Bloomberg and the U.N.

The Post’s story on the Mayor reviving plans to build an office tower on Robert Moses Playground has United Nations officials denying any knowledge of it.

Fritz Reuter, the U.N. Assistant Secretary General for the capital plan, told us that he had no knowledge of any such idea. “Someone just e-mailed this to me. I have no idea where it came from,” he said of the story.

The playground proposal has been around for a while: build a new 35-story on 1st Avenue between 41st and 42nd streets as swing space while the Secretariat building is renovated. But Reuter said it was never the U.N.’s idea, and once the state Senate blocked funding for it in 2004, the international agency settled on a plan that would put a new structure on the lawn to the north of the Secretariat. In February we uncovered Sheldon Solow’s interest in dooming the playground tower, and Bloomberg’s renewed push cannot be good news for the developer’s plans for the old Con Ed site to the south, because yet another tower would make the neighborhood awfully congested.

“The U.N. has been for about a year on renovating the Secretariat under its capital plan,” Reuter said.

The Mayor’s siter, Marjorie Tiven, is the head of the city’s Commission for United Nations, Consular Corps & Protocol, so his interest in the matter is not insubstantial. And the Post’s Kenneth Lovett suggests there is something in it for the city:

The Bloomberg administration plans to argue that the project will not only create construction jobs, but will ultimately free up two city-owned buildings at 1 and 2 U.N. Plaza that eventually can be sold for big bucks.

Matthew Schuerman Bloomberg and the U.N.