Following reports earlier this week that developer DDG had carved out a four-foot lot in front of its planned tower on the Upper East Side to allow for a taller building, the city's Department of Buildings has now issued a stop work order on the project, the New York Times reports.
An audit conducted by the DOB revealed that the developer had created the four-foot lot, "for the sole purpose of avoiding a zoning lot requirement," according to documents the agency shared with the Times.
There were other problems too such as a planned exit on East 88th Street, and now the DOB has asked DDG to submit new plans for the project to move forward. At 521 feet, the building would have been one of the tallest on the Upper East Side. What's more, construction was already underway on the project, and several of the building's 48 condos are already on the market.
The issue came to light after increasing opposition from locals. The Times investigation into the development also revealed that DDG had contributed $19,900 to Mayor Bill de Blasio's political causes. The city had earlier approved the four-foot lot in front of the project, but the city has not been accused of any wrongdoing in regards to the condo.
"Developers and contractors are on notice," de Blasio told the Times. "When we see something that’s not right, we’ll take swift action to correct it."