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Old Posted Dec 29, 2014, 9:58 AM
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NYguy NYguy is offline
New Yorker for life
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Borough of Jersey
Posts: 38,158
^ Yeah, whey they didn't even try for a new location is questionable. Look at what happened with all the noise at the Rizzoli Bookstore on 57th. They are moving to a beautiful new location. If they are concerned with just being a commuter bookstore, Penn Station will be leasing, even the Port Authority bus terminal is leasing space now. The employees are painting the picture that they are being forced to close, and that's not entirely accurate.

The cashier broke the news, "Actually, we're going out of business," and she explained the situation, how the MTA is denying them a new lease to make room for a new luxury skyscraper.

The customer began to wail, "No, no, no, no!" I've witnessed this scene so many times. The shock, the denial, the clutching at the heart. Living in this city today, if you love it, is one big funeral.

Somehow, the impression that every new skyscraper is a "luxury" tower has taken over the discussion of new buildings on the skyline. I've noticed this when you read articles on the changing skyline. However, they neglect all of the new office development - 30 Hudson, Manhatan West, new Hudson Yards towers, all of which will alter the skyline. Even the WTC contributes to this.

Meanwhile, the people who should know better than anybody, the community boards, seem to be out of step with reality as well. They are somehow concerned that there will be a canyon effect created by the new towers in midtown east. You have to wonder if they've ever been outside.

There is one thing though, that I can understand their concern about. And that is the location of the transit hall. There is a massive pedestrian wave that flows through Manhattan through rush hours towards the transit centers (Penn Station, Grand Central, Port Authority, PATH terminals, etc). The CB is concerned that the new "extension" is on Vanderbilt facing Grand Central itself, and not on the western side. Understanding that "flow", you can see how it could be an issue.

The problem is, with the design as it is - the tower "opens up" towards Grand Central, making the large open spaces possible on that side of the tower. All that would be needed to remedy the situation though is access or a walkway connecting the extension to Madison Avenue for a direct connection from the west or north.

The only way I can see that happening though is if it were built beneath the lobby. I think the TD Bank branch will be on the northwestern side of Madison.

Direct connections to both the current and new terminals...

Though only advisory, here's a look at the two resolutions from the community board...

Resolution on Special Permits Sought by Green 317 Madison, LLC for One Vanderbilt

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, December 11, 2014, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 1abstaining:

WHEREAS, Green 317 Madison, LLC seeks a special permit to transfer development rights from a landmark building to facilitate construction of an approximately 1.3 million SF mixed-use development called One Vanderbilt between 42nd and 43rd Streets, and Madison and Vanderbilt Avenues; and

WHEREAS, Unlike on corridor parcels not fronting 42nd Street, we believe there may be circumstances under which a building on this site might reasonably justify an allowable 30 FAR; and

WHEREAS, Regarding One Vanderbilt, we continue to have areas of concern:

.....further, the proposed office building lobby dominates and privatizes, along the marginal Transit Hall, almost the entire Vanderbilt Avenue frontage;

we are concerned that the proposed Transit Hall (which should have included seating and public restrooms) at Vanderbilt and 43rd is not optimally located to provide connectivity for passengers to and from the West Side, and propose an entrance hall at Madison and 42nd as well as a B2 level connection from East Side Access to NYC Transit at 42nd and Vanderbilt; and

we believe that the requirements of the Special Midtown District for through-block access to the lobby should be maintained; and

we take note that with the entire site to be excavated, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to find solutions that will best serve the public at this dense and vital crossroads; and

.....While the Applicant has committed to construct a LEED v4 Certified Gold building, only the highest level of sustainability is acceptable if the goal, as stated, is to keep East Midtown as the premier business district; therefore, the Applicant must commit to a LEED v4 Certified Platinum building which will be designed to perform 30 percent better than ASHRAE 90.1, 2010; and

The proposed building lobby should publicly display a comprehensive building water usage and energy performance dashboard showing where and how energy and water is continuously being conserved; and

We are concerned that the requested modifications to the Special Midtown District Height and Setback regulations (Daylight Compensation and Daylight Evaluation) are excessive, radically lowering daylight levels in Midtown to pre-1916 pre-zoning daylight levels (Daylight Evaluation score is negative 62 % v. 75 % of the sky left open); this reduction in daylight is not adequately addressed by either DCP or the DEIS; and the magnitude of the reduction in daylight will set a precedent for future development in Vanderbilt Corridor and East Midtown

WHEREAS, We praise the Applicant for taking Community Board Five and Six's concerns regarding the harmoniousness of their proposed building with Grand Central Terminal into account and for attempting to resolve them by revising the design, the specific concerns raised by the proposed building's asymmetrical façade, use of glass and cacophonous base have not been alleviated;

RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Boards Five and Six recommend denial of the C 150128 ZSM, C 150129 ZSM and C 150130 ZSM special permits unless the following conditions are met:

1. The development will be LEED v4 Certified Platinum; and

2. A major public space is created at street and concourse level, through or adjacent to and connecting with the main lobby of One Vanderbilt, and connecting the corner of Madison Avenue and 42 Street and the main concourse of Grand Central

Resolution on Zoning Text Changes Sought by the Department of City Planning for the Vanderbilt Corridor

At the monthly meeting of Community Board Five on Thursday, December 11, 2014, the Board passed the following resolution with a vote of 33 in favor, 0 opposed, 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, The Department of City Planning (DCP) seeks to rezone a five block area bordered by Vanderbilt and Madison Avenues and 42nd and 47th Streets

WHEREAS, An additional goal of the proposed Vanderbilt Corridor is to improve pedestrian circulation and access to transit, including East Side Access; the Vanderbilt Corridor would be located above the future concourse of the Long Island Rail Road, which will be 50 feet below the buildings on the west side of Vanderbilt Avenue; and

WHEREAS, CB5 and CB6 agree that these parcels between Vanderbilt and Madison should be examined and the goal of reinvigorating the area around Grand Central Terminal is necessary and worthy;

.....WHEREAS, A compelling case has not been made for separating out the entire five blocks of the Vanderbilt Corridor from the review of the greater East Midtown area; and

WHEREAS, In the Vanderbilt Corridor, we propose the following:

FAR Bonus Size
We are concerned that the criteria for granting of the special permit for a Grand Central Public Realm Bonus (GCPRB) of up to 15 FAR is undefined unlike, for example, what is required for a Covered Pedestrian Space and that there must be more specific design guidelines; and

WHEREAS, Vanderbilt Avenue is considerably narrower than Madison Avenue and the intersecting side streets, we are deeply concerned about the "canyon effect" if a series of 30 FAR buildings were to be permitted along the Vanderbilt Corridor, which, other than at 42nd Street, front on only one wide street and we are also concerned what effect such a canyon of 30 FAR buildings will have as it relates to environmental concerns not only at the Corridor but in the greater midtown area; the "worst-case" scenario, development of the Vanderbilt Corridor would cast substantial shadows on a number of sunlight-sensitive historic resources, including the landmarked Bryant Park and the New York Public Library; and in the "worst-case" scenario, the landmarked Chrysler Building, when considered a visual resource, would be negatively impacted by new buildings that would essentially screen it from many vantage points on the skyline

RESOLVED, Manhattan Community Boards Five and Six recommend denial of the Department of City Planning's application N 150127 ZRM
NEW YORK. World's capital.

“Office buildings are our factories – whether for tech, creative or traditional industries we must continue to grow our modern factories to create new jobs,” said United States Senator Chuck Schumer.

Last edited by NYguy; Dec 29, 2014 at 10:11 AM.
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