Community group pushes to cap Sutton Place building heights at 25 stories

The proposed downzoning would ban some commercial developments

TRD New York /
Apr.April 10, 2017 06:06 PM

View of Sutton Place over the East River (Credit: Getty Images)

A Sutton Place community group working to curb supertalls in the neighborhood has formally submitted a rezoning proposal to the Department of City Planning.

The East River 50s Alliance wants to prohibit all commercial development unless it is for “community uses,” and to limit all new development to around 25 stories, or 260 feet, DNAinfo reported. The area that would be affected by the proposed changes is the East 50s along the East river.

The area is zoned R10, according to the website, which means there is no limit on building heights. Under the new proposal, buildings’ floor-area ratio would go from 12 to 13. However, 20 percent of any new development would need to be put aside for below-market-rate housing.

The group began formulating plans for a downzoning after Joseph Beninati’s Bauhouse Group filed plans for a 950-foot tall tower at 426-432 East 58th Street, or 3 Sutton Place. However, in January, Beninati defaulted on the $147 million, high-interest loans and filed for bankruptcy. There was some suggestion the group’s plans could affect the price of the site at auction.

In December, the site’s new owner, Gamma Real Estate, officially submitted plans for a 844-foot residential tower.

The East River 50s Alliance represents 45 buildings and 1,900 people, according to the website. Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Council members Ben Kallos and Dan Garodnick support the proposal. Now that the application is with the city, the group said it expects the city to certify it within weeks, allowing the public review process to begin. [DNAinfo]Miriam Hall

(To view a selection of properties over 25 stories, click here)

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