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Judge Throws Out Plans for New Residential Skyscraper on Manhattan's Upper West Side

A residential skyscraper proposed for Manhattan's Upper West Side included a mechanical void that predated new rules in the city prohibiting the height-enhancing building practice. A judge still rejected the project as planned.
October 1, 2020, 5am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Felix Lipov

"A Manhattan state Supreme Court judge has rescinded a city permit for a hotly contested plan to build a 775-feet-tall luxury condo tower on the Upper West Side, arguing it defied zoning rules and common logic," reports Elizabeth Kim of the fate of the proposed 50 West 66th Street.

Judge Arthur Engoron issued the ruling in a case brought by City Club of New York against developer Extell. The building was planned to become the tallest on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The ruling came down to the building's use of mechanical voids to raise the height of the building, which is an issue of no small amount of controversy in New York City.

"All together, the proposed mechanical void space in the Extell building was to have totaled 198 feet in height, almost half the length of a football field, thereby giving it mega-skyscraper status," writes Kim. Developers on Manhattan's Billionaire's Row use mechanical voids to achieve scenic views, and raise sale prices on units benefitting from the lift.

More details on the specific circumstances that contributed to this litigation, and the judge's ruling, are included in the source article.

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Published on Sunday, September 27, 2020 in Gothamist
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