Appeals Court Overturns Verdicts that Blocked Two Bridges Towers

Posted on: February 17th, 2021 at 5:00 am by

The future coastline, Photo: SHoP Architects

The years-long battle to erect enormous skyscrapers along the Two Bridges waterfront is edging closer to victory.

In its decision, the Appellate Court yesterday sided with the city/developers in two related community-based lawsuits, reversing the February 2020 decision that halted construction of four new towers along the coastline. (The court hearing was two weeks ago.)

The news follows just a few months after the Appellate Court overturned a similar lawsuit brought forth by City Council that would have forced developers into the public land-use process.

“We are disappointed that the Appellate Court overturns the community’s victory by connecting it to the City Council’s case, which does not address the City’s violation of zoning law,” reads a statement from Lower East Side Organized Neighbors (LESON), a consortium of local community groups. “But we are not discouraged in our fight against the four luxury towers in Two Bridges.”

You’ll recall that LESON filed their lawsuit in March 2019 to reverse the City’s approval of four new towers along the coast. A year later, State Supreme Court Judge Arthur Engoron, who presided over the case, ruled in favor of the community, and found that the slate of skyscrapers stood in direct contradiction to the underlying Two Bridges Large Scale Residential Development zoning.

Here is what could likely happen…

JDS and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council propose a 1,008-foot rental building that cantilevers over a senior center, designed by SHoP Architects (247 Cherry Street); L+M and CIM propose a 798 and 728-foot tower beast in the parking lot behind Lands End II, designed by Handel Architects (260 South Street); and Starrett plans a 724-foot tower, designed by Perkins Eastman (259 Clinton Street).

“We applaud the court’s decision, which confirms what we’ve said all along: these projects were lawfully approved and comply with zoning that’s been in place for more than 30 years,” a spokesman for the developers tells us. “Private investments in affordable housing and essential community infrastructure are critical as the city emerges from the pandemic, and these projects will deliver a range of meaningful and lasting benefits for the Two Bridges neighborhood, including one of Manhattan’s largest infusions of new affordable housing in decades.”  

Below is a copy of the judgement, which is not yet posted publicly.

Appellate Ruling Two Bridges Waterfront by BoweryBoogie on Scribd

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