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Upper West Side council member promises to fight Snøhetta's 775-foot tower

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Helen Rosenthal has expressed her opposition to the neighborhood’s tallest planned tower

Via Snøhetta

Just a few days after Snøhetta unveiled its design for Extell’s Upper West Side tower at 50 West 66th Street, the City Council member representing the neighborhood has come out in opposition to the planned 775-foot tower.

Helen Rosenthal said the tower was “out of context for our neighborhood, and part of the creep of Midtown West into the heart of the Upper West Side,” according to a statement released by her office.

Concerns over Extell’s project have been brewing for some time now, according to The Real Deal. Local elected officials had been suspicious for a while that Extell might purchase air rights from the properties around their project to build a taller tower. Initially plans called for a 25-story, 250-foot building, but that has now soared to 775 feet.

“Extell has not provided enough information to determine the legality of this project,” said Rosenthal, in a statement. “But based on the information we do have, City Council land use staff believe that the zoning code simply does not permit a project of this height at this location.”

The Snøhetta tower is on the extreme right.
Binyan Studios

Extell hasn’t yet filed amended plans with the city’s Department of Buildings, but the sale of the air rights (worth $202 million!) from the nearby Jewish Guild for the Blind, and a Disney-owned property, closed on Monday, which means a tower of this scale is certainly possible.

If the tower is approved as planned, it will become the neighborhood’s tallest building, surpassing the planned 668-foot skyscraper at 200 Amsterdam Avenue. That project too faced stiff opposition from the local community, but was ultimately approved by the DOB to move forward.