ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – There is an all-out effort to preserve the pristine view of the Palisades from being marred by a new office tower.
“The Palisades are a natural national landmark and are a unique vista in the area that has historic and cultural, both on the New Jersey side and across the Hudson River,” said Hayley Carlock, an attorney with Scenic Hudson.
The organization is one of the parties filing suit because LG Electronics plans to build a 143 foot tall office building in Englewood Cliffs and at that height, the building would rise above the tree line.
“It would absolutely mar this iconic view that is, you know, quintessentially New York,” Carlock said.
The New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs led the preservation effort a century ago.
“It will change that whole area completely. Because once this building is built, you know it will continue to grow,” the organization’s president, Linda Babeuf, told WCBS 880 reporter Sean Adams. “It will damage it forever. We’re hoping that they see the light. I know it’s going to cost them money and I’m sorry for that, but I know that being good citizens is something that they probably are interested in doing.”
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Leading the charge against the construction is Larry Rockefeller. His grandfather, John D. Rockefeller, Jr., purchased the cliff tops to preserve them as open space.
“We’ve reached to LG executives in the hope that we can find an amicable solution,” said Mark Izeman of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “It would be a shame if one building, the first time in more than a hundred years, pierced the tree line and spoiled that view.”
The borough of Englewood Cliffs granted a variance and then changed the zoning to allow the LG complex. The building cap used to be 35 feet.
Mayor Joe Parisi said there is a huge economic impact at stake there.
“It would bring in 1,700 employees. Of course, it would help us from our tax base,” he told Adams. “LG could move to another state. We want to keep them, of course, in Englewood Cliffs.”
“We are listening to the concerns. We’re looking at a range of options. But we have concerns as well in terms of the timing of the project. If we did a significant re-design, it would re-open the approval process. We’d have to go through public hearings again,” said LG Vice President John Taylor, who said this is an 11th hour appeal.
The question is now can they reach a compromise to accommodate business and preserve the natural beauty?
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