Community board scorns Extell’s cantilever for West 57th tower

October 11, 2013 01:04PM

The local community board has rejected Extell Development’s plan to cantilever its 1,550-foot skyscraper at 217-225 West 57th Street above a landmarked art school.

Gary Barnett himself attended Thursday’s Community Board 5 meeting — along with a cadre of lawyers and consultants — to pitch his proposal to cantilever the building 291 feet above the Art Students League of New York.

“I know that there’s a big issue about the height and tall buildings being built around Central Park, but this is the wrong building to talk about that issue,” Barnett said at the meeting, the New York Observer reported. Both Extell and its anchor retail tenant Nordstrom have previously said that the cantilever is essential to allow for large, column-free space on the first five floors of the mixed-use tower.

However, the majority of the community board members shot down Barnett’s suggestion. “I don’t think Extell has been a good neighbor, it’s just taken me this long to wake up,” said Karen Pedrazzi, who had earlier voted in favor of the plan as a member of the board’s landmarks committee.

“We keep being asked to approve these small items without ever getting the bigger picture,” board member Ina Clark said, according to the Observer. “This is 50 percent taller than One57, the building that’s freaking us out with crane incidents.”

Donna Gargano, a senior vice presdient of development at Extell, declined to comment to the Observer following the vote. [NYO]Hiten Samtani