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  #961  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 8:36 AM
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http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1087...grand-central/

Community Members, Unions Support One Vanderbilt and 5-Block Rezoning Outside Grand Central





By Catherine Yang
November 18, 2014


Quote:
Public review has started for developer SL Green’s plans for the 60-plus story One Vanderbilt office building across from Grand Central, and community members and unions are voicing great support.

The rezoning for the tower is part of a five-block proposed rezoning of the Vanderbilt Corridor from 42nd Street to 47th Street—a fast-tracked portion of the once highly contentious East Midtown rezoning.

At a public hearing Monday night, several union representatives and members, community members, and representatives of groups including the Municipal Art Society, Regional Plan Association, Association for a Better New York, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Real Estate Board of New York voiced support for the rezoning. Many spoke in favor of the transit improvements proposed.

And in the midst of overwhelming support, representatives of Grand Central’s landlord continued to oppose the project, calling it a rushed rezoning favoring one corporation.

Midtown Manhattan was, for years, the premier site for Class A office space and is still one of the city’s major tax bases. But in the last two decades, only five new office buildings have been developed in East Midtown, a 73-block area restricted by outdated zoning.

Existing offices are filled with columns that get in the way and floorplates that do not fit tenants’ needs. To tear down an old office building in the area and build a new one in its place would mean building a smaller building.

Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had proposed rezoning East Midtown, but the details of the plan remained uncertain and the plan was eventually withdrawn in the last days of his term. Mayor Bill de Blasio quickly promised a rezoning would still happen by the end of 2014—”but it must be done right.”

At a public comment session held at the New York Public Library on 42nd Street, Planning Commissioner Carl Weisbrod highlighted changes made to the proposal to address the community’s previously raised concerns. The plan had always been to require infrastructure upgrades for larger developments, but the amount of payments seemed speculative and transit improvements could be implemented after density had already increased in the area.

Now infrastructure upgrades need to be done before the building is built and details of the upgrades have to be made public. There will also be no as-of-right density increases, Weisbrod said, which means all developments will have to go through public review.


Grand Central’s Air Rights


The rezoning is meant to encourage development, said Edith Hsu-Chen, Director of City Planning Manhattan Office.

In 1992, the district around Grand Central was zoned to let landmarks like Grand Central and other buildings transfer development rights.

“That hasn’t really worked,” Hsu-Chen said. To date, only one building has made use of those development rights, and less than a quarter of the nearly 2 million square feet of Grand Central’s development rights have been sold.

This is because on top of buying development rights from a landmark in order to build a taller building, the developer would also need to make public realm improvements, Hsu-Chen said.

This new proposed rezoning basically lets the developer choose one or the other (though the city may choose to negotiate for both in some cases, Hsu-Chen added).

It is meant to make it easier for landmarks to sell their development rights, Hsu-Chen said. But Grand Central’s landlords have said it does the opposite.

In addition to making public realm improvements, SL Green is also transferring development rights over from the landmarked former Bowery Savings Bank building.

Eric Anderson, director of development at Argent Ventures which owns Grand Central, said this effectively means all the receiving sites around Grand Central no longer have any use for Grand Central’s 1.5 million square-feet of development rights.

Thus, Argent Ventures is advocating for delaying the Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning until after the comprehensive East Midtown plan is released. Ultimately it wants to see the One Vanderbilt project be built under the existing zoning, which would require purchasing Grand Central’s development rights plus the public realm improvements.

A few other speakers, including a representative from the New York Landmarks Conservancy, spoke in opposition of One Vanderbilt and advocated for Argent Ventures’ position.

Most other speakers supported the plan fully. Some voiced support but said SL Green could do more, such as seeking a LEED Platinum qualification instead of LEED Gold. Municipal Art Society planning fellow Alison Brown supported the plan but said she would like to see more of the building be publicly accessible.
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  #962  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 9:03 AM
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Resized this image...



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  #963  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 10:33 AM
JR Ewing JR Ewing is offline
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Looks great!
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  #964  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 10:34 AM
babybackribs2314 babybackribs2314 is offline
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the 6sqft images are super outdated
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  #965  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 3:36 PM
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This building is like an optical illusion. If it looks like this rendering, then it's going to be sleek and sexy, and a worthy addition to the NYC skyline. However, I see other renderings where the top is fat and clunky, and the body is too wide for its form. I don't know if it's an orientation issue or not, but it feels like two different renderings floating around for this one. I hope this is the right one.

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  #966  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 4:48 PM
JR Ewing JR Ewing is offline
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That image was recently provided by KPF at the MAS summit.
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  #967  
Old Posted Nov 18, 2014, 8:40 PM
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Originally Posted by JR Ewing View Post
That image was recently provided by KPF at the MAS summit.
Yes, it was a screenshot from the video posted on the previous page.
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  #968  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 2:44 AM
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From that angle the setbacks look very well-proportioned, and have a nice, consistent upward momentum into the spire. And it compliments BofA quite nicely. From most other angles, though, it looks awkward at best. It's like the tower version of the "two face" girl in Seinfeld, who looks totally different depending on the light.
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  #969  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 3:00 PM
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Originally Posted by colemonkee View Post
From that angle the setbacks look very well-proportioned, and have a nice, consistent upward momentum into the spire. And it compliments BofA quite nicely. From most other angles, though, it looks awkward at best. It's like the tower version of the "two face" girl in Seinfeld, who looks totally different depending on the light.
Have we seen a rendering of this iteration of the building looking from the Empire State Building? I've only seen mult-side renderings in those google earth files on the previous page, which looks much thicker than this building's proportions.
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  #970  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 4:15 PM
pico44 pico44 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mistermetAJ View Post
This building is like an optical illusion. If it looks like this rendering, then it's going to be sleek and sexy, and a worthy addition to the NYC skyline. However, I see other renderings where the top is fat and clunky, and the body is too wide for its form. I don't know if it's an orientation issue or not, but it feels like two different renderings floating around for this one. I hope this is the right one.


I think it's the same design. Pretty easy to imagine the building looking squat fat and awkward from the southwest in that rendering. I agree that the building looks quite decent from this angle. But I'm afraid that there is no amount of goodness that can overcome the sheer awfulness of the view from Bryant Park. My confidence that the powers that be will come to their senses fades with every new rendering based on the original terrible design. Please God no. Any city but this one. Or at least, any spot but this one. I have new sympathy for those who lamented the rise of the Pan Am building over their beloved GST. But at least that building had brilliant architects who created a beautiful tower. We have some KPF scribbler whose name will never cross paths with the word "brilliant". What a hack.
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  #971  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 4:29 PM
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IMO While this tower is meant to pay more than mere homage to Lady Chrysler's place in the cityscape, this tower is a true morph of 200G and BofA.
The setbacks have a semblance of 200G's diamantine shaping and the overall form is a more symmetrical variant of BofA.
And, as has been cited, this tower can seem to assume radically different looks depending on your vantage.

Happy Thousandth Post for me.......
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  #972  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 4:37 PM
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man, i love this tower, still amazed how high the ceiling is per each floor, this building has similar height to WTC1 yet almost just half the floors
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  #973  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 5:33 PM
mistermetAJ mistermetAJ is offline
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Originally Posted by pico44 View Post
I think it's the same design. Pretty easy to imagine the building looking squat fat and awkward from the southwest in that rendering. I agree that the building looks quite decent from this angle. But I'm afraid that there is no amount of goodness that can overcome the sheer awfulness of the view from Bryant Park. My confidence that the powers that be will come to their senses fades with every new rendering based on the original terrible design. Please God no. Any city but this one. Or at least, any spot but this one. I have new sympathy for those who lamented the rise of the Pan Am building over their beloved GST. But at least that building had brilliant architects who created a beautiful tower. We have some KPF scribbler whose name will never cross paths with the word "brilliant". What a hack.
The Pan Am (MetLife) is hardly brilliant architecture. I find it much more offensive than this building to be honest. It's a behemouth among the gems. It's archtecture is one part modern, one part brutal. At best, it's a serviceable backdrop. It destroyed one of the truly great vistas down Park Ave the same way One Chase destroyed views of downtown. While I generally agree with your views of One Vanderbilt (if the view from the ESB and BP haven't changed and we're only seeing the good side in the most recent renderings) it is still far superior to the PanAm in every way.
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  #974  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 7:43 PM
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But surely you could allow the concession that 1V matches PanAm/MetLife size for size and thus lessens the impact you fairly claim exists there.
Personally (and briefly if I may) I see just as architecturally/contemporaneously apropos the PanAm/Chrysler contrast with the one at Chase and 40 Wall. It's just that 1V acts as kind of a blown up, modernized 70 Pine that doesn't really do anything to mess up the view.
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  #975  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 7:53 PM
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One Vanderbilt will be fine people don't worry about it! This may not be the last tower of its type coming to Midtown either, if and when the Midtown East Rezoning plans are finalized.

The new render looks great!
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  #976  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 8:29 PM
mistermetAJ mistermetAJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by babybackribs2314 View Post
the 6sqft images are super outdated
Is this in reference to the google earth like images on the previous page? If so, then GREAT! I didn't like the way the building looked in those images.
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  #977  
Old Posted Nov 19, 2014, 8:36 PM
mistermetAJ mistermetAJ is offline
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Originally Posted by JayPro View Post
But surely you could allow the concession that 1V matches PanAm/MetLife size for size and thus lessens the impact you fairly claim exists there.
Personally (and briefly if I may) I see just as architecturally/contemporaneously apropos the PanAm/Chrysler contrast with the one at Chase and 40 Wall. It's just that 1V acts as kind of a blown up, modernized 70 Pine that doesn't really do anything to mess up the view.
I would say all of your comparisons are appropriate. Ultimately I think much less of One Chase than the PanAM. One Chase ruined the downtown Manhattan skyline. It was big enough to block out the majesty of 40 Wall st, but not really big enough or innovative enough to standout. PanAm, while I don't personally like it, arguably providesa decent backdrop or canvas for the Helmsley Bulding and didn't take away from the street level or hurt the skyline (some argue it enhanced it).

If BabyBackRib is right, and those google earth images are out dated and 1 Vandebuilt is more soaring and sleek from all sides, like the rendering posted by NYGuy, then it doesn't really deserve any of the criticism I levied against it in my earlier post.
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  #978  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2014, 1:20 PM
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The various faces of 1 Vanderbilt...











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  #979  
Old Posted Nov 20, 2014, 2:02 PM
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Beautiful! I'll take 1,415 feet of that!
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  #980  
Old Posted Nov 21, 2014, 6:17 AM
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This isn't saying much, but with those last clean renderings, this tower is growing on me just a little bit.

Hopefully though, the very top will enable people to walk up the very top portion of the building to observe the city as shown in the renderings.
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