15 Penn Plaza Approved By New York City Council
As I mentioned earlier this week, Manhattan is about to get a new skyscraper, 15 Penn Plaza. The new skyscraper is just 34 feet shorter than its Midtown neighbor, the Empire State Building. The building, which was designed by Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, has caused controversy because some are concerned that the new building will decrease some of the older building's legendary allure. From certain angles the new building will overlap the Empire State Building, taking away a lot of its dramatic impact. But it looks like, despite protests, it's going to happen. On Wednesday, the City Council approved the plans for the skyscraper by a 47 to 1 vote. Subcommittees on Zoning and Franchises and Land Use also approved the proposal. The one opposing member was City Councilman Charles Barron who voted against the project because he doesn't believe that the developers will do enough to employ minorities.
In a statement, Vornado Realty Trust, the developers of the new building said: "We wish to acknowledge the efforts of the City Council, the City Planning Commission, the Borough President and all those connected with the approval of our project, which we believe will be an outstanding addition to New York's iconic skyline. We look forward to working with the Council to implement strong minority and women participation in the development and construction of 15 Penn Plaza."
The new building may end up being the third tallest building in New York City. The Empire State Building is tallest currently but that reign will last only until the 1,776-foot 1 World Trade Center is completed.
NY1 News quotes several City Council members who make it clear that they were voting for jobs and the future of this ever-growing, ever-changing city. Anthony Malkin, one of the owners the Empire State Building who opposed the project as it stands, was gracious in defeat, saying in a statement that while his teamed advocated for amending the project, that they are "pro-development and think this area represents a great opportunity for development."
Although several polls in New York City have shown that some are opposed to having a new skyscraper so close to the Empire State Building our own unofficial poll showed that 65 percent of people were in favor of the project.