William Walzer comments on 220 Amsterdam Avenue and the Minkin Memo

William Walzer comments on 220 Amsterdam Avenue and the Minkin Memo

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Photo of William P. Walzer, attorney with Davidoff Hutcher & Citron

March 16, 2020 – DHC’s Real Estate Law Partner, William Walzer, spoke to Construction Dive about a recent court opinion invalidating a previously-issued construction permit for 200 Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan issued by the New York City Department of Buildings. The permit had been issued in reliance on the “Minkin Memo,” in which a former acting commissioner of the New York City Department of Buildings opined that a zoning lot used to compute a planned building’s height and bulk could be based on combinations of partial tax lots.  The court ruled that the Minkin Memo was never a proper statement of the law even though developers had relied on it for over 40 years. The court said, “…the Owner must bear responsibility for any harsh results arising from invalidation of the Permit,” and ordered the developer to reduce the bulk of the near-complete building. The matter remains pending on appeal.

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