All 52 Stories at 200 Amsterdam Remain: An Important Ruling for New York City Developers

September 21, 2021 – Herrick News
Herrick, Feinstein LLP

Herrick is thrilled to announce that its developer clients recently achieved a significant victory in a high-profile, multi-year dispute over the approximately $1 billion dollar development at 200 Amsterdam—an important ruling for both our clients and developers throughout New York City.

Herrick represented SJP Properties and Mitsui Fudosan America as co-counsel in the zoning litigation involving their development of the luxury high rise 200 Amsterdam. A neighborhood coalition of Upper West Side residents and politicians had challenged the N.Y.C. Department of Building's approval of the project and two approvals by the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals. The community groups argued that the developers created an illegal zoning lot - which was an unusual shape and utilized partial tax lots. They argued that use of partial tax lots to create a zoning lot was improper and if the building were allowed to stand at its full height, the precedent would allow developers to flout the intent of zoning laws. Supporters, however, warned that if the courts ruled against 200 Amsterdam it would have a major effect on the confidence of developers, lenders and investors to move forward with projects that received building permits.

In 2020, even though a N.Y.S. trial judge previously denied an injunction and held that the opponents failed to show a likelihood of success, the judge thereafter ordered that our clients deconstruct several floors of the already built same 52-story building. In March 2021, the N.Y.S. Appellate Division unanimously reversed and ruled in favor of the developers, finding that the building permit was lawful and that the trial court should have deferred to the N.Y.C. Board of Appeals. Opponents sought leave to appeal to the N.Y. Court of Appeals.

On September 9, 2021, the N.Y. Court of Appeals denied the opposition group’s motion for leave to appeal. The SJP Chairman and CEO was quoted saying, “Today’s decision by the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court in New York, to deny leave to appeal definitively ends the unwarranted legal challenges against 200 Amsterdam. This decision confirms the Appellate Division’s recent unanimous ruling that 200 Amsterdam’s building permits are lawful and properly issued.”

Herrick is honored to have partnered with SJP Properties, Mitsui Fudosan America and our co-counsel to achieve this significant victory.

Please see below for recent media coverage on this matter.

Media Coverage:

•  New York Law JournalNew York’s Highest Court Refuses to Hear Appeal in UWS Building ‘Haircut’ Case, Allowing All 52 Stories to Stand

•  Real Estate WeeklyYears long battle over 200 Amsterdam ends with win for developer

•  Commercial ObserverLatest NY Court Ruling Clears 200 Amsterdam to Open for Residents

•  The Real DealSJP claims final victory in 200 Amsterdam fight

•  Patch New YorkControversial UWS Tower Wins Final Battle In 200 Amsterdam Feud

•  YIMBY200 Amsterdam’s Building Permits Upheld In Victorious New York Court Of Appeals Ruling

•  ArchinectJudge issues final ruling on challenge that would have cut down 200 Amsterdam

•  West Side RagMonday Bulletin – Construction Advances

For any legal questions relating hereto, you may contact Scott Mollen at [email protected] or +1 212 592 1505.