The unusual element behind the local ire against the plans for 249 East 62nd Street is a hollowed-out mid-section, reserved for mechanical systems, that gives the upper 12 floors of the building significantly more height–and therefore views and prices–without exceeding permitted square footage allowances.
The de Blasio administration promised to review the code and consider whether to limit the floor height of mechanical voids in future.
A cadre of elected officials—including Powers, Council member Ben Kallos (who reps a neighboring district), Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and State Senator Liz Krueger—wrote to the DOB in February criticizing the non-mechanical void determination and demanded FDNY specialists be directed to evaluate the design for safety hazards.
“Until they have been demonstrated to be safe, novel designs such as vast void areas must be evaluated by the FDNY,” the letter reads. “Due to the nature of such different design elements and any review processes surrounding aspects of this size, we feel it is critical to involve the FDNY prior to the approval of such building plans.”