UES luxury apartment tower faces fine for locking locals out of playground

March 15, 2012 11:00AM

High-rise apartment tower the Camargue faces fines for failing to provide access to a privately-owned public space that it built in an exchange for additional air rights, DNAinfo reported.

Neighbors of the luxury apartments, located at 303 East 83rd Street, at Second Avenue, complained Feb. 21 to the Department of Buildings that a locked gate was preventing the community from accessing the playground. The Camargue’s original developers built the playground as a public space in order to receive a zoning variance to build higher than would normally be allowed in the area.

The DOB “did not find a [publicly accessible] space when they went out” to inspect the site, a spokesperson for the agency told DNAinfo. The Camargue will now have to go before an Environmental Control Board hearing, at which point they could face a fine, the spokesperson said. It was not clear when the hearing would be held.

Archstone-Smith, a national operator owned by Tishman Speyer and Lehman Brothers Holding Company, bought the building for $169 million in 2007,  according to published reports. [DNAinfo]