Category: Uncategorized


By Team ERFA,

10 April 2018

Dear All,

An expression of tremendous gratitude goes out to our many committed ERFA members for attending today’s hearing at the Board of Standards & Appeals. While the downtown early morning was gray and misty, the sky began to clear many hours later when the hearing adjourned.

If you attended the hearing and were able to testify, please know that the registered impact of that was powerful. Whether your speech was a simple, “I live in the neighborhood and I am opposed to this megatower,” or a more extended explanation, there is no question that our steadfast commitment to protecting the East River Fifties is now well documented with this government agency.

Importantly, if you attended the hearing and were unable to stay due to time constraints, we remain grateful for your effort and your presence.


Hon. Chair Margery Perlmutter

Board of Standards & Appeals
250 Broadway, 29th floor
New York, NY 10007 

Also, your names as participating speakers was registered with the BSA upon sign in. That long list of people who wished to speak, plus the very presence of so many other members of our community, made a vivid impression on the commissioners.

Finally, our next hearing date has been set for the 19th of June. Please stay tuned for further information regarding upcoming ERFA meetings, and again, many thanks for your commitment and passion on behalf of the neighborhood we all know and love.

All best wishes,


ERFA leadership Team

Please help fund this effort by making a donation today.

Special ERFA Town Hall — April 5 @ Morso

By Team ERFA,

Hear Ye! Hear Ye!




WHEN: Thursday morning, APRIL 5TH, 8 AM

WHERE: Morso Restaurant @ 420 East 59th Street
WHAT: This essential meeting will dive into the details of the upcoming BSA hearing scheduled for the 10th of April and YOUR critical participation.
WHY:  The developer of the 58th Street construction site has applied to the BSA to be “grandfathered” under the old zoning. If the BSA approves the application, the developer would have permission to construct the megatower. It is critical for us to show the BSA that the community objects to granting the approval.
Hearing at the Board of Standards & Appeals re:  Sutton 58 Building Permit Renewal Application
22 Reade Street
10 April 2018

9:30 AM

Seating is Limited

All supportive ERFA attendees shall be heard.

Bus transportation c/o ERFA will be provided on a first come, first served basis leaving at 8:15 AM on the morning of April 10th, sharp.

Please consider lending your seat to the elderly or disabled and consider public transportation.

Unable to attend?: 

Please send a letter to Chairman Margery Perlmutter of the Board of Standards & Appeals that states your belief that they must NOTmake an exception for the East 58th Street megatower known as “Sutton 58,” or 430 East 58th Street. The new, legislated, and protective zoning was voted on and intended for the whole of this neighborhood and community without deviation.

Address it to: 

Hon. Margery Perlmutter, Chair
NYC Board of Standards and Appeals
250 Broadway, 29th floor
New York, NY 10007

Update From ERFA President, Alan Kersh

By Team ERFA,

As you know, ERFA was successful in its years-long effort to secure rezoning for this neighborhood to protect it from out-of-scale development.  As we reported in early December, despite this victory we believed that Gamma Real Estate would continue its efforts to develop the 58th Street site (at 430 East 58th) according to its original plans with an appeal to the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).  That is exactly what is happening.

I’m writing to tell you that the fight is not over, to brief you on what ERFA is doing, and how you can help.


Status update

When the zoning law was changed on November 30th, the 430 East 58th Street site came under that new law.  Gamma Real Estate’s construction permit automatically lapsed because the building plan that Gamma had submitted to the NYC Department of Buildings (DOB) for approval did not comport with the new zoning. Accordingly, the DOB immediately issued a Stop Work Order (SWO) for construction at that site. The net result:  the new applicable law means that Gamma could not move forward with construction of the supertall tower it had planned unless and until it receives approval from the Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA).

ERFA has learned that Gamma has filed an appeal with BSA. Because Gamma had commenced construction of the building’s foundation before the new zoning law was adopted, it is eligible to seek “grandfather” status for the project – i.e., the right to construct a building in accordance with the plans it submitted to DOB before the zoning change.  While we do not yet know the details of Gamma’s presentation, we are aware that in considering such applications for grandfathering one of the main factors BSA considers is whether “substantial progress” was made on the foundation prior to the zoning change.  ERFA expects that the amount of work that was done on the foundation prior to November 30th (not after that date) will be an important focus for BSA.

ERFA was surprised to learn last week that despite the zoning change the DOB has partially rescinded its SWO and has given Gamma permission to perform additional work on the 58th Street building’s foundation.  In response to questions, DOB explained to Councilmember Ben Kallos that the additional work was authorized in order to stabilize the buildings next to the construction site, but that the new foundation work was unlikely to help Gamma with its BSA appeal.

Gamma’s BSA appeal has just begun and is at a very early stage. In evaluating requests for grandfathering, BSA generally requires a great deal of information to be provided by the applicant and conducts public hearings before making a decision.  ERFA will be a very strong voice for this neighborhood in opposition to BSA approval of Gamma’s request.


What ERFA is doing

Construction Site: ERFA continues to question DOB why/how the new work can be justified.  DOB has said that its expects the stabilization work to take four weeks. The four-week projected timeframe seems inconsistent with public statements that Jonathan Kalikow, representing Gamma, made at the time the zoning was changed.

ERFA’s consulting engineer has viewed the site, and ERFA continues to monitor and document construction efforts. If you have pictures, please send them to  Please make sure that we have the date and time of the photograph, as well as the location the photograph was taken.  These photos will help us to demonstrate the amount of work that was done on the foundation after November 30th.

BSA Appeal:  ERFA is not giving up and will fight Gamma as it goes through the process of seeking grandfather status for its construction project on East 58th Street. To that end, ERFA has hired a new legal team which specializes in BSA appeals.  At this point, the time estimate for the process is believed to be four to six months.


What You Can Do

ERFA will schedule a Town Hall in January to update everyone on where we are.  Come and show your continued support to fight this fight. We can also come to your building if you are interested in gathering with your neighbors.  Inquiries should go to We will send a notice out shortly with the date, time and location.  Stay tuned.

Keeping this fight going will take resources.  ERFA needs your financial support and will be embarking on a new fundraising campaign in the new year.  You can make a contribution, however, at any time. To donate now, please click here.

This fight can be successful only if we have your support. You’ve helped the community get this far; we need you again and to the end.

If you are affected by the continued construction on East 58th Street, contact DOB if you feel the work is outside of the permit – e.g. after hours, unsafe conditions, etc.  As always, we do not encourage spurious complaints. Use the online form or call 311.  If you call 311, please get a complaint number and send it to

As we approach the end of this year, and look to 2018 and to a successful end to this long hard-fought battle, we thank all of our friends across the city and neighbors closer to home for joining us in ensuring the quality of life in this neighborhood.

We knew this would be a long and hard fight.  And, we knew that if we stuck together, we would prevail.  We are – and we will.  Stay with us.  Support ERFA today.

With best wishes for the new year,


Alan Kersh

President, East River Fifties Alliance


ERFA Town Hall @ Morso — August 10th @ 8 a.m.

By Team ERFA,

Thursday, August 10, 2017 8:00 a.m.
Please join us on Thursday this week to hear an update on our community rezoning application.

Co-applicant Gale Brewer, Manhattan Borough President, and representatives from co-applicants Dan Garodnick, Ben Kallos, and Liz Krueger will be in attendance.

We know many of you are deeply concerned about the active construction site on east 58th Street. For those of you most affected by the construction, we’ll tell you what you can do if you are concerned about public safety issues or to fight against the after hours variances that the Department of Buildings has been granting.  In the meantime, for those affected, call 311 or log your complaint here.