The Real Deal New York

DDG exploiting zoning loophole for UES condo tower: Kallos

Council member says McMillan’s firm created 4-foot parcel to allow extra height
May 23, 2016 08:39AM

Rendering of 180 East 88th Street in Carnegie Hill and Councilman Ben Kallos

Rendering of 180 East 88th Street in Carnegie Hill and Councilman Ben Kallos

City Council Member Ben Kallos is accusing Joe McMillan’s DDG Partners of using a novel tactic to expand the size of its planned Upper East Side condo tower that Kallos says violates the spirit of the city’s zoning regulations.

The developer filed to alter the tax lot at 180 East 88th Street back in 2014, seeking to slice off a narrow, four-foot strip of the property. The change, which was eventually approved, allowed the developer to skirt requirements for buildings abutting the street, which in turn allowed DDG to build its planned tower a full 60 feet higher, opponents charge.

The “sole purpose” of the alteration, Kallos wrote in a letter to the city’s Department of Buildings, was “to frustrate the intent of the zoning resolution,” the New York Times reported.

DDG bought the site back in 2013 for around $70 million. In December of last year, the Attorney General approved DDG’s condo offering plan for the site, which called for a 32-story tower with 48 units, at a planned sellout of $308 million.

The Department of Buildings, which approved the alteration, is now reviewing that ruling.

“We are auditing this project for compliance with the city’s construction codes and zoning resolution,” a spokesperson, Alex Schnell, told the Times. “D.O.B. conducts thousands of such audits every year.”

DDG has contributed about $19,900 total to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s campaign for mayor and to the political nonprofit Campaign for One New York that adovocated for his policies, according to the Times. [NYT]Ariel Stulberg