LANDMARK WEST! has been asking #isitsafe

and the FDNY has just answered: “No”.

Is the Dept. of Buildings listening?

When LW! first learned of the bait and switch at 50 West 66th Street – from a 292-foot, 25 story building to a 775-foot, 39 story building with just 127 apartments – we knew something was awry.  A closer look at the developer’s filing showed 215 feet of void, including a single 161-foot void floor equivalent to 16 stories!  We raised the alarm.

Our initial DOB challenge lit the fuse towards an eventual Notice Intent to Revoke letter. We also pressed to get the behemoth building’s plan in front of the FDNY, arguing that the voids complicated emergency response.

The FDNY, which generally inspects buildings prior to issuing a Certificate of Occupancy, did a review of the plans shortly thereafter and identified concerns before construction even began.

In response, the developer reconfigured the design and broke up the massive voids, but in a master class on missing the point, actually expanded their cumulative void space from 215 feet (21 stories) to 239 feet (nearly 24 Stories)!

The FDNY offered these incendiary words in a letter supporting state action to curb excessive voids:
“…placing building equipment on random void space floors moves known fire hazards within a building to areas…where such equipment is not generally located, thereby increasing the life safety risks to tenants and Firefighters.”
“…we strongly oppose construction methods that are inherently dangerous that for no valid reason increase the threat to the lives of the public and our members. For that reason, we strongly support [emphasis added] this bill, which would prohibit the creation of these dangerous phantom floors within buildings in New York.”
We couldn’t agree more!  (Read the full MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT letter written by The Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater NY aka Local 94, the union representing New York City Firefighters.)
Bill A5026/S3820, sponsored by Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal and Senator Robert Jackson, would use the state’s Multiple Dwelling Law to address excessive void spaces by better regulating building bulk. This bill will complement the work begun via the recent Zoning Text Amendment from the Department of City Planning and spearheaded by our City Council Members, but it must be heard by the close of session on June 19th if it is to pass.
Please call Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie and urge him to bring this important bill to a vote!  Remind him safety and common sense are at stake!

518-455-3791 (Albany)

718-654-6539 (District)

Sound the Alarm Against Voids!
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