On the Upper West Side, a Rare Win for Tenants

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The combined buildings, with the addition. Photo: Image: MasseyKnakal.com

Score one for the renters: Über-developer Kent Swig has hit a major snag in his plans to add a nine-story condo atop 201 West 92nd Street and 200 West 93rd Street, two adjoining six-story rental buildings he owns along Amsterdam Avenue on the Upper West Side. The Department of Buildings has issued an immediate stop-work order on the project and is said to be revoking a previously greenlit application for construction.

Tenants, worried of the dangers of such seemingly unconventional structural work, especially while they were still living in the building, banded together to fight Swig and his partners, hammering at them relentlessly on the issues of safety and legality and recruiting lawmakers for help. "We have stopped the developer in his tracks," declared Linda B. Rosenthal, the New York state assembly member who helped tenants battle Swig. "There needs to be a new way to look at these types of projects. They're changing the neighborhood." It's unclear what Swig's next move is, though the combined building has been listed with real-estate brokerage firm Massey Knakal for $90 million. (Rumor is the price has been reduced.) A rendering included with the Web listing still includes the addition. Swig was unreachable for comment. —S. Jhoanna Robledo

UPDATE: The DOB has issued a statement. "The developer has submitted an amended plan and we've revoked the initial approval. That said, we're reviewing the new plans and there are several outstanding objections they have to address before we can issue a permit. We have been working closely with the community and the developer to address concerns about the project."