This attractive, beige-brick,
36-story apartment building was erected in 1975. It is a rental
and has 320 units.
The building has a two-story
travertine marble base, which contains a religious institution
and retail space, a concierge, a large lobby, a garage, a roof
deck, and discrete air-conditioners. It has no balconies, no sidewalk
landscaping and no health club.
This is a prime Upper West
Side location in the heart of the Lincoln Center for the Performing
Arts District. It has dramatic views of the center and its impressive
surroundings and is one block from Central Park.
Schuman Lichtenstein Claman
& Efron was the architectural firm for the project, which
contains a branch of the American Museum of Folk Art and the New
York offices of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There are many restaurants
nearby and excellent local shopping. There is excellent public
transportation and this lively area is architecturally interesting.
A May 11, 1983 article by
Martin Gottlieb in The New York Times reported that the
city's Board of Standards and Appeals unaminously revoked the
building's certificate of occupancy because it had "determined
that the building's owners had failed to properly complete a covered
"The city had granted
the builders permission to build 53,413 square feet - or at least
six floors - of extra rentable floor space in exchange for the
mall space, which was supposed to have benches and landscaping,
but which, the city said, had been used to dump garbage and occasionally
park a car. William Valletta, counsel to the board, and Barry
Cox, a spokesman for the City Buildings Department, said no one
they had spoken with could recall another case in which a certificate
of occupancy had been revoked from a large midtown building. The
certificate is the last document signed by the department before
a building is allowed to open. It certifies a structure has been
completed according to plans and meets building and fire codes.
Because a certificate is usually required in order to obtain a
mortgage and insurance, both officials said, there is a possibility
the eight-year-old building could face default and a cancellation
of its insurance. The city, Mr. Valletta said, could move to vacate
the building, because without a certificate 'legally, the right
to occupy that space will not exist.' Mr. Cox said there was legal
precedent for noncommercial tenants to withhold rent in buildings
without certificates. 'The certificate of occupancy,' Mr. Valletta
said, 'becomes self-enforcing. I don't know of any buildings where
an evacuation took place. Normally, what happens is that compliance
does come about.' Mr. Cox said that no evictions were contemplated
and that the owners would be able to discuss the next steps with
the city. Kenneth M. Block, a lawyer for the building's owner,
2 Lincoln Square Associates, said yesterday, 'We have to discuss
the situation with out clients before we can decide what action
to take.' The city had argued 2 Lincoln Square was in violation
of requirements of the Special Lincoln Square District established
in 1969. According to the requirements, city officials said, the
pedestrian space, from 65th to 66th Streets, did not have the
required landscaping, benches, opening hours and windows."
In a subsequent article, published February 5, 1984, Mr. Gottlieb
wrote that "a Sate Supreme Court justice has annulled a penalty
against a real-estate company that New York City had charged with
failing to complete and maintain a covered pedestrian mall in
an apartment and office building near Lincoln Center."
"The city had hoped
to use the penalty - the removal from a building of a crucial
operating document called a certificate of occupancy - in other
cases in which landlords have failed to maintain parks and plazas
built under special zoning regulations. The regulations have permitted
builders to erect thousands of square feet of extra floor space
in return for such open spaces. Ruling last week in Manhattan,
Justice Bruce Wright labeled the penalty 'out of all proportion
to the offense committed.'....While writing that 'no one can question
that part of the grand plan for 2 Lincoln Square went awry and
that the petitioner must bear some of the blame,' Justice Wright
described removal of the certificate as 'a wholesale discretionary
act that has the real potential for plunging petitioner into bankruptcy.'
City officials said they would appeal the decision."
the article continued, "suggested that the maximum appropriate
penalty would be the loss of the certificate of occupancy on the
53,413 square feet of bonus space received in exchange for the
mall, and he specified that none of the residential portion of
the building be considered part of the bonus space. The extra
space is the equivalent of about 6 residential floors, or more
than 50 apartments. He found that the building's owners had tried
to improve the mall and that they had corrected another violation
by closing down a private racquetball club in a space designated
for a nonprofit tennis club for building residents.