15 Penn Plaza Would Be Only 34 Feet Shorter Than Icon

NEW YORK (CBS 2/1010 WINS) — Both sides battling over a proposed new tower to be built near the Empire State Building were in the same room Monday. Each said the other guy has it wrong when it comes to the best vision for New York City.

CBS 2’s Scott Rapoport has the details on the skyscraper showdown.

The tussle over the towers went before a zoning and franchises subcommittee Monday, with both sides making their case at a public hearing.

“This is an appropriate building and there is no adverse effect as it relates to the Empire State Building,” said David Greenbaum of Vornado Realty Trust.

In one corner is Vornado Realty Trust, the developer that’s hoping to build a 67-story, 1,200-foot tower called 15 Penn Plaza within a few block radius of the Empire State Building, touting it would create new jobs and office space.

“We are talking here about world class architecture by Pelli Clarke Pelli who have designed some of the great buildings across the planet,” Greenbaum said.

“We love the [Empire State] building, they love the building, New York City loves the building, we respect the building. We do not think that somehow the building is in any way blocked, defaced by having another major building in the skyline of New York.”

In the other corner is Anthony Malkin, the co-owner of the Empire State Building.

“This is a size 22 foot in a size 12 shoe. It’s too bloody big,” said Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings.

Malkin said the proposed tower would block views of his iconic building from the west and forever alter the New York City skyline.

The developer and the Empire State Building team presented their versions of what the skyline would look like.

“Most of the renderings that we’ve seen from them are grossly inaccurate,” Greenbaum said.

Malkin took out a full page ad in the New York Times on Monday opposing the new tower and released a new poll he commissioned that says 82 percent of people believe it would alter the character of the city’s skyline, with 71 percent of those saying it would degrade it.

“When people learn about 15 Penn Plaza and the prospect it presents they do not like it,” Malkin said.

Malkin said an acceptable tower should be about 850 feet tall and 1,500 to 2,000 feet away from the Empire State Building.

“There is no consideration to that. No,” Greenbaum said.

Final approval of the new tower — or not — could be decided by Wednesday.

Committee meetings leading up to that final vote are scheduled for Tuesday.

New Yorkers have not been silent on the proposal. “That’s disrespectful for the Empire State Building,” resident Steven Ciancanelli said.

“They can’t block that view. Empire State Building, that’s big for the city,” resident Rumel Bradley said.

“I’m sure no one is going to want to see that building when they can see the Empire State Building,” one New Yorker said.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer said the building would create jobs, office space and would give “people a sense that we are building again in New York City.”

“I’m for it, I’m for anything that creates jobs, things progress,” an out-of-work construction worker said.

Some wouldn’t mind the addition to the skyline.

“I live in Hoboken and it’s kind of empty, it might be nice to have a friend,” Ken said.

But New Yorkers, who see the Empire State Building every day, have some thoughts of their own. “The Empire State Building is a landmark. We want to be able to see it wherever we are,” said resident Beverly Coleman.

“It symbolizes the city,” another New Yorker said.

Comments (30)
  1. jeff says:

    Its only about money.

  2. Peter says:

    I meant FM reception


  3. Peter says:

    My question Will it affect signal propigation for HD TV and M radio to Queensand Bklyn?

  4. Ed HArris says:

    Build it, America needs the jobs and to actually create again, we spend too much time selling and buying paper, what this country needs is progress and to start creating jobs, real jobs doing real work, make sure it’s built by Americans with American steel and concrete, by the master craftsman New York and the best our Country has to offer.

  5. DGold says:

    Buiild it taller – like they’re doing now in China and Dubai. Not Chicago, either. NYC – the City of Skyscrapers – should have the tallest buildings.

  6. Rick Longley says:

    Does NY, NY still want to be The Big Apple? That new building looks like the base for a spire that will penetrate the Empire State’s curent altitude.

    I’ll bet a spire or more floors are added in a decade or so.

    Aspiring to the stars. That should be NY, NY.

    So the new tower isn’t an identical twin…

    My younger bother grew taller than me, no problem. We were a great pair.

  7. Glidmokk says:

    Something about the new one reminds of of an Aztec temple. I wonder if they will do human sacrifices on top of it. If so that might be a great place for Goth Club!

  8. Chris says:

    What’s the big deal, the skyline won’t stay the same forever pretty soon there will be mile high buildings that dwarf anything that there is now, lets get on with progress. ESB is great and a historic building but eventually it will be surrounded by skyscrapers.

  9. HurDurr says:

    Local citizens hated the Eiffel Tower when it was built too. Progress happens, get with it or get out of the way.

  10. Bryon says:

    The argument is about altering the skyline? Seriously? Everything changes the skyline. When the ESB was built 80 (or whatever) years ago, it dramatically changed the skyline and I’m sure people were complaining about that as well.

  11. Lou Sussler says:

    I think the skyline should be preserved. Put up the new building 8 to 10 blocks north or south and the opposition (on these grounds) disappears.

    Put it up so we can’t see the ESB when approaching from the west; thats nasty.

  12. Matt says:

    wow. are people truly ignorant enough to manage ot stop someone from building a building just because it’s taller than the empire state building?

    Does new york not want to be a leader at anything anymore?

    This is an embarassment.

    Hey, you could have 100 floors, with 100 floors of people, or you can have 70 floors, with 70 floors of people. Which do you think is a better long term decision?

    hint: not 70 floors.

  13. Mauro says:

    I think opposing “changing the skyline” is stupid. The Twin Towers “changed the skyline”. The new Freedom Tower to be built in their place will “change the skyline”. The Empire State Building, when it was first constructed, “changed the skyline”. It’s a living city, not a museum. They should shut up about it.

    Though, to be fair, that proposed building is really ugly; it will be just another tall building rather than a new icon. If they’re going to “change the skyline”, they might at least hire some architects.

  14. real nyer says:

    Go 15 penn go! Hopefully it also lights up !

    – REAL New yorker

  15. Nancy Alveiro says:

    What respect does the Empire State Building deserve if they won’t even consider Mother Theresa’s birthday lighting!! I’m sure the new building would have been lit in a bright white & blue!! Tough luck ESB! Let progress go forth.

    1. No Thanks says:

      A lot more than she ever gave her patients, allowing them to suffer because suffering is how she viewed people being close to god.

      1. Binky says:

        Mother Theresa died an atheist. I love it.

  16. TJ Snyder says:

    Do you think the builders of the Chrysler Building were happy when the ESB builders put that gigantic spire on top of the building to dwarf the Chrysler building? Well ESB… …hers your payback to that!

    1. Len says:

      Actually, this is Mother Theresa’s revenge.

  17. Deke218 says:

    The Empire State Building is old and should be torn down and replaced with something more modern.

  18. TTC says:

    it makes little sense to build that ridiculous ugly mess so close to the ESB. It should only be approved for half the size. Oh yeah and lets ruin the skyline so NY can be perceived to be building again, what a stupid argument.

    1. joe says:

      i agree with ttc.

      to deke218: the modern one is ugly and the idea should be ripped to shred. look at the photo, the new one looks like s#$%.

  19. Tim says:

    It’s not just a skyscraper. There’s also a pool, a gym, a restaurant and a theater!! Oh wait, wrong controversy…

  20. Tom says:

    This is carma for the owners of the Empire State building for not lighting up the skys for Mother Theresa. Just as the mosque has the right to be built for religious reasons, the new developers have the right to build a new skyscraper. The owners of the Empire State building don’t have a monoply in New York.

  21. Tom says:

    New York has always been about building. If we listen to reactionaries, NYC is doomed. What they are saying has probably been said since before the Empire State Bldg was built, before the Woolworth Bldg, before the Flatiron Bldg, etc, etc, etc.

  22. Cj says:

    Seems pretty stupid to me. Why not put another building there that terrorists can go after. Imagine it going down in the middle of Manhattan. Who the heck would rent or work there. NOT ME

    1. Dave says:

      Keep on living your life in fear in flyover country, chump.

  23. joe says:

    this is awful news, not only are these new buildings ugly, people can’t even walk the streets.

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