In The News

Our Liberty belle gets a reprieve 05-23-2006

By Melissa Grace
NY Daily News

The wave may be saved.

The city is opposing a move by a Brooklyn developer of a seven-story condo that locals fear will block the famed salute between Green-Wood Cemetery’s statue of Minerva and the Statue of Liberty.

After a review found “serious zoning violations” in the design by controversial architect Robert Scarano, the Department of Buildings said it may revoke a permit for the project at 614 Seventh Ave.

“They’re going to have to start from scratch,” predicted Aaron Brashear, of the Concerned Citizens of Greenwood Heights which has protested the building.

Without the permit, developer Chaim Nussencweig could be permanently barred from building the 30,000 square foot tower as planned - which Scarano redesigned last fall to keep the view after community uproar.

Residents charged Scarano’s latest condo redesign still blocks the famous salute.

“It’s a peephole,” said Brashear, who charged the new plan offered only a sliver of the current view.

Scarano is under investigation for possible zoning and building code abuses.

Despite the highly-critical tone of DOB’s May 9 letter - including a list of 20 irregularities - Nussencweig’s lawyer expects the project will be approved.

“The Building Department reviewed it once and found it valid,” said Howard Hornstein.

“Hopefully, they’ll review it a second time and find it valid.”

Buildings officials conceded the redesign permit should never have been approved because of the violations.

“The permit was improperly issued,” said DOB spokeswoman Ilyse Fink said.

If DOB does reject the redesign permit, Nussencweig can appeal or revise his plans, officials said.

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