It Takes a Village
It Takes a Village
The reactions have been rolling in to the City Planning Commission’s near-unanimous approval of NYU’s Greenwich Village expansion plan from yesterday. Activists oppose it, business groups support it and politicians are mixed on the issue. The most striking statement comes from Borough President Scott Stringer, who is glad to see further modifications to the plan but also expresses exasperation at the fact that some of his negotiations with the NYU have been walked back.
It Takes a Village
Now the NYU plan is perfect, at least in the eyes of planning potentate Amanda Burden and the rest of the rest of the City Planning Commission. About an hour ago, the commission conditionally and near unanimously approved NYU’s contentious expansion plans for its two superblocks just south of Washington Square Park.
The commission is requiring the university to modify its 2 million square foot expansion in a number of meaningful ways, though the outlines of the new mini campus remain largely intact. There was one dissenting vote for the modified plan, from Commissioner Michelle de La Uz, who is the appointee of Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.
Happy hour had just ended at the Stonewall Inn on Monday night (2-for-1 well, beer and wine). Rob (dirty martini) and Steve (Budweiser) were sitting at a table discussing the merits of Tom Brady and Eli Manning.
“Brady is better in the pocket, he’s better by the numbers, but Eli just always pulls it out for you,” Scott said. “No pun intended,” he quickly added.
“I think Brady’s better. He’s just past his prime,” allowed Rob.
So they were in agreement, a rarity, they said.
Among the things they disagreed on—Thai food (Rob prefers pad thai, Scott pad see ew), books (Rob thrillers, Scott histories)—was a recent proposal for an AIDS memorial on a triangle of land across from the shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital.
Earlier this afternoon, a die-hard group of developers, activists and real estate enthusiasts gathered at the New York Department of City Planning for a much anticipated meeting. In a brief meeting, the controversial Rudin development project at the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital passed with unanimous support from all City Planning commissioners.
Commission Chair Amanda Burden explained that she was pleased with how the developers had worked with the community. “The Rudin West Village proposal represents an important step in incorporating the former St. Vincent’s campus into the fabric of the West Village,” Ms. Burden said.
It was Amanda Burden who stopped the MoMA Tower, giving Jean Nouvel’s 1,250-foot spire a haircut, and it is up to her if the project will ever snake its way onto the skyline. As The Observer revealed last month, developer Hines Interests has resubmitted plans for the shorter, stockier Torre Verre, and they await Ms. Burden’s approval. Where the head of the City Planning Department once thought the top of the tower was undignified, unworthy of sharing space with the Empire State Building, she now loves it.
New York City may have brought down Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but another torrid Frenchman will not be held up by the likes of us.
Better Faster Stronger
This past spring, Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Properties and an owner of the Empire State Building, started paying attention to an office tower planned by Vornado Realty Trust. The giant office landlord was seeking approvals to build a tower up to 1,216 feet high two blocks to his building’s west, on what’s Read More
The real estate development world, which is full of complaints about government, rarely throws around the term “efficient” when speaking of the Department of City Planning. One of the biggest complaints is that most every developer embarking on a big project must go through what can be a months-long “pre-certification” process (though it can even Read More
The City Planning Commission voted unanimously today in favor of a $1.5 billion residential complex along the Williamsburg waterfront. The vote brings the project one step closer to approval — and portends a potentially dramatic change to the Brooklyn skyline.
The project, located on the site of a long-vacant Domino sugar refinery, was hailed by Read More
"Amanda Burden is rich, rich, rich! You’re destroying our community and making it white because you can’t find a restaurant! You’re a socialite and a horrible person!"
So shouted Harlem residents at Planning Commission Chairwoman Amanda Burden toward the end of Monday’s contentious commission meeting about the Bloomberg administration’s plan to rezone 125th Street Read More