City Planning critical of community group’s fight against Gamma’s UES tower

Group wants to cap heights to under 300 feet tall

<em>3 Sutton Place (inset: N. Richard Kalikow)</em>
3 Sutton Place (inset: N. Richard Kalikow)

The Department of City Planning is not yet on board with a community group’s proposal to chop the height of Gamma Real Estate’s proposed Upper East Side tower by more than half.

The East River 50s Alliance submitted a revised application to the department, seeking to limit the height of 3 Sutton Place to between 210 and 260 feet tall, Politico reported. The developer’s plans call for a 700-foot-tall residential tower.

The group, which initially filed an application last year, wants to apply the city’s voluntary inclusionary housing program to the tower as well as its surrounding neighborhood — an area bounded by East 51st and 59th streets and First Avenue and Sutton Place.

City Planning’s Bob Tuttle noted that many of the buildings in the area wouldn’t comply with the proposed zoning change.

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“This proposal would reduce the amount of housing that could be built in the area, based on unduly restrictive limits on heights. Such actions would contribute to exacerbating the shortage in the supply of housing,” he wrote.

Officials told Politico that this is the first time in recent memory that a group of residents has proposed changing the city’s zoning regulations to target one development.

For its part, Gamma [TRDataCustom] has accused the group of pursuing the change out of self-interest, saying many of the members are residents of a nearby high-rise, the Sovereign, and are just trying to protect their views. Gamma purchased the property at the end of last year through foreclosure.  [Politico]Kathryn Brenzel