Design firm Snohetta has proposed a 39-story residential development of 775 feet-the equivalent of a 77-story midtown office tower on the Central Park block of West 66th Street. If built according to plan, the through-block site will feature a shorter construction on the 65th Street side which will replace the former Jewish Guild for the Blind and house the relocated Congregation Habonim.
This site is a combination of several different parcels:
- 36, 38 and 40 West 66th Street: former residences turned office buildings in 1962, these were previously used for set props and storage by ABC. In 1982, a feasibility study was done for a previously proposed 38-story residential tower designed by Arthur May under A. Eugene Kohn of KPF for the Reliance Development Company. (Demolished 2017)
- 44 West 66th Street: the former Congregation Habonim Synagogue, by Stanley Prowler and Frank Faillance (1956-57, demolished 2017).
- 15 West 65th Street: Jewish Guild Healthcare Building aka Lighthouse Guild aka Estelle R. Newman City Center, by Matthew J. Warshauer (1971, demolished 2018).
plus the air rights from 56 West 66th Street, the individually landmarked, former First Battery Armory, by Horgan & Slattery (1900-03).
When The Real Deal first reported a sale on August 28, 2014, LW! began studies of what could be feasible on that site. Once reports of the acquisition of the synagogue site were confirmed, the available Floor Area Ratio (FAR) significantly increased. It was surprising, then, that permits filed in late November 2015 featured only a relatively modest 25-story residential development of approximately 250 feet. The developer’s current proposal is now more than three times as tall with 14 additional floors. In all, it will reportedly house 127 apartments.
The site straddles two zoning districts: the south side of the block falls within the R-8 zoning district, while the northern portion of the site is C4-7 which has an R-10 equivalent. This site is completely within the Lincoln Square Special Purpose District. There are no contextual zoning height limitations, and this development is being filed as-of-right, which means there are no requirements for community board input.
Manhattan Community Board 7 has issued a resolution pertaining to this development along with the proposed tower at 200 Amsterdam Avenue. Read the CB7 Resolution for Amending the Zoning Regulations to address oversight of tall buildings.
Read an additional statement on Central Dark
Read through our blog updates below for more history on this critical zoning matter.
LANDMARK WEST! has taken action to send letters to Mayor Bill de Blasio, Comptroller Scott Stringer, and Attorney General Eric Schneiderman calling their attention to deficiencies in the NYC Department of Buildings approval of the skyscraper planned for 200 Amsterdam...read more
THE PROBLEM Towers soaring to 600 feet and more are creeping beyond Midtown Manhattan into residential neighborhoods like the Upper West Side, threatening the balance between preservation and development that makes communities like ours so beautiful, livable, and...read more
On April 19, 2017 – the 52nd anniversary to the day of the official signing of New York’s pioneering Landmarks Law of 1965 – LW! President Kate Wood gave a talk to nearly 200 members of the National Arts Club and guests on the past, present, and future of landmarks...read more
POSTPONED DUE TO OVERWHELMING PUBLIC INTEREST! Please stay tuned - the meeting will be rescheduled and held in a larger venue. On Wednesday, January 18, starting at 7pm in the CB7 office at 250 West 87th Street, Community Board 7 will once again take up the issue of...read more
DOWNLOAD the new printable CENTRAL dARK flyer HERE Will Central Park Become CENTRAL dARK? A supertall tower could rise on West 66th Street casting shadows on residential blocks, landmark designated buildings, and Central Park. Leading this assault on our public assets...read more
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