UPDATED: March 24, 3:30 p.m.: Ceruzzi Properties called off plans to visit with angry locals over its Upper East Side condominium project just an hour before the meeting began.
Community Board 8 invited the developer to explain an agreement it quietly made with the MTA to move the 86th Street subway stop stairwell located at the base of its planned 18-story apartment building at 147 East 86th Street.
A representative of Ceruzzi told the group it didn’t have enough information to present, DNAinfo reported.
“We are long-time members of the Upper East Side community and we committed to enhancing the neighborhood’s transportation needs.” said Ceruzzi boss Louis Ceruzzi in a statement. “We are working closely with the MTA and voluntarily investing in sidewalk improvements and the addition of an ADA-compliant elevator. I have owned Sfoglia restaurant for 15 years, own Via Quadronno restaurant and purchased and redeveloped the Elaine’s site on Second Avenue. We are happy to make a presentation to the Community Board at the appropriate time.”
The developer filed plans last month, along with partners Kuafu Properties and Stillman Development, to build a 63-unit, 210,000-square-foot building at the site, with retail at the base.
The building will sit atop the Lexington Avenue station, and part of the plan involved rebuilding that station’s entrance.
“I am totally shocked that a developer comes into a community and doesn’t think they have to be transparent and involve the community,” Elaine Walsh, president of the East 86th Street Association, told DNAinfo.
The partners paid $33 million for a 99-year ground lease on the property in late 2013, and bought the adjacent building at 151 East 86th Street for $85.5 million in 2014.
“The project will yield some positive benefits for our customers,” Kevin Ortiz, a spokesperson for the MTA, told the news service. “Wider stairs will greatly improve egress and the elevator will provide ADA access for uptown customers.” [DNAinfo] – Ariel Stulberg
A statement from Louis Ceruzzi was appended.