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Old October 21st, 2014, 06:12 AM   #41
WI_1982
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Originally Posted by Manitopiaaa View Post
You didn't write a single thing that proved me wrong (how interesting).
No, pretty much everything you wrote was wrong. You really have yet to write something accurate.

The point is that most of Manhattan is already downzoned, landmarked or special districted. The current pace of landmarking is entirely irrelevent to whether or not NYC is preserving its building stock.
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Most of Manhattan was landmarked in either the late 1960s/early 1970s or in the late 1980s/early 1990s. Since then the addition of historic districts has been time consuming, with a historic district taking years to materialize and countless hearings, giving ample time for developers to demolish any buildings set to be landmarked.
All wrong. The fastest pace of landmarking in NYC history was under the Bloomberg administration, so from 2012-2014. And again, the relative pace of landmarking is completely irrelvent, unless you consider Venice to be a Dubai-like paradise for highrise development, because the pace of landmarking in Venice is 0.
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Stop with the hyperbole. 'Most' is clearly not true and starting out your comment with an easy-to-disprove statistic is a bad harbinger of the validity of the rest of your comment. Crain's New York Business and the Real Estate Board of New York (with vested interests in inflating the numbers) even only claim that 27.7% of Manhattan is landmarked:
In other words, I was probably underestimating the proportion of Manhattan that is embalmed in amber. If 30% of Manhattan is landmarked, and there are far more downzoned and special district areas (which actually make development tougher than landmarking) than my estimate of 60% of Manhattan completely off limits is probably a very low estimate.
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I'd also like to point that your argument appears to be that everything in New York with architectural merit has already been landmarked.
Actually, yeah, I would make such an argument. Given the overwhelmingly pro-landmarking bias on the part of the past few city administrations, given the massive resources of the landmarking agency and wealthy allied organizations, and given that landmarking is entirely in the hands of an independent agency, I think it's fair to say there are no "secret" gorgeous or notable buildings that have somehow escaped any notice, at least not in Midtown Manhattan or other central neighborhoods, and certainly not right on 57th Street.
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Though I admire your confidence in our bureaucracy, I think a church from 1931 with roots on the site since 1883 is more than befitting of protection, even if it's hip on SSC to bash anyone as a 'nimby' who even suggests historic preservation.
I would certainly hope not. 1931 is hardly an old building, and there is nothing particularly notable about the building. It's actually right around the average age of buildings in Manhattan. Just because you like how it looks doesn't mean its a candidate for landmarking, which is reserved for buildings of particular historical or aesthetic significance.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 12:53 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by WI_1982 View Post
No, pretty much everything you wrote was wrong. You really have yet to write something accurate.

The point is that most of Manhattan is already downzoned, landmarked or special districted. The current pace of landmarking is entirely irrelevent to whether or not NYC is preserving its building stock.
Again, no sources, texts, reports or evidence to back up your claim that most of Manhattan is landmarked or in historic districts (downzoning is a red herring and not remotely pertinent to the issue). You just pulled this nugget out of some special spot and are running on the "I'm right because I'm right because I'm right" strategy that never wins. The current pace of landmarking is not irrelevant because it gets to the main point of contention in this thread: whether the LPC is protecting buildings of architectural merit. There are buildings that merit preservation and do not have protection because the LPC is slow in landmarking. How is that not germane?

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All wrong. The fastest pace of landmarking in NYC history was under the Bloomberg administration, so from 2012-2014. And again, the relative pace of landmarking is completely irrelvent, unless you consider Venice to be a Dubai-like paradise for highrise development, because the pace of landmarking in Venice is 0.
Michael Bloomberg did not govern New York for a single day in 2014. I feel embarrassed that you can act so condescending and let such factual inaccuracies go throughout your entire argument. It makes you look really bad dude. And, again, no evidence or claims to back up your statements. You even seem to contradict yourself. On the last page you were claiming that New York isn't landmarking anymore because everything with architectural merit was protected way back ago. Now you're saying the complete opposite: New York is landmarking like crazy and it peaked just this year!!! So which is it?

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In other words, I was probably underestimating the proportion of Manhattan that is embalmed in amber. If 30% of Manhattan is landmarked, and there are far more downzoned and special district areas (which actually make development tougher than landmarking) than my estimate of 60% of Manhattan completely off limits is probably a very low estimate.
The 27.7% figure includes landmarks AND historic districts. Read. Your estimates? I thought this was from a source other than your inflated sense of intelligence? If your entire argument is your "estimate", why should any of us care what you have to say? Again, downzoning is not relevant to the discussion.

Quote:
Actually, yeah, I would make such an argument. Given the overwhelmingly pro-landmarking bias on the part of the past few city administrations, given the massive resources of the landmarking agency and wealthy allied organizations, and given that landmarking is entirely in the hands of an independent agency, I think it's fair to say there are no "secret" gorgeous or notable buildings that have somehow escaped any notice, at least not in Midtown Manhattan or other central neighborhoods, and certainly not right on 57th Street.
Yes, New York developers are no match for the "wealthy allied" pro-historic preservation lobby. Please. Your argument is patently tautological:

Landmarks have architectural merit because they are landmarked
They are landmarked because they have architectural merit

So any building not landmarked already automatically has no architectural merit worthy of preservation? I know it's cute to be bombastic and 'fresh' on this site, but there's a fine line between sounding controversial and sounding just plain ridiculous.

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I would certainly hope not. 1931 is hardly an old building, and there is nothing particularly notable about the building. It's actually right around the average age of buildings in Manhattan. Just because you like how it looks doesn't mean its a candidate for landmarking, which is reserved for buildings of particular historical or aesthetic significance.
I'm sure 99% of architects would disagree. But let me guess: we should bulldoze it because some 12-year old on SSC fancies himself a architecture critic. Age and merit are different things. This building has both.

I don't think you are as omniscient as you think you are mate So I wouldn't write as if my opinions were facts if I were you, as you seem privy to do.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 02:47 AM   #43
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You both act as if you are smarter than the other by creating these arguments and counter arguments. Most people would realize that their not getting anything done with this arguing and it has little to do with the topic (123W 57th street). Please spare yourselves the time and effort of this debate and be a positive member of the forum. Your ability to google information is to no concern of mine.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 04:32 PM   #44
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With the possibility of architectural heritage being annihilated for 123W 57th street, this discussion is most relevant for now, especially as we don't have anything else to discuss that is substantial.
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Old October 23rd, 2014, 11:39 PM   #45
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I agree. And whatever replaces this better be something special.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 09:10 AM   #46
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With the possibility of architectural heritage being annihilated for 123W 57th street, this discussion is most relevant for now, especially as we don't have anything else to discuss that is substantial.
Except that nothing you wrote was true.

There is no designated heritage building on this development site. Not one building has any landmarks, special district or other designation.
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Old October 26th, 2014, 09:44 AM   #47
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Mixed feelings about this one. As Gothic Revival structures go, this building offers some great flourishes on an otherwise un-noteworthy box. I can see why it was never landmarked. But it sucks to lose that fine stonework when so many other good wrecking ball candidates survive in all their bland mediocrity.
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Old October 27th, 2014, 12:58 AM   #48
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Maybe this will be the Wanda site.

http://www.wandaplazas.com/en/2014/l..._0709/700.html
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Old October 27th, 2014, 07:07 AM   #49
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I just get a not found page on that...any other links?
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Old October 27th, 2014, 03:41 PM   #50
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I copied the link from Wanda's website. It was just the usual spiel about how NY will be announced within the year.
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Old October 28th, 2014, 06:51 AM   #51
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I've seen the site renderings for their Chicago presence and it's glorious... they better get here in NYC for real this time, but I have no doubt when they do it will be in an amazing way.
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Old November 2nd, 2014, 10:06 PM   #52
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The site in context:


Another one to the central park skyline
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 08:40 AM   #53
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Another midtown project could reach the heavens, God willing
A church sale would provide critical mass for Extell's next 57th Street super-tower.

http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20150503/REAL_ESTATE/150509974/another-midtown-project-could-reach-the-heavens-god-willing



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A church on West 57th Street will soon decide whether it will sell its sanctuary and 197-room hotel to a developer who could erect yet another super-tall luxury tower on a single block—further transforming the city's skyline.

A sale of the Calvary Baptist Church and the Salisbury Hotel at 123 W. 57th St. would add a sizable piece to Extell Development's years-long effort to amass a number of contiguous properties there, and would allow it to potentially build a third high-rise on the same block as its 1,000-foot-tall One57 and the 1,400-foot-tall Steinway Tower being built by JDS Development.


Extell's plans have not been made public, but observers believe the collection of parcels could permit a project similar in scale to its 75-story One57 a few doors down. The potential sale has community leaders up in arms over real estate laws that allow developers to stockpile development rights and erect super-tall buildings without public input.

The church, meanwhile, is consulting with its congregants and a higher authority to determine how it might part with an asset believed to be worth more than $100 million.

"We look forward to a year in which God guides us through the challenges of everyday service, and brings a conclusion to our journey through the land of redevelopment and building study," John Clenance, chair of Calvary Baptist's Board of Deacons, wrote in a year-end report posted on the church's website.

A vote on the sale—prompted by rising maintenance costs, the economics of running a hotel and a dwindling capital fund—is expected by year's end, according to a January bulletin to church members that was obtained by Crain's.

Representatives from Extell, Calvary Baptist Church and the Salisbury Hotel declined to comment.

Though Extell has already bought several adjoining properties, the footprint of any future project could be doubled by a green light from the congregation, which is considering a number of options. Many in the community believe the most likely course would be a sale to the developer, which would demolish the structures and include a new and bigger sanctuary in whatever takes their place. Alternatively, the church could allow Extell to tear down the hotel but preserve the sanctuary, which occupies only the lower floors in one of the two buildings at 123 W. 57th St. Doing so, however, would trigger building-code requirements that would force the congregation to reduce the number of church seats to 600 from 800, according to the bulletin.

If the church decides not to sell but instead reposition the hotel, its verdict would probably stymie Extell's carefully laid plans for the block.

Extell, led by Gary Barnett, is known for assembling properties over a long period of time to combine into a single, large development site. On this particular West 57th Street block, the company already has purchased three other buildings surrounding the church and is currently negotiating buyouts with rent-regulated tenants, Crain's has learned. Some of the units in 134 W. 58th St. also serve as graduate housing for students at Fordham University, according to the school's website.

If Extell were to tear down the church, the hotel and the three buildings, a structure of at least 325,000 square feet could be built there, according to a rough estimate based on city zoning documents and not accounting for any zoning bonuses offered for the inclusion of affordable housing or improvements to nearby subway stations.

But many organizations, including the Municipal Art Society, believe that Mr. Barnett has extra development rights left over from the planning of Extell's 430,000-square-foot One57 project, which could be transferred to whatever the firm might be planning for the church site.

Members of Community Board 5, which represents midtown, oppose the way super-tall towers are being developed in the area around One57, which will soon count as its neighbors a 950-foot building being developed by Vornado and another Extell project, the 1,400-foot Nordstrom Tower.

But there is not much they can do. Mr. Barnett has been simply shifting around the total amount of square feet that is already allowed on the block, and not actually adding any density, meaning he could build another tower without public approvals.

Moving so-called air rights around a block has long served as a crucial way for owners of landmarks and other buildings not built to maximum density to generate revenue by selling their unused development potential. The Chrysler Building was constructed in this way, and the city has created special districts, such as West Chelsea, where these rights can be transferred across neighborhoods, and is even studying a way to make exchanges easier elsewhere in the city.

But community groups argue that the process is not transparent enough and that more notice should be given when real estate firms start buying air rights or merging tax lots with the aim of erecting a super-tall tower.

"As a result, today we do not know how many buildings are being planned, nor do we know what impact they will have," said David Diamond, a member of the Central Park Sunshine Task Force at a hearing last week. The organization was created to examine the impacts of tall towers on the neighborhood and shadows cast on the park.

The poor and the wealthy

CB5 is also concerned that businesses and rent-regulated apartments in buildings in the district will be replaced by towers solely for the super-wealthy; a unit in One57 sold for $90 million last year.

Haniff Mohammed, 63, has worked in the Salisbury Hotel for 21 years as an elevator operator, fire-safety director and a member of the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council. Coincidentally, he owns a home in the same neighborhood as Mr. Barnett—Queens's Richmond Hill.

"This hotel has given me a comfortable life," Mr. Mohammed said. "I would support any opposition [to its development]."

But Mr. Barnett, on the other hand, argued during a town hall event last year that his projects create well-paying union construction and service jobs, along with billions in revenue for the city and state governments.

"In New York ... we welcome the poor and downtrodden, and the wealthy as well," he said during the February 2014 meeting, adding: "We need to realize that building a great city involves development."
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 08:55 AM   #54
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Sorry but Gary Barnett is kind of a scumbag.
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 01:33 PM   #55
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Only in NY, lads! The City!!
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Old May 3rd, 2015, 05:35 PM   #56
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I am kinda on the fence about this one. I am fine with 157 and Steinway but with the addition of another possible supertall this block will be a 1,000' wall of glass. It sounds good but from the park it will be really dominating and the shadow issue will really be noticed. But I am indifferent build it or not. Another superfamily is always welcome I suppose.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 01:37 AM   #57
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Don't forget there's 31 W57th as well as Park Lane coming up. I think that if this proposal goes through, that should be the last high rise in the area after those, unless the legendary Shvo tower ever has a chance.
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Old May 4th, 2015, 01:52 AM   #58
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This and the other supertalls you mention definitely won't be the last supertall towers in the area. One of the most prime sites is 52-56 W 57th, which extends to 56th St and is vacant. It's next to a huge market rate rental on the corner of 6th that could be emptied within a year.

The Hadassa site in 58th, together with the adjacent properties on 57th, will yield another.

The Director's Guild will be redeveloped. I would not be surprised if it incorporated the adjacent LeParker Meridian on W 56th.

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Old May 4th, 2015, 02:01 AM   #59
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With the square footage and possible extra air rights it would be nice to see this thing hit 1200'

Another 1400 footer would look weird I think... I'd prefer it to be taller or shorter. Height variation is good.

Oh and NY is insane...
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Old May 4th, 2015, 02:10 AM   #60
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This and the other supertalls you mention definitely won't be the last supertall towers in the area. One of the most prime sites is 52-56 W 57th, which extends to 56th St and is vacant. It's next to a huge market rate rental on the corner of 6th that could be emptied within a year.

The Hadassa site in 58th, together with the adjacent properties on 57th, will yield another.
If that's the case I would worry the NIMBY anti shadow folk would out on the warpath demanding a stoppage... just because you can put something up, should it mean you have to go wall to wall with it? Three, four, five maybe... I think that would be great for the city, but a crowded cluster would be ostentatious excess. I really want to see towers which will be used as main residences, not writeoffs for oligarchs empty for parts of the year. Artistically, I love the towers going up... Nordstrom's is going to see a lot of traffic from non supermillionaires. But I'm not crazy about who a lot of those buying up condos will be... I don't expect them to live there much or most of the time but use it as a money/tax shelter.

Unlike the NIMBYs though I really do support the idea of building these towers...it's a mixed bag for me, but I don't believe we should be against wealthy investment in the city. I just don't support catering to the wealthy without regard for the best interests of the average or struggling New Yorker. It's a hard balancing act but count me as excited about the possibilities of Hudson Yards and other West Side development from Penn Station on.... or the new Midtown East redevelopment starting with the Vanderbilt corridor both which excites me overall even more than Billionaire's Row near Central Park.
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