The zoning lot tricks that made Mitsui Fudosan, SJP’s 51-story UWS project possible

Developers benefit from the drawing of creative geographical boundaries

Rendering of 200 Amsterdam Avenue
Rendering of 200 Amsterdam Avenue

Politicians aren’t the only people who gerrymander. Developers are also embracing the practice of drawing creative geographical boundaries to fit their interests, as the example of one Upper West Side zoning lot shows.

Mitsui Fudosan and SJP Properties are able to build a 668-foot-tall condo tower at Amsterdam Avenue and 69th Street because its zoning lot covers several separate parcels connected by thin slivers of land, Crain’s reported.

The site’s previous owners expanded the zoning lot to more than 100,000 square feet by buying air rights from nearby properties. The planned tower’s actual physical footprint, in contrast, will be a mere 10,800 square feet.

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“Whoever thought this up is very creative,” planning consultant George Janes told Crain’s.

SJP and Mitsui Fudosan bought the parcel at 200 Amsterdam Avenue for $275 million in 2015 and filed plans for a 51-story, 112-unit tower a year later. [Crain’s] — Konrad Putzier