New one .
Suggestion to mods: Perhaps add One Vanderbilt to the thread title?
Cross post from Midtown / Midtown East Rezoning Plan thread May 24, 2014:
TD Bank Eyes Unbuilt Grand Central Tower, Meaning It's On
New Tower in Rezoned Midtown East May Top Chrysler Building
May 30, 2014, by Hana R. Alberts
A newly unveiled rendering for One Vanderbilt, via architects Kohn Pedersen Fox, looking east from Bryan Park.
Its height is particularly striking.
The rumors were true. Developer SL Green will, in fact, go ahead with its proposal to build a 65-story tower just west of Grand Central station—one with up to 1.6 million square feet of office and retail space inside that would rise about 1,200 feet, which is 150 feet taller than the Chrysler Building, its Art Deco neighbor to the east. The Times and the Journal both reported SL Green's tower-tastic plans for 1 Vanderbilt Avenue, which looked very likely last year but were thrown into doubt after Midtown East rezoning—a.k.a. that controversial piece of city legislation that would have allowed One Vandy to be so damn tall—wasn't approved before the end of Bloomberg's tenure.
But the rezoning plan lives—albeit in another form. Today, Bill de Blasio and area councilmember Dan Garodnick announced preliminary plans for a reincarnated rezoning plan for the area.
A second newly unveiled rendering for One Vanderbilt, via architects Kohn Pedersen Fox.
This looks southwest from the corner of Vanderbilt Avenue and 43rd Street, showing Grand
Central to the left, One Vanderbilt to the right, and the pedestrian plaza in between.
As per a press release from the mayor's office, a short-term zoning change for the five-block stretch west of Grand Central that is Vanderbilt Avenue (between Park and Madison from 42nd to 47th streets) would allow SL Green to erect One Vanderbilt. (These could be approved as early as this fall.) Meanwhile, zoning amendments for the rest of the neighborhood would roll out over the longer term. In official jargon:According to the Times, in exchange for being allowed to erect its lofty Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed tower, SL Green will be giving back to the community in the form of 1) an underground connection between the One Vanderbilt and the terminal; 2) a public "waiting room" in the lobby of the tower for commuters; and 3) a pedestrian plaza on Vanderbilt between 42nd and 43rd. SL Green's CEO also told the times it would spend $100 million on transit infrastructure, which would help alleviate congestion in an area mainly served by the overburdened 4/5/6 line.
First, the department will advance a zoning proposal to allow for larger state-of-the-art buildings along Vanderbilt Avenue that would provide specific, significant and upfront public infrastructure upgrades. The initiative is designed to ensure that property owners provide for much-needed improvements at Grand Central Terminal to relieve subway station bottlenecks and create new public open space sought by local stakeholders. The changes will undergo a full public review. SL Green – the owner of a large site at Vanderbilt Avenue and East 42nd Street – will likely be the first applicant for this new zoning special permit, with a proposal to deliver vital pedestrian and subway improvements concurrent with the construction of a major new office building across from the Terminal.
And that's not all, folks. The rezoning of Vanderbilt Avenue leaves the door wide open for development beyond SL Green's. Namely, the Times points out, at two sites: "a Madison Avenue building owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority [at 341, 345 and 347 Madison Avenue], and the Roosevelt Hotel." WSJ adds the currently 22-story Yale Club into the mix of possible development sites. It's not like the owners of those have proposed anything yet, but the rezoning's allowances to build big in a time of real estate hot-ness, even if they have to pay out to improve the neighborhood's transit and infrastructure in return, will likely prove alluring.
All of these towers will have to pass through ULURP, the city's land-use review process, and all reports emphasize that the community (which has been rather outspoken against rezoning in the past) will be heavily consulted. Brace, Midtown East.
65-Story Tower Planned Near Grand Central Terminal [NYT]
City Plans Midtown East Rezoning to Aid Tower [WSJ]
One Vanderbilt Comes with $200M of Subway Improvements
by Jeremiah Budin
Renderings by KPF
One Vanderbilt, the monstrous office tower being developed by SL Green and designed by Kohn Pederson Fox, will be New York City's second tallest building once it rises a block west of Grand Central Terminal. And with it will come $200 million of transit infrastructure improvements, provided by the developer, that were a condition of the Midtown East Rezoning (which is why the tower is allowed to be so tall in the first place) being approved. Today, the specifics of those improvements were released. The ones at One Vanderbilt will include a new subway entrance on 42nd Street, a new corridor and escalators connecting trains (the 4, 5, 6, 7, Shuttle, and Metro-North) to the under-construction LIRR East Side Access concourse, a 4,000 square-foot, ground-level indoor transit hall, and a public plaza between 42nd and 43rd Street on Vanderbilt.
There will also be a number of improvements made in and around Grand Central Terminal. These include a new stair in the basement of the Pershing Building connecting the IRT Lexington Avenue subway mezzanine to the platform, a new subway entrance at the southeast corner of East 42nd Street and Lexington Avenue, narrowing of stairs and columns in the station to provide more space, new stairs and an elevator for another subway entrance at East 42nd and Lex, a new mezzanine paid area in the basement of the Grand Hyatt Hotel with two new stairs to the subway platform, and the conversion of existing enclosed spaces into circulation areas.
The transit improvement are expected to be completed by 2020 or 2021, two years before the expected completion date of the East Side Access project.
I'm sure I was as unhappy as many of you were when the whole Grand Central re-zoning went down with Bloomberg. At least as a general positive concept. But then you see the buildings that would have been left to the wolves, and you want to stand at the ramparts singing the Internationale. So perhaps we can do (a) Downtown and (b) Hudson Yards, and then figure out Park in the upper 40s and 50s. Is it critical right now (pace, Cuozzo)?
Developer unveils $210 million facelift for Grand Central
Landlord SL Green will make improvements as part of a deal to build a 65-story tower near the terminal
by Katherine Clarke
The area around Grand Central may get a lot grander.
Landlord SL Green unveiled its vision Monday for $210 million in transit improvements it is required to make as part of a deal to build a 65-story tower at the corner of Vanderbilt Ave. and 42nd St.
The One Vanderbilt proposal includes a towering glass atrium containing a wall of lush vegetation, new staircases to the station's difficult-to-find subway platforms, an expanded and refurbished mezzanine level, a new waiting room for commuters, and a connection to the long-delayed Long Island Rail Road’s East Side terminus.
SL Green One Vanderbilt would transform the area around Grand Central
"Midtown, the city and the region as a whole stand to gain from the substantial investments in the public transit," said Fred Cerullo, president of the Grand Central Partnership.
But the city isn't taking any chances. In exchange for permission to build such a mammoth tower, the city will require that all transit improvements — barring unforseen MTA-related delays — are completed before the developer can open its doors to tenants.
I hope that the Commies on the City Council don't kill this.
We've already seen this design, can't they think of something new instead of just combining the BoA tower and the bloomberg building, and every other new project?
It only adds to the need to bring the 2nd Avenue subway farther south.
This won't strain the subway at Grand Central. My guess is that most of the workers in this tower will be commuters who get off at GCT and walk across the street or get off at Penn Station and walk. Of those who live in the city, it's unlikely that the bulk will ride the 4,5, or 6.
Hopefully, Lola (L O L A Lola), La, La, La, Lola Finkelstein won't kill it by making unreasonable demands.
More than likely this will increase ridership on the Metro North. The Second Avenue Subway is nowhere near making it to Midtown, in the forseeable future, since MTA only has funding for phase 1.
We need a 34th St. crosstown subway that goes into Queens.
Residents Try to Get Details on New Midtown East Plan
Developer SL Green Pledges to Give Data in Response to Community Outcry
By Laura Kusisto
SL Green Realty Corp. made much of the $210 million it said it would spend on improvements to Grand Central Terminal in exchange for clearance to build a 65-story office tower, but the developer raised residents' ire this week when it wouldn't disclose more details.
After a heated meeting of the Midtown community board on Tuesday, SL Green on Thursday said it would release a breakdown of how it arrived at the figure when the project's public-review process begins in the next month.
Board members repeatedly asked SL Green officials to show how they had tallied individual improvements to reach the $210 million figure, according to two people who were present.
At one point, Stephen Lefkowitz, an attorney for SL Green, told those at the meeting that the improvements were about quality rather than quantity, according to the two people.
An SL Green spokesman on Thursday said focusing on the cost of each item missed the broader value to the public of the package of improvements. The developer and city officials have pointed out that the developer will be responsible for cost overruns, meaning the tab could climb above $210 million.
"We are proud to make an unprecedented investment in the public realm in and around Grand Central, and responsive to the community board's request this week, we will provide a breakdown of all of the public improvements as part of the upcoming formal public review process," said Robert Schiffer, managing director of SL Green
The debate raises larger questions given that SL Green's development is expected to set the standard for how the city extracts improvements from other developers who may want to build in the area around Grand Central.
"Only full disclosure will allow us to appropriately evaluate the public benefit, which is our charge under [the approval process]. We are fully confident that SL Green will provide us what we need," said Lola Finkelstein, head of a community task force on the city's plans for Midtown East.
The developer had advertised its $210 million figure Monday at an event for reporters, when it described staircases and other amenities it would build for Grand Central.
A representative for Argent Ventures, a real-estate company that owns 1.3 million square feet of air rights above Grand Central Terminal, also attended the community board meeting this week. The company has emerged as a vocal opponent of the rezoning that SL Green seeks to build its tower—which could significantly devalue Argent's air rights.
SL Green "tried to pull a fast one on taxpayers," an Argent spokesman said. "Fortunately, the community board called them on it."
A spokesman for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority declined to comment.
City Councilman Daniel Garodnick, who represents the area, said that it was more important to focus on the value of the improvements to the public, not the cost.
"How do you measure the value of the improvements relative to the request for added density? That's what we have to figure out, and whatever we do figure out, whatever we do, is going to be a precedent setter," he said.
Neighbors Suspicious of One Vanderbilt's Transit Improvements (Curbed)
Thanks, it's something that's been on my mind for a long time.