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Old October 20th, 2012, 06:06 PM   #241
nickguar
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Originally Posted by L.A.F.2. View Post
I hate that render too. If there is one thing I hate as much as gaudy, colorful buildings, it's buildings with trees on them. It looks so awful. Trump is the only building not ruined by them, but I wish they weren't there.
I agree, with one exception: the One Madison Ave. proposal is gorgeous and the entire premise of the design is to "lift the greens of Madison Park into the sky."

But yeah, as an architectural trend, I am not a fan of the romanticization of nature. The whole point of skyscrapers is that man is creating his own natural habitat.

If we wanted to hang around in trees forever, we'd have never evolved into humans in the first place!

I suppose we can thank Amanda Burden, the Tower Verre tyrant, for trends like this?
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Old October 20th, 2012, 10:13 PM   #242
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I don't like the ledges. I think if they wanted to add trees they should have made setbacks instead of ledges
I agree.
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Old October 25th, 2012, 06:21 PM   #243
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October 2012.Midtown rezoning has air rights players watching and waiting
Building owners, investors nervous about how Bloomberg proposal will pencil out financially
October 01, 2012
By Jake Mooney
Real estate players with interests in Midtown aren’t quite sure how to react to the city’s sweeping Midtown East rezoning proposal, which would allow for the construction of taller buildings in the area.

The proposal is “a double-edged sword,” said Paul Selver, an attorney for Argent Ventures, which, through a subsidiary, owns more than 1 million square feet of Grand Central Terminal’s unused air rights. The rezoning could either help or harm the value of the company’s investment, he said.

Potential buyers of the air rights that Argent and others own are also anxiously awaiting some of the plan’s key details.

The Bloomberg administration proposed the rezoning in July as a way to encourage developers to replace the aging office buildings in Midtown East with more modern office towers — thus making New York City more globally competitive.

The proposal is now on a tight schedule to get a green light before Mayor Bloomberg’s term expires at the end of 2013 and must pass through the city’s Universal Land-Use Review Procedure, which includes approval from the City Council.

Under the plan, developers in the entire 74-block Midtown East area would be allowed to construct taller buildings if they make a payment, called a District Improvement Bonus, into a new city fund. In addition, the existing “transfer zone” for the so-called Grand Central Subdistrict — a subsection of the broader Midtown East area — would be expanded, so that air rights there can be sold more freely.

Expanding the transfer zone in the Grand Central Subdistrict is a significant move because, typically, air rights in the city are transferrable only to adjacent lots — or, in the case of landmark properties, across the street. (The city established the subdistrict, which includes the area between East 41st and 49th streets and Fifth and Third avenues, in 1992 in an effort to encourage the use of air rights. But in an illustration of why it’s now expanding the zone, only one such transfer has occurred since — to 383 Madison Avenue, a 47-story building completed in 2001.)

In 2006, Andrew Penson’s Argent Ventures made a bet on the Grand Central area. The company bought the land under the train station and, by extension, its air rights from the American Financial Group, which, years earlier, had taken over the remnants of the Penn Central railway. Argent now holds about 1.3 million square feet of the unused remaining air rights.

According to PropertyShark, other air rights owners in the area include St. Patrick’s Cathedral (1.2 million square feet), St. Bartholomew’s Church (646,299 square feet), 390 Park Avenue Associates (358,994 square feet), 250 Park Avenue (304,628 square feet), Landgray Associates (185,625 square feet) and Central Synagogue (165,049 square feet). Some of those owners, however, are in the broader Midtown East area and not the Grand Central Subdistrict, so will only be able to sell to adjacent building owners or those across the street.

But the Daily News reported last month that the Archdiocese of New York is lobbying the city for the right to transfer its development rights anywhere in the zone, despite the fact that Grand Central is the only landmarked building that would be able to do so under the current proposal.

Selver, Argent’s lawyer and the cochairman of the land-use department at the law firm Kramer Levin, said in an interview with The Real Deal that the future value of his client’s air rights will be determined, in large part, by the specifics of the rezoning.

That is because under the Bloomberg proposal, in order to use the air rights that they purchase, developers would first have to buy separate development rights from the city, with the proceeds from those sales going into the fund to pay for pedestrian and transit improvements in the area.

For example, within the Grand Central Subdistrict, building a tower with a floor-area ratio of up to 15 — in other words, a building with 15 times as many square feet as on the underlying lot — would be allowed as of right. But in order to build more, up to a FAR of 18, developers would have to pay into the city fund. To build even higher than that, to a FAR of up to 21.6, developers could either make additional payments to the city or buy air rights from those like Argent who own them.

Consequently, the amount the city sets for the price of the separate development rights that it will be selling will affect the value of the privately owned air rights.

A competitive edge

Howard Goldman, a partner in the land-use law firm Goldman Harris, said in its current form, the proposed rezoning could put the city fund in competition with private air rights owners.

“Any requirement that you use the city’s air rights first basically creates serious competition,” Goldman said. “The city can set the price. They can underbid Grand Central if they want to and also give themselves a competitive advantage.”

Selver expressed a similar concern.

“In the past, the city has set the number at which they will ‘sell’ development rights too low,” he wrote in an e-mail. “They will tell you that they need to do so to encourage development, and even accepting that, I’ve never seen them set a number high enough.”

Since so few air rights have been sold in the Grand Central Subdistrict, there are no comps and pricing is expected to be tricky.

A spokesperson for the Department of City Planning, which is overseeing the rezoning, said the city is still determining the payment amounts it would require for its fund. But she said that the decision-making process will take into account the value of privately held development rights in the area, and will be complete before the public review process begins in the first quarter of 2013.

There is also the question of how many developers will be interested in buying extra development rights. The proposed rezoning would only allow taller new buildings on sites with full avenue frontage and at least 25,000 square feet of lot size. The goal is to encourage what the planning department calls “significant new commercial buildings.”

Still, there are a few sites within the Grand Central Subdistrict whose owners — or future owners — would qualify.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority said early this year that it’s planning to sell its headquarters, a row of prewar office buildings at 341, 345 and 347 Madison Avenue that take up the length of the block between East 44th and 45th streets. Under the proposed rezoning, a buyer could demolish those buildings and construct a larger tower in their place.

Meanwhile, 380 Madison Avenue, at East 46th Street, was left without a major tenant in March when Investment Technology Group moved out, and the owners are reportedly planning to renovate or tear down the building.

‘The real impetus’

Goldman called replacing Midtown’s aging office stock “the real impetus” for the rezoning. East Midtown’s office buildings are significantly older than in “competitor cities” like London and Tokyo, city planning officials say.

To address that, Bloomberg’s proposal would also allow owners of qualified buildings that are “overbuilt” — meaning that their towers exceed the allowable height under current zoning guidelines, but were likely grandfathered in — to tear them down and replace them at their existing height or, in some cases, taller if they pay into the new fund.

Goldman said he thinks many qualifying owners will seize the opportunity — despite the mandatory payments into the city fund.

Another source, who asked not to be named, noted that the costs of rebuilding would be significant, but that landlords would look at the longterm financial benefits. “Potentially, it’s anyone who owns a property that’s either underbuilt — which very few of them are — or is old and tired, and the owner is willing to demolish it, lose his rent stream for a couple of years and build another one.”

The city may not need many property owners to modernize to deem the rezoning a success: The city planning spokesperson emphasized that the goal is to seed the area with just a handful of modern and sustainable office buildings.

All this depends, of course, on whether the proposal is approved (and in what form) before Bloomberg’s term is up.

“I think the city put out a proposal within a relatively short time frame, and now I think they are in the process of listening to what people have to say about it,” Goldman said. “I’m absolutely certain there will be changes before it’s in its final form. What the changes are is a different question.”
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Old October 26th, 2012, 02:19 AM   #244
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This is not that bad... Just maybe a little too much green?
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Old October 26th, 2012, 03:25 AM   #245
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Yeah, just scrap the giant flower pot idea and this is a beautiful tower!
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Old October 29th, 2012, 09:14 PM   #246
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http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...NION/310289981

Robert D. Yaro: Rezoning plan will revitalize midtown east

City needs to replace aging infrastructure.

By Robert D. Yaro

October 28, 2012 5:59 a.m.

New York is a city of ambition, galvanized by creative businesses and striving residents, cutting-edge fashion, groundbreaking culture and pioneering restaurants. Residents of cities around the world look to New York as a model of dynamic urban life. Yet in one area, New York is falling behind its peers. The city is failing to generate enough modern office space to accommodate all the companies, entrepreneurs and employees who want to work here. While Chicago, London and Tokyo have rejuvenated their business districts with modern, environmentally sustainable infrastructure, much of New York's office space in midtown and lower Manhattan is cramped, stodgy and long past its prime.

That is why the city has proposed altering the zoning rules in east midtown, a nearly 20-block-long area anchored by Grand Central Terminal. As the country's premier business district, east midtown is a thriving cluster of large and small companies, with many top banks, law firms and media businesses mingling with a variety of technology and service firms. These enterprises play a huge role in driving New York's economic engine, and they thrive in part because of their proximity to one another.

Yet increasingly, this corporate ecology is threatened by a shortage of high-quality properties. Without a sufficient supply of new, Class A office space, top-tier firms will go elsewhere and the dynamic heart of New York's central business district will decline.

It might seem strange to think of the bustling streets in east midtown as outmoded. And indeed, the area is home to many architectural icons, including the Seagram and Chrysler buildings and Grand Central itself, as well as a host of other impressive offices, hotels and residences. But it also has more than a few unremarkable, aging structures, whose low ceilings and heavy interior columns deter potential tenants. In the area being considered for rezoning, the average building is 73 years old. In London's financial district, by comparison, the average age is about 40.

Under the city's proposed zoning changes for east midtown, it is likely that fewer than two dozen buildings would be constructed in the area over the next two to three decades. The new construction would be concentrated on corner and avenue-facing lots, allowing light to continue to reach into midblocks and not crowd out smaller structures.

Still, New Yorkers are right to worry that any new office or residential capacity over time could strain the East Side's transportation infrastructure. That's why it's critical that New York ultimately extend the Second Avenue subway down the length of Manhattan to the financial district. This would build on the goal of the east midtown initiative to concentrate development around transit hubs, which would benefit commuters, employers and the environment.

Some wonder whether New York City, with redevelopment projects already underway in the financial district and at Hudson Yards on the far West Side, might be building too much office space. But the construction in lower Manhattan is replacing space lost in the 9/11 attacks. Plans for Hudson Yards envision not an office district but a mixed-use neighborhood of retail, commercial and much-needed residential space. The new square footage permitted under the east midtown rezoning would be readily absorbed into the marketplace over the next generation.

New York is one of very few older U.S. cities that continue to attract new residents and businesses. A key ingredient of its appeal is its density—the juxtaposition of diverse businesses, the walkability of many neighborhoods and the easy access to social, professional and cultural opportunities. The changes proposed for east midtown under the city's plan capitalize on those strengths, and on another quality that has made New York the envy of big cities worldwide: the willingness to innovate.

Robert D. Yaro is president of the Regional Plan Association.

A version of this article appeared in the Oct. 29, 2012, print issue of Crain's New York Business.

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article...#ixzz2AiH5MQHq
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Old October 29th, 2012, 10:44 PM   #247
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East Side Access will be done in 2019, along with Phase I of the SAS in 2016, but the city and MTA should aim to get the Second Ave Subway from 125th to 42nd with a link to the 7 by 2022, which will be roughly when the first East Side Rezoning buildings are likely to open. It probably won't happen, but the 4 5 6 is just not capable of handling any more people than it currently does.
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:29 AM   #248
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I thought Stark Tower was proposed in this location, according to the Avengers :/
Yeah! I know, but I'm pretty sure they would never deconstruct the MetLife Building just to do it. Also, Stark Tower is rather ugly lol

Looking at all the "ring" concept art for the area, it seems like something that would be built after the Chituri invasion
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Old October 30th, 2012, 05:42 AM   #249
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I am so saddened. Anyone who has been to 42n street by the Grand Central can appreciate the uncommon beauty of those very tall, pre-War buildings. Together, they provide an incomparable air of the brave old New York of the 1930s and 40s, when all those chic and tall buildings were built with so much attention to harmony with their neighborhood, their grand lobbies, high ceilings, and total original beauty.

Everything is now being pulled down. New York is soon going to look like Dubai, with no character, mishmash of tall, characterless buildings, sticking out of the ground, here and there.....

I suppose New York never learned anything from that grand act of vandalism: pulling down the Penn Station in the 1960s...

"very tall pre war buildings?" As long as they're not taking down the chrysler building in that area I'm ok with it, the city needs to grow and become part of the future.. it's the cycle of life.

And no NYC won't look like Dubai, there is way more history and density/life/culture etc. you name it...
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Old October 30th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #250
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NYC? Like Dubai? Last time I checked there were no tacky 100 story pomo towers built solely for showing off in NYC.

And NYC is not a museum. It's a financial capital.

What's on the site now is nothing special, anyway...
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Old October 30th, 2012, 07:42 AM   #251
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I am so saddened. Anyone who has been to 42n street by the Grand Central can appreciate the uncommon beauty of those very tall, pre-War buildings. Together, they provide an incomparable air of the brave old New York of the 1930s and 40s, when all those chic and tall buildings were built with so much attention to harmony with their neighborhood, their grand lobbies, high ceilings, and total original beauty.

Everything is now being pulled down. New York is soon going to look like Dubai, with no character, mishmash of tall, characterless buildings, sticking out of the ground, here and there.....

I suppose New York never learned anything from that grand act of vandalism: pulling down the Penn Station in the 1960s...
I agree to an extent. I was opposed to the demolition until they brought out the renders for the new project that was beyond my expectations. New York is replacing two historic yet faily non-descript buildings from a bygone era with two architectural, iconic gems of the future. In 100 years,, these new towers proposed will be the new Empire State Building and will be admired.Those two destroyed buildings on the other hand are nothing to crow home about. Should we destroy every old building for a new one? No. But when the new product is far and away better than the old product I say the city should go for it. I'm still not convinced about destroying the Drake Hotel for 432 Park Avenue though. That one seems like a much tougher trade-off. This tradeoff is worth it for New York imo.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:18 AM   #252
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http://professional.wsj.com/article/...&mg=reno64-wsj

KPF will design this.

Last edited by RobertWalpole; November 26th, 2012 at 05:25 AM.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:31 AM   #253
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Nice. You know it will be a good design when it comes from the same architects as SWFC, Lotte Tower, and ICC
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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:34 AM   #254
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Nice. You know it will be a good design when it comes from the same architects as SWFC, Lotte Tower, and ICC
i love swfc and the icc, im really excited now to see the design of this
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Old November 26th, 2012, 06:00 AM   #255
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Any chance they incorporate that futuristic halo design for this project???
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Old November 26th, 2012, 06:09 AM   #256
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Nice. You know it will be a good design when it comes from the same architects as SWFC, Lotte Tower, and ICC
I'm a fan of their work at the Yards.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 10:09 AM   #257
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Wonderful, i love towers designed by KPF
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Old November 26th, 2012, 11:45 AM   #258
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I'm confused. I thought this project was a 2 supertall complex with a supertall adjacent to Grand Central at each side. For some reason though, I keep hearing 1 supertall. Is this project 1 or 2 supertalls?
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Old November 26th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #259
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that means we finally get something modern, yet simple. the yards, penn and 2WTC were mostly the only projects i like lately in new york, i am happy we finally see something normal going up beside the weird towers like verre and one57.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 12:57 PM   #260
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Torre verre isn't weird , it's just great!
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