Update from ERFA Leadership Committee

Dear Friends of ERFA,

We’ve won the battle but we have not won the war….yet!

As many of you know, we had a very successful evening Town Hall meeting in February. For those that missed it, here is a summary of the current facts and status surrounding our rezoning:
  • The New York City Council approved the rezoning of the East River Fifties on November 30, 2017.
  • The new zoning requires buildings constructed in the East River Fifties to comply with “tower-on-a-base” requirements.
  • The megatower that Gamma Real Estate had planned to construct at the 430 E. 58th Street site would not comply with the new zoning. Since the foundation that Gamma had been constructing at that site was based on plans for a megatower which Gamma had filed with the DOB, the DOB issued a stop work order to halt construction of the building’s foundation.
  • Gamma obtained a partial lifting of the stop work order on the theory that additional work on the foundation was necessary to stabilize the site and thus prevent potential damage to the buildings on either side. That’s why residents of our neighborhood saw construction work taking place during December and January.
  • At this point, ALL construction at the site has been halted. Gamma will not be able to construct the megatower it had planned unless it receives approval to do from the Board of Standards and Appeals (“BSA”).
  • Gamma has submitted an appeal to the BSA to allow it to proceed with its planned construction.
  • ERFA has retained Michael Hiller, Esq., to oppose the BSA’s granting of such approval.
  • Mr. Hiller made a presentation at the Feb. 8th Town Hall explaining why he believes ERFA can win this fight and further emphasized that Gamma’s work on the foundation, occurring many weeks after the rezoning, will have no effect on the BSA decision.
  • The BSA will hold one or more hearings during the next few months. ERFA supporters will be encouraged to attend.
  • Timing: The BSA will most likely make a decision on Gamma’s appeal during or after the summer of 2018.
Notably, and in contrast to the nearly three previous years surrounding this re-zoning battle, the next few months are likely to be comparatively quiet.

That does not — and should not — suggest in any way that this battle is over.  On the contrary, we continue to work with our legal team on a daily basis and are in the process of building other associations and hiring experts that will provide us with the necessary insight and counsel to reach our goal.

We will inform you of any breaking news and will request your presence at all appropriate legal hearings that will benefit from your attendance. Stand by for those details in the coming weeks.

How can you help?
Our mission to finish this battle and truly “win the war” for contextual development in the East River Fifties continues to rely on your generosity. To persevere on behalf of the East River Fifties neighborhood, we hope we can depend on you to donate whatever you can. Please join the many who have given to this cause at the level that is most comfortable for you and reflects your commitment to the quality of life in this neighborhood.

And, if you’ve already given, please give again. Many of you have done just that — more than 60 individuals have given more than once to help us win this fight. That’s commitment! We hope you’ll join them and give generously.

Next ERFA meeting: March 8, 2018, Morso Restaurant, 8 am.

Many thanks for your support. We couldn’t have – and can’t – do it without you.

ERFA Leadership Committee
About ERFA
ERFA is a nonprofit 501(c)(4) corporation which represents 45 member buildings, represented by co-op boards, condo boards and individual owners, and over 2700 individual supporters living in more than 550 buildings within and beyond the rezoning area.

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