The news was — how shall we put it? — modestly optimistic. Every table at Morso Restaurant was taken this morning as the East River Fifties Alliance (ERFA) updated neighbors on the fight to stop a 90-story(!) tower planned for the middle of East 58th Street, between First Avenue and Sutton Place.
The good news is that at ERFA’s prompting, the city might consider a height limit in a residential area that has currently has none. Midtown East was last zoned in 1961. ERFA’s proposed zoning plan is being read.
The not-so-good news is that the city doesn’t seem to think that 60 stories is too high.
ERFA president, Alan Kersh, provided some context, noting that urban planners deem the ideal height limit for this neighborhood at 15 to 18 stories. That would be R10A zoning.
The city is starting to acknowledge that a megatower may not be appropriate in a purely residential neighborhood.
The semi-good news is that the builder, Bauhouse Group, has filed for bankruptcy. The danger isn’t gone, but as long as there’s a bankruptcy proceeding, the property can’t be auctioned to another developer.
More reading on the subject:
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