Through the 1980’s and 1990’s a popular cereal brand famously compared the vitamins and minerals in their one bowl of cereal to how many bowls of a competing
brand one would have to consume. Under the tagline “one bowl, one hundred percent” the public was encouraged to eat less cereal, as long as it was just their brand.   

As towering stacks of Grape Nuts, Raisin Bran and Corn Flakes rise in the memory, there is an odd parallel in our over-consumption of 2019.
LANDMARK WEST! is filing our last set of papers at the Board of Standards and Appeals tomorrow in the fight against 50 West 66th Street.
In this instance, the developer uses not one bowl, but apparently needs just one piece of mechanical equipment to justify a 100% floor deduction.  Thus,
one loophole, one hundred percent
In the entire building, this loophole applies to for over 47,000 square feet of floor area, and accounts for over 239-feet of vertical rise.
On the 17th floor alone, there is a boiler room, of 3,289 square feet–equivalent to a McMansion. This space includes 5 boilers.  The total area of all equipment and pads in the room is 307 square feet–the size of a Micro unit.  Even if one considers the total boiler area outlined on the plans, that is only 1,500 square feet–equal in size to a Levittown home.  The remainder of the room could fit a second Levittown home with room to spare!
Why isn’t this flagged by the Department of Buildings (DOB)? On record at the hearing, DOB counsel Felicia Miller acknowledged their plan examiners don’t check! (starting at 1:04)
Other similar comparisons exist on the 64-foot high 17th floor.  They also exist on the 64-foot high 18th floor, the 48-foot high 19th floor and even on the 22-foot high 15th floor–all are labeled as mechanical floors and all are fully deducted by the developer.
The insertion of one single piece of mechanical equipment means the developer doesn’t need to count stairs or elevators through that space against their floor area as they would on every other floor.  On its face, this building fails reasonable definitions of mechanical floor.
No informed, reasonable individual wants to eat four bowls of All Bran or ten bowls of Shredded Wheat, when they can achieve the same nutrition with one bowl of Total.
Likewise, no neighborhood wants shadows crossing the park, no first responder wants to face an additional 198-feet to climb in an emergency and no informed, reasonable individual wants this unnecessary excess on their block.
SEE YOU ON TUESDAY January 28th!

Share This