preliminary plans for a 40-story building in the park’s footprint.

The developer filed for the abatement in the past month, racing for approval ahead of a July 1 deadline, after which the abatements will be subject to a new, more restrictive set of rules.  

“We are seeking to file under the existing building code, and not have to contort ourselves to the new building code, which [Related, and] most developers still don’t understand,” Masyr said.

Borough President Scott Stringer spoke confidently to the crowd, saying, “I think there’s some negotiating room here.”

He pointed to Masyr’s statement that the project does not yet have an official timeline for construction.  

“The project is not slated for any kind of action today,” he said. “I want you to know that we, and the people at Related, are ready to pull up our sleeves and work for a solution.”

The project is expected to include 49 affordable rental units for families making 80 percent of the neighborhood’s area median income, 127 market-rate rental apartments and 66 market-rate condos, as well as amenities for residents.

Community outrage to the project first erupted in late April, when more than 200 community members gathered at the park to protest the development.

After the meeting, City Council member Daniel Garodnick told The Real Deal that talks to reach an agreement with Related have been informal up until this point, but he believes the extent to which area residents oppose the project will hold weight in the city’s bargaining power to be compensated for the loss of open space.

He said the legal counsel at his office was currently “looking at every legal, legislative policy hook we can to try to deal with this situation before it gets started.”


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Related's Jamar Adams and Steve Ross with 14-06 Gateway Boulevard (Credit: Getty Images and Google Maps)
Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways
Related is the latest developer to target the Rockaways
KKR's Henry Kravis and Meta's Mark Zuckerberg with 30 Hudson Yards (Getty, Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons)
KKR takes over Meta’s large 30 Hudson Yards office
KKR takes over Meta’s large 30 Hudson Yards office
From left: The Solaire in Battery Park City; Extell’s Brooklyn Point in downtown Brooklyn; the Skyline Tower in Long Island City; The Cortland NYC; Extell Development's Gary Barnett; Related Companies' Stephen Ross (Getty, Extell Development, Google Maps, Jim.henderson, CC BY-SA 4.0 - via Wikimedia Commons)
Brooklyn, Queens gain market share in wild year for new condo sales
Brooklyn, Queens gain market share in wild year for new condo sales
From left: TF Cornerstone’s Fred Elghanayan, Tishman Speyer’s Rob Speyer, and RXR's Scott Rechler (Getty, Tishman Speyer, RXR)
Here’s a look at the largest office projects coming to Manhattan
Here’s a look at the largest office projects coming to Manhattan
Related Companies' Steve Ross and Related Group's Jorge Perez (Getty)
Related-party transactions: Where do Ross and Pérez go from here?
Related-party transactions: Where do Ross and Pérez go from here?
Related Group's Jorge Pérez  and Related Companies' Stephen Ross
Watch: Related’s billionaires break up
Watch: Related’s billionaires break up
A photo illustration of Related Companies' Jeff Blau (Getty)
Related proposes 1,500-room resort in Hudson Yards casino bid
Related proposes 1,500-room resort in Hudson Yards casino bid
Related Companies' Stephen Ross and Related Group's Jorge Pérez (Getty; Illustration by Kevin Rebong for The Real Deal)
End of a Related era: Steve Ross confirms split with Jorge Pérez as firms expand in South Florida
End of a Related era: Steve Ross confirms split with Jorge Pérez as firms expand in South Florida
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...