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Manhattan Community Group Resists 'Super Tower'

Plans for an 800-foot tower have attracted well-funded opposition from a community group. Its campaign to regulate the structure's height has spiraled into a big fight.
October 30, 2017, 1pm PDT | Philip Rojc | @PhilipRojc
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For Politico, Sally Goldenberg writes, "Rarely is [community] opposition so organized and well-funded that it succeeds in upending the plans of a developer who isn't even seeking city approval for a land use change."

But that's what's happening in Midtown Manhattan. "A community organization known as the East River Fifties Alliance is on the verge of blocking an 800-foot-tall tower planned for East 58th Street. [...] The alliance spent upward of $1 million on land use attorneys, lobbyists and consultants, some who had worked for the Department of City Planning in the past, to craft a proposal that wouldn't simply register displeasure with development but stop it dead in its tracks."

The alliance wants to regulate the building's height by "imposing a zoning regulation known as 'tower on a base.' If instituted, it would restrict the developer, Gamma Real Estate, to constructing roughly half the bulk of the structure below 150 feet."

Meanwhile, Mayor de Blasio has spoken out against a previous effort by the alliance to regulate the structure.

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Published on Wednesday, October 18, 2017 in Politico
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