More and More Questions Raised About Congregation Shearith Israel's Condo Tower Plan

Congratulations, neighbors! The community made a strong showing on Tuesday, November 27, at the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA), during the first of what may be several more public hearings concerning Congregation Shearith Israel’s (CSI’s) application to construct a 9-story, 105′-tall community house with 5 floors of luxury condominiums stacked on top. Don’t let up the pressure! Please plan on attending Community Board 7’s full board meeting on Tuesday, December 4, starting at 7:00 PM at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, 1000 Tenth Avenue (West 58-59th Streets). The full board will vote on the resolution passed by CB7’s Land Use Committee on November 19 rejecting 4 out of 7 zoning variances requested by CSI. Your continued vigilance and support is crucial to help seal this victory against the tower plan.

Here’s what happened at the BSA: No vote was taken but CSI received the clear signal that its desire to “monetize” its real estate is not, in and of itself, an acceptable basis for the 7 zoning variances needed to build a tower on the brownstone midblock of West 70th Street. The matter was adjourned until February 12, 2008, after BSA Chair Meenakshi Srinivasan informed CSI’s attorney Shelly Friedman that CSI has “a lot of work to do.”

And so do we. We’re ahead of the game and must continue to push hard. Every ally is important, but our elected officials are especially key. Senator Thomas Duane and Assemblyman Richard Gottfried both came out strongly against CSI’s tower plan (their statements are posted at But where are Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Council Member Gale Brewer? Reach out to them! Tell them your position and ask them to tell you where they stand on this vital community issue. (Contact information provided below.)

Don’t forget: The best way to communicate your concern to the BSA is by completing the attached “objection form” (notarization is not necessary, just fax it to 212-875-0209 and we’ll make sure it goes on record at BSA). Stay tuned to for the full BSA transcript and more information on the fight!

Urge Borough President Stringer and Council Member Brewer to state their positions:

Hon. Scott R. Stringer
Manhattan Borough President
1 Centre Street, 19th Floor
New York, NY 10007
P: 212-669-8300
F: 212-669-4900
Email: [email protected]

Hon. Gale A. Brewer
New York City Council Member
563 Columbus Avenue
New York, NY 10024
P: 212-873-0282
F: 212-513-7717
Email: [email protected]

Contact them today!

Posted Under: Institutional Expansion, Synagogues, Tower, Upper West Side

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