230 and 232-234 West 78 Street

Address: 230, 232-234 West 78 Street
Block: 1169
Lot: 45
Landmark Status: No


David Middleton, RA
Handel Architects
150 Varick Street
New York, NY 10013
(212) 595-4112


Summary of site plans and status

UPDATE: 3/31/08
The Department of Buildings sent a response to Council Member Brewer’s letter regarding after hours and weekend work, informing the Council Member that a Hold has been put on the issuance of After Hours Variances for the Linden78.
Council Member Gale A. Brewer wrote a letter to the Department of Buildings regarding her strong opposition to after hours and weekend work at the Linden78 construction site.
UPDATE: 12/7/07
Council Member Gale A. Brewer wrote a letter to City Planning Commission Chair Amanda Burden to bring attention to this type of developments that are out of scale and character to New York City neighborhoods. The following is quoted from the body of the letter sent to Chairwoman Burden:

I write to bring your attention to a new development planned for 230 West 78 Street (block 1169, lot 44), also known as the Linden78. The development falls within R10A equivalent zoning, restricting its maximum height to 210 feet. According to the self-certified New York City Department of Buildings application, the building has been designed to be 240 feet. Unless the development is building affordable housing and is subject to inclusionary zoning regulations, it appears that this building may be over the allowable height restrictions by 30 feet.

What is most troubling, however, is this development’s exploitation of current zoning regulations, specifically Section 12-10. Section 12-10, the “Lot, corner” definition, allows developers to erect towering, avenue height buildings (in this case, Broadway), virtually mid-block. In the case of 230 West 78 Street, the developer purchased its neighbor’s air rights to facilitate full “Lot, corner” development. The result of this purchase will be a 21-story building, with a significant portion cantilevering its neighbor. I write to you in full knowledge that the developer has in fact followed current building codes and zoning regulations, and by doing so was able to produce a building that towers over neighboring low-rise brownstones. My point is simple: zoning regulation Section 12-10 “Lot, corner” must be amended to prevent this type of situation from occurring again. My office opposes this type of development that is completely out of character, and more importantly, out of scale to the surrounding neighborhood.

The owner of 236 West 78 Street sold in 2007 their air rights to the above property. With these new air rights, the owner of 230 and 232-234 West 78 Street is now planning on building a 22-story building on this property. Through a zoning abnormality the developers are claiming this to be an “as of right” project, or one that does not require going through ULURP.


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