Seeing Subterfuge in MoMA Tower Design

nouvel cropped Seeing Subterfuge in MoMA Tower DesignDid Jean Nouvel and Hines Interests sabotage their own plans for a new tower near MoMA?

As Eliot Brown recounted in a recent profile of City Planning chair Amanda Burden, the designer and the developer showed up to her office unprepared.

“They hadn’t finished the design.” Ms. Burden said plainly in her office last week. “They were asking special permission to penetrate an iconic zone of the skyline, and they hadn’t finished the design. I was stunned.”

This morning, the Post‘s Steve Cuozzo seems to think the snub might be by design.

“Better to blame the city for an ugly, empty lot next door to the Museum of Modern Art than to say, ‘We bought an empty lot and it will stay an empty lot,’ ” suggested one of our cynical sources who keeps an eye on stalls around town.

Mr. Cuozzo lays out the costs–$1 billion dollars–and the perpetual difficulty of financing as reasons why the company might have sabotaged their own project. Or perhaps the design didn’t get done because Mr. Nouvel was just being French about the whole thing.

“Maybe it’s because everything in Paris closes up for the month of August,” one source ‘half-jokingly’ told Mr. Cuozzo.