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  #981  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2014, 2:43 AM
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http://commercialobserver.com/2014/1...munity-boards/

SL Green, City Square Off With Argent at Community Board


BY TOBIAS SALINGER
11/26/14


Quote:
Forget Caeser’s Palace. The best recent slugfest took place last week at the main branch of the New York Public Library on 42nd Street.

City officials and SL Green Realty Corp. executives argued for the proposed 1 Vanderbilt tower and the five-block Vanderbilt Corridor rezoning during a three-hour Uniform Land Use Review Procedure hearing before Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 last Monday night.

But representatives for Grand Central Terminal landlord Argent Ventures reiterated their staunch opposition to the proposal, which would rezone Vanderbilt Avenue between East 42nd and East 47th Streets and grant SL Green a special permit to build the 1,514-foot tower, during the session.

Despite Argent executives’ criticisms, Department of City Planning Chairman Carl Weisbrod said the process of creating a larger Midtown East rezoning plan has “shifted into high gear” and called on the boards to recommend approval.

“We see this proposal as critical to ensuring a vibrant and enhanced East Midtown, which is something that the surrounding community and, indeed, the entire city needs,” Mr. Weisbrod said.
He noted that the proposal represents a “different approach” than last year’s failed rezoning in part because of its treatment of SL Green’s proposed public improvements. “These improvements would have to be undertaken at the developer’s risk, and they would have to be completed before any of the bonus space would be occupied,” he said.

Both Mr. Weisbrod and SL Green CEO Marc Holliday attended the entire meeting, which included the scheduled time for public testimonials. Mr. Holliday led off a procession of five speakers for SL Green who outlined 1 Vanderbilt’s architecture, sustainability features and the detailed plans for the $210 million in new corridors, waiting areas and entry points that company officials have pledged for the trains that use Grand Central. Speaking shortly after City Planning’s Manhattan director Edith Hsu-Chen said that fewer than 5 percent of the area’s commercial building stock is under 20 years old; Mr. Holliday noted the company’s upgrade efforts at its 16 office properties in Midtown East and placed the proposal in a global context.

“Every day I talk to potential tenants who want to be in Midtown, but they can’t find the Class A property that they need,” Mr. Holliday said. “If we want this city to compete, it’s clear we need more than just repositioned buildings.”


But Argent Director of Development Eric Anderson gave a presentation of his own, in which he called the Vanderbilt Corridor plan “spot zoning” in light of the larger goals for the Midtown East area. He also questioned whether TD Bank’s new 200,000-square-foot lease at 1 Vanderbilt actually constitutes an anchor tenant agreement in the proposed 1.6-million-square-foot tower. Despite city officials’ contention that the plan enhances the Grand Central landlords’ ability to sell the terminal’s unused air rights, Mr. Anderson said the proposal “devastates our ability to transfer” and drew comparisons to last year’s Midtown East proposal.

“You pointed out its faults and the city withdrew it; now the city is trying to rush it again,” said Mr. Anderson, telling the audience that the proposal “favors a single corporate interest” rather than the city. “We’re not saying, ‘Reject this building.’ We’re saying, ‘Reject this process.’ “

During SL Green’s presentation, company representative Marc Wolinsky of Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen and Katz called any potential lawsuits about the proposal “private claims by a private developer,” which wouldn’t be able to alter the rezoning. Later, Duane Loft of Boies, Schiller & Flexner, who has threatened a $1 billion suit over the proposal on behalf of Grand Central’s landlords, said SL Green “should commit to pay the city back” in the event of any court-ordered damages.

Former DCP Manhattan director Vishaan Chakrabarti dismissed the Argent executive’s claims as “hogwash,” while former city corporation counsel Michael Hess said the proposal could alter “a process that has worked for 40 years.”

The two community boards must make a recommendation on the proposal by Dec. 29, according to the DCP website, before it moves to review by the borough president, the City Planning Commission and its final up-or-down vote in the City Council. Once at the Council, local Council Member Daniel Garodnick will, in all likelihood, dictate how his fellow lawmakers vote on the rezoning because it’s in his district. The second-term Council Member helped to derail last year’s plan; although he praised many parts of this proposal, he stopped short of offering his full support.

“This project will be pointed to as a precedent,” Mr. Garodnick said. “We need to clearly justify the trade of infrastructure of any density so that it may be used as a roadmap for ourselves and for our successors in evaluating the next proposal on Vanderbilt Avenue.”
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  #982  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2014, 2:49 AM
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Will Argent ever just shut up?
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  #983  
Old Posted Nov 27, 2014, 3:47 AM
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Will Argent ever just shut up?
No. They'll be kicking and screaming about the air rights even as 1 Vanderbilt opens for business.
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  #984  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2014, 9:50 PM
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Task force to vote 'no' on 1 Vanderbilt spire




BY JOE ANUTA
DECEMBER 9, 2014

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The community board task force set to kick off the public review of developer SL Green's massive 1 Vanderbilt project across the street from Grand Central Terminal is expected to vote against the plan Tuesday evening due to two sticking points, sources involved with the project said.

A task force made up of members of Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 is set to vote against the developer's 65-story office tower planned for the corner of East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue. The conditional thumbs-down would come unless SL Green agrees to move a large, public entrance to Grand Central and the new East Side Access terminal, and to change its goals for LEED certification, sources told Crain's.

City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, whose district includes the new spire, said he does not believe the task force's hang-ups are an indictment of the larger project, but they are nevertheless concerns he is taking seriously.
"This process provides a road map for how to get to the right outcome, and I certainly will take their views seriously," he said.
SL Green has said moving the 1.6 million-square-foot building's transit hall at the corner of East 43rd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue and changing LEED certification goals are not currently feasible.

"We have been working closely with the task force, understand the issues that have been raised and will continue our dialogue with the community as we advance toward approval," Robert Schiffer, managing director at SL Green, said in a statement.

The transit hall is part of a package of public benefits, which also include facelifts within Grand Central and increased entrances and exits to subways, valued at $210 million that the developer has pledged to include as part of the project.

Once the task force makes its resolution, SL Green's applications for three special permits will head to votes at both community boards separately later this week.
http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...nderbilt-spire
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  #985  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2014, 10:24 PM
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I guess this is still nothing serious?
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  #986  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2014, 10:30 PM
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naw, the task force is only advisory. Its the City Council's vote that matters here.

Also, why haven't community boards/task force been eliminated? Nothing productive gets done with old timers stuck in 1950 and it shows how much the US likes to talk, talk, talk and get nothing done. But we already knew that decades ago, though...

Last edited by Perklol; Dec 10, 2014 at 2:10 AM.
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  #987  
Old Posted Dec 9, 2014, 11:04 PM
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This is going to happen regardless. I think they are asking too much from the developer.
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  #988  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 12:33 AM
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Wow is the top of this building awkward. It'll definitely make for an interesting silhouette on the skyline, but not a particularly good one.

It will be interesting to judge for myself once it's built.
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  #989  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 1:46 PM
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A task force made up of members of Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 is set to vote against the developer's 65-story office tower planned for the corner of East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt Avenue.

The conditional thumbs-down would come unless SL Green agrees to move a large, public entrance to Grand Central and the new East Side Access terminal, and to change its goals for LEED certification, sources told Crain's.

City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, whose district includes the new spire, said he does not believe the task force's hang-ups are an indictment of the larger project, but they are nevertheless concerns he is taking seriously.
"This process provides a road map for how to get to the right outcome, and I certainly will take their views seriously," he said.

Bunch of idiots. They get a chance to "demand" something for support, and that's what they choose. That Garodnick doesn't have a spine either. It doesn't matter though, the plan will be approved.
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  #990  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 8:12 PM
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Would this be an example of "corporate NIMBYism" given the ultimate purpose of this rezoning scheme, i.e. 21st century-compliant office space and the urgent need thereof?
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  #991  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 8:27 PM
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So the iconic view of the MetLife building southward from North Park Avenue will be blocked by this new tower? Disappointing.

What happened to all those people who insisted New York would never build another 1,000-footer because of 9-11? That seems so long ago.
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  #992  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 8:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by toxteth o'grady View Post
So the iconic view of the MetLife building southward from North Park Avenue will be blocked by this new tower? Disappointing.
The view of the MetLife building will not be blocked from Park Ave...the only way it would be blocked would be for 1 Vanderbilt to be built over 230 Park Ave.
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  #993  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 9:29 PM
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Originally Posted by toxteth o'grady View Post
So the iconic view of the MetLife building southward from North Park Avenue will be blocked by this new tower? Disappointing.

What happened to all those people who insisted New York would never build another 1,000-footer because of 9-11? That seems so long ago.

The "iconic" view of the MetLife building southward from North Park Avenue will not be blocked - on either the north or south side.

As far as all of those people who insisted another 1,000 footer wouldn't be built, well, they were all wrong.
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  #994  
Old Posted Dec 10, 2014, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plinko View Post
Wow is the top of this building awkward. It'll definitely make for an interesting silhouette on the skyline, but not a particularly good one.

It will be interesting to judge for myself once it's built.


"Awkward" is one way to put it, yes. Or you could spare us the euphemism and just call it "godawful".

Either way.
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  #995  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 7:07 PM
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Originally Posted by pico44 View Post
"Awkward" is one way to put it, yes. Or you could spare us the euphemism and just call it "godawful".

Either way.
Not sure why there is so much hate for the top of this building. It has setbacks, angles, peaks, a spire, and tapers. It is the least offensive part IMO.

I'm much more disappointed with the horizontal banding and overall façade treatment. I also wish the massive flat wall rising up was more textured than flat.
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  #996  
Old Posted Dec 11, 2014, 11:20 PM
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People don't like it because it could be designed to fit the tower better. And something about it seems stunted, like it wants to soar, but isn't allowed to. Almost a bit too much modesty here, which Manhattan skyscrapers aren't known for. For better or worse, the spires reach up to proclaim their presence on the skyline. Sure, this will be one of the tallest bulidings in the country, but it still looks like the top is cut short somehow.



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  #997  
Old Posted Dec 17, 2014, 9:58 PM
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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...-grand-central

Modell's loses longtime home by Grand Central
After 25 years, the retailer will shutter its outpost on East 42nd Street and Vanderbilt to make way for SL Green's planned skyscraper that will span an entire city block.






BY ADRIANNE PASQUARELLI
DECEMBER 17, 2014


Quote:
It's the end of an era for Modell's East 42nd Street store. The sporting goods retailer is closing its 14,000-square-foot store at 51 E. 42nd St. in late February after a quarter century on the prime corner location across Vanderbilt Avenue from Grand Central Terminal. The Manhattan-based company put up signage at the store late Monday.

"We were a fixture on the street," said Mitchell Modell, the chain's chief executive, noting that the company has maintained a presence in the area for 52 years. It moved into its present location in the SL Green property in 1990.

Modell's lease will expire in February, and the retailer will vacate the premises in order to make way for the developer's new 65-story, 1 Vanderbilt office skyscraper.

"We're looking in the area to replace it—we've been looking for the last two years since we found out," said Mr. Modell. He added that immediately after Christmas, the 42nd Street store plans to have several promotions and discounted items such as sneakers for as low as $9.98, as it clears out inventory from the midtown store and other locations in the chain's fleet.

Other longtime retailers also are leaving the Grand Central Terminal area as part of the construction of the skyscraper, which will take up the entire city block running north from Modell's location to East 43rd Street, and west to Madison Avenue. Posman Books, the independent bookseller that has been on the lower concourse in Grand Central for 15 years, will be closing its doors Dec. 31. Other retailers including Easy Spirit, Conway and Annie Moore's will also be vacating the area.

"Our plan for an iconic skyscraper at the doorstep of Grand Central Terminal will provide an unprecedented package of privately funded transit improvements, creating critical transit access points along East 42nd Street," said Robert Schiffer, managing director of SL Green. "These significant infrastructure upgrades are vital to modernizing the heart of Midtown east."
Preparation work for demolition could begin in late spring, said an SL Green spokeswoman. Already, TD Bank has signed on as the anchor tenant for the building.

Modell's, which has 155 stores, 10 of which are in Manhattan, will open a new outpost in Long Island City in early 2015. Five other stores are planned to open elsewhere around the country next year as well.
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  #998  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2014, 3:50 PM
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Further controversy with the community board; a follow up to recent posts:
===========================================

Community Board calls for redesign of One Vanderbilt


Quote:
Manhattan Community Boards 5 and 6 have introduced a new dimension to the boards’ supposedly “advisory” role involving land-use issues: they’re trying to redesign a proposed new 67-story office building.

Last week, the boards rejected SL Green’s plan to put up One Vanderbilt, which is now wending its way through the city’s seven-month Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which began on Nov. 17.

Their objections? They want for some reason to move the 1.3 million-square-foot skyscraper’s public lobby — in effect, a new entrance hall for Grand Central Terminal next door — from its presently planned site on Vanderbilt Avenue at East 43rd Street to Madison Avenue and 43rd.

And they insist that the tower, which has been designed to receive LEED “gold” environmental certification, be upgraded to “platinum” — an issue that’s far outside the boards’ purview.
It’s also absurd given that to make such a change would require re-engineering much of the project.

The boards apparently regard a $1 billion project that was years in planning as a Lego toy where blocks can be moved around without cost or consequence.

The boards’ demands are recommendations only. One Vanderbilt enjoys preliminary support from the city Planning Dept. and Mayor de Blasio. It’s enthusiastically backed by the Real Estate Board of New York, every local business and civic organization and various labor unions.

It’s also been tentatively (although not yet conclusively) blessed by Councilmember Dan Garodnick (D-Manhattan), who represents the district and whose support is indispensable. It was Garodnick who held up former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s effort to rezone all of East Midtown in the last year of his term.

Even so, the community boards’ resounding “no” to the entire project unless its demands are met illustrates board interference in a proposed, worthy new project at its most extreme.

One Vanderbilt would be the linchpin of a smaller-scale rezoning that would apply only to Vanderbilt Avenue’s five blocks. But it would finally begin to address the problem of the district’s increasing obsolescence under old, 1961 zoning rules — most of the area’s buildings are 60 or more years old and antiquated for modern office use.

If the rezoning is approved, developers could avail themselves of a special permit to put up larger structures on Vanderbilt than are currently permitted.

[...]
================================
December 23, 2014
http://nypost.com/2014/12/23/communi...ne-vanderbilt/
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  #999  
Old Posted Dec 25, 2014, 1:32 AM
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The boards apparently regard a $1 billion project that was years in planning as a Lego toy where blocks can be moved around without cost or consequence.

Well, that's how they feel about every project.



December 15, 2014


Site of future plaza...










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  #1000  
Old Posted Dec 25, 2014, 5:56 AM
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Does the community board have any say in anything? I hope not because I like this building how it is.
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