Saturday, December 05, 2015

Why is 550 Vanderbilt listed at "17 stories" but has "19 floors"?

17 stories, or 19?
The latest Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park Construction Alert notes, regarding the 550 Vanderbilt condo building, aka the B11 tower: "Carpenters are performing formwork for 19th floor."

That's very interesting, because 550 Vanderbilt, pictured at right, has long been described as 17 stories, as shown in the screenshot below from Streeteasy.

I wasn't shocked to hear about the "19th floor," because the building was always supposed to be 202 feet tall. That makes 19 stories very plausible.

So why do they call it 17 stories? 

I can only speculate, but the lower number helps "normalize" a building rather dramatically out of scale with its neighbors, despite the effort, in an official rendering, to minimize it.

Could the building be 17 stories but "technically" have 19 floors?

I'm not sure--it's possible that they don't count the second floor of a penthouse duplex, or a floor devoted to mechanicals.

After all, rooftop bulkheads were not counted in the height limit for a controversial condo building in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

But the bottom line is this: the Atlantic Yards/Pacific Park developers, in no departure from a longstanding pattern, are shading (or evading) the truth.
From StreetEasy

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