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Thread: New Penn Station (Moynihan Station)

  1. #2386
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    When will this thread get back on topic?

  2. #2387

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    ....
    Our current zoning makes building here very formulaic. When a plot of land is sold, the seller knows exactly the maximum the developer can build and prices accordingly. This forces developers to build the maximum envelope, build the most efficient layouts, and leaves little room for architectural frills/innovation....

    If our zoning wasn't so rigid this would be less a problem, but unfortunately architecture is not a priority for our city officials. Loosening zoning would also allow the construction of more affordable apartments; but since New Yorkers fear bigger buildings, this would be impossible. In my opinion they should get rid of the FAR system altogether....
    I agree. Our system leads to destruction of pre-war buildings that have unused air rights, and it also leads developers to build cheap boxes that utilize every inch of space. I shudder to think of the L-shaped, horrific 550 foot, fat, glass box that will rise on The Drake site.

    The system in NYC needs to change. Moreover, there should be architectural review boards that must approve every project.

    Buildings do make a city. We're gradually losing every great old building in Midtown and replacing them with undistinguished boxes.

  3. #2388

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    This is fundamentally, incredibly, completely wrong. The government should have NOTHING to do with building aesthetics. It's the owners building, he should decide what it looks like. He he wants a plain or ugly building, that's his prerogitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    The system in NYC needs to change. Moreover, there should be architectural review boards that must approve every project.

  4. #2389
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    What about buildings owned by the government? Or mainly funded by government $$?

  5. #2390

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    Didn't 15 Penn get 'help' from the government?

  6. #2391

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    The owner should be the one to decide. If the gov't is the owner, it's the call of whatever agency is controlling the building. If the gov't is kicking in money, they can attach strings.

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    What about buildings owned by the government? Or mainly funded by government $$?

  7. #2392

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    Define "help"? They got a zoning variance, in return at least partially, for transit improvements. I don't know if it's getting tax abatements, and if so, anything beyond the 'standard' ones.

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Didn't 15 Penn get 'help' from the government?

  8. #2393

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    The developer got discretionary bonuses to the zoning code. Transit 'improvements' like plaza bonuses, are a joke. This was addressed in the 15 Penn thread. One of the complaints of the building, that it's basically a monolithic box, was caused by one of those bonuses, allowing the developer to forgo setbacks for such a large volume building. These bonus instantly increase the land's value, a gift from the city to the developer.

    Property ownership and development in a modern urban environment is a tangled relationship between private and public. To say that government should stay out of it is only looking at the side you want to see.

    If, as dbhstockton suggested, the 1916 regulations were re-instituted, the real estate industry would howl to the pols.
    Last edited by ZippyTheChimp; September 14th, 2010 at 04:22 PM.

  9. #2394
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The 1916 code was enacted for specific reasons -- primarily to maintain some degree of light and air for neighboring properties. As has been pointed out, modern technology (i.e: air conditioning, fluorescent lighting, etc.) has rendered the central aspects of the 1916 regulations untenable from a building / development POV.

    For the future there should be a middle ground. A good start could be mandatory street wall heights & setbacks across the board (or at least within certain districts) -- regulations that can't be bargained away. On the other hand, in wholly new developments (such as the Hudson Yards) such limitations might not be necessary and a freer form could lead to better planning and a more interesting city scape overall.

  10. #2395

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    ^
    I agree that you can't expect a return to the exact form of the 1916 code, but "light and air" was generally enacted for the street, not neighboring buildings.

    At any rate, just relaxing zoning limits, as some suggest, won't necessarily solve the problem. It'll just create larger versions of the same boxes, because going straight up is most efficient for a developer.

  11. #2396
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    Penn to Get Mightier

    Stalled Project Set for First Construction


    By ELIOT BROWN

    The chronically stalled plan to expand Penn Station into the neighboring James A. Farley Post Office is slated to see a first in its checkered two-decade history: the start of construction.

    On Monday, a parade of government officials is expected for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the first phase of the project that calls for expanding the western Penn Station concourse, currently used only by Long Island Rail Road, to allow access to eight tracks used by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak.

    This phase also includes the construction of new entrances next to the post office and ventilation work.

    According to people informed of the event, the federal government is expected at the same time to make official an $83 million grant that was critical to the launching the first construction phase, which is projected to cost $267 million.

    But Monday's announcements still leave the grand vision—a new train hall for Amtrak in the Corinthian-columned post office—years away and hundreds of millions of dollars short, with no clear route toward full funding.

    Known as Moynihan Station, in honor of late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan who pushed it throughout the 1990s, the project has been supported by four governors, three mayors and an array of transportation and civic groups, but has been consistently derailed by a shifting political and financial landscape.

    The construction that's beginning, while limited in its scope, is a rare victory for Gov. David Paterson on a major economic-development project. Two years ago, he pledged to be the first governor to actually get the project started, an announcement that coincided with a plunging economy.

    To break the logjam, the Paterson administration last year split the plan up into two phases—the first of which involves the concourse expansion and ventilation work—and secured the $83 million grant from a federal economic-stimulus program. The transformation of the Farley building would follow, the administration believed, should future funding materialize on the federal or state level.

    "This first phase by itself, even if nothing else happens, this is money well spent," says Tom Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, which has long supported the station.

    With the new entrances west of Eighth Avenue and a longer, wider western concourse, the construction will decrease congestion in Penn Station and offer easier access to the new development planned to the west as part of the second phase.

    That phase also calls for bringing in two private developers, the Related Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust, to develop retail space in the train station and build a new tower to rise on the same block as 1 Penn Plaza with air rights purchased from the state.

    The developers had previously pushed for a grand $14 billion plan that involved moving Madison Square Garden and an array of new office towers, an effort that died amid tremendous complexity and funding gaps in 2008.

    City planners have been dreaming of developing a new Penn Station as a grand portal for the city ever since the original neoclassical station was razed in 1964 to make way for the current Madison Square Garden. Mr. Moynihan later called its demolition—long a cause célèbre among preservationists—"the greatest act of vandalism" in the history of the city.

    The groundbreaking—slated to include U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sen. Charles Schumer Mr. Paterson, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg—comes as questions surround another major transportation project in the area.

    New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said he wants to pull the plug on the $8.7 billion new rail tunnel planned to go into a new station just north of Penn Station, and he is in the midst of a two-week review at the request of federal officials.

    That project, also in the works for decades, would provide a release valve for the at-capacity Penn Station, although Mr. Christie is concerned about funding overruns and is looking for ways to fund the state's highway system.

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...s_newyork_main

  12. #2397

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    Will the tower be on the crappy Torneau/Foot Locker site on 7th or on the Duane Reade site on 8th?

  13. #2398
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonyO View Post

    That phase also calls for bringing in two private developers, the Related Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust, to develop retail space in the train station and build a new tower to rise on the same block as 1 Penn Plaza with air rights purchased from the state.
    The site most often discussed is the plot along Eighth where the low-rise Duane Reade is now.

  14. #2399
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    New Renderings of Moynihan Station from NYS ESD.

  15. #2400

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    I know it was said that they would keep the postal functions in the building, but it would've been nicer if they used the grand staircase.

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