‘BUILDING’ TENSION ON EAST SIDE
Demolition is underway on the site of Manhattan’s largest ongoing real-estate project after Ground Zero, with the builder and neighbors squaring off over the height, size and use of buildings in the 9.8-acre development. The industrial properties on the East River just south of the United Nations, once home to Con Ed plants, will have to be rezoned if Solow Properties is to build its planned 5-million-square-foot residential and office complex.
That has given residents an opening to push their own ideas for the project, including cutting the height and size of the proposed buildings.
“The scale is much too great,” said Ed Rubin of Community Board 6′s land-use committee.
Solow has lowered the height of the buildings since its original proposal a year ago – the tallest, an office building next to the U.N., would be cut from 864 to 633 feet.
Neighbors say the buildings should be no taller than 400 feet, in deference to the 505-foot U.N. Secretariat Building.
The company plans to add retail to the currently “uninviting” stretch of First Avenue, and develop a promenade on the eastern side of the project’s northern three blocks to “allow future connection to the waterfront.”
It will also provide corridors through its land that extend 39th and 40th Streets from First Avenue toward the East River. Neighbors like that idea, but some want the streets deeded to the city so Solow can’t restrict their use.
NEW YORK POST
By BILL SANDERSON
October 30, 2006