Construction lawsuit filed against condo tower

Many buildings are built in New York, New York, each year, and many of those have people who object to them. The reasons for those objections vary greatly. They include worries about added traffic and competition for parking places, to concern that the area is becoming too congested, to complaints that views are being obscured. All of those objections, and others, can lead to construction litigation.

A recent example of that is a lawsuit which seeks to stop the building of an Upper East Side condominium tower which is already in progress. The lawsuit, filed by a coalition of elected officials and community groups, alleges that the tower's developer exploited a loophole, resulting in a height and configuration for the tower that local residents had not expected and are not comfortable with.

The developer broke ground in April 2015 for the project. A year after that, community groups noticed, and complained about, an unusual aspect of the site's zoning. The developer had established a separate lot along East 88th Street, 22-foot by 4-foot, with the intention of altering the building to a shape that it considered to be more advantageous. That resulted in the city's Department of Buildings shutting down construction on the 32-story luxury condominium tower.

However, the developer changed the configuration, and that led to the Department of Buildings reversing their decision and letting construction proceed. The lawsuit accuses the Department of Buildings and the Board of Standards and Appeals of making an improper decision when they approved the restart of the construction.

A request to halt construction until the lawsuit is resolved was denied by a judge, according to a statement from the developer. That means that the building of the condominium tower, the 16th story of which is now in progress. Of course, those who oppose the ongoing building of the tower will continue to fight.

Source: Crain's New York Busines, "Community groups launch lawsuit to block in-progress Upper East Side tower," Joe Anuta, Feb. 09, 2018

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