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Thread: Renovation of the UN - by Fumihiko Maki with S.O.M.

  1. #166

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime View Post
    I am sure this project is dead... but here is a rendering from this guys http://www.krjda.com



    I thought the building was supposed to be white?

  2. #167

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    New York Sun
    August 28, 2006

    Schumer Says U.N. Building Is a Danger

    By JOSEPH GOLDSTEIN
    Staff Reporter of the Sun

    The deteriorating condition of the United Nations headquarters should be a source of concern for firefighters and Turtle Bay residents who might be exposed to asbestos in the event of an emergency at the U.N., Senator Schumer said.

    At a news conference yesterday, Mr. Schumer pledged to ask Secretary-General Annan and America's U.N.ambassador, John Bolton, to focus their attention on guiding to completion a plan to renovate the U.N.'s landmark building. The plan will cost an estimated $1.9 billion.

    Mr. Schumer said yesterday that the long-considered renovation is an "American issue, but particularly a New York issue."

    The U.N.'s campus was built more than 50 years ago. It does not comply with many city fire codes and lacks an internal sprinkler system, Mr. Schumer said.

    "If this were owned by a private company there would be so many violations the government could close it down," Mr. Schumer said at the news conference, which took place in front of the U.N. yesterday.

    Mr. Schumer said the U.N. complex posed several dangers to New Yorkers. He said the plaza where fire trucks would likely park following an emergency could collapse under their weight into the underground parking lot beneath.

    "While the blue-green windows of the Secretariat building glisten on the outside every day, on the inside the building is crumbling," he said. "The U.N.'s grave state of disrepair may be hidden, but it is putting the health and safety of thousands of New Yorkers in great danger."

    Mr. Schumer is not the first to cite the physical dangers that the building poses to Manhattanites. Yesterday he repeated a warning that a U.N. undersecretary-general voiced during a Senate subcommittee hearing in July 2005. The undersecretary-general, Christopher Burnham, said that if one of the steam pipes in the building were to blow the nearby area could be contaminated by asbestos, according to a transcript of the meeting.

    U.N. efforts to go forward with the renovations suffered a serious setback in May when the project head, Louis Frederic Reuter, quit his post. In June, the investigative office of Congress, the Government Accountability Office, released a report that cast doubts on whether the U.N.'s internal watchdogs were capable of ensuring that the renovations were accomplished without waste.

    © 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

  3. #168
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    RFP is out to complete this work, but they have released RFP's before on this and nothing got done, so your guess is as good as mine

  4. #169

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy View Post
    I thought the building was supposed to be white?
    That was one of the losing competition designs by Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates.

  5. #170
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Mayor May Revive a Scheme To Get U.N. More Space in City


    By BENNY AVNI
    Staff Reporter of the Sun
    February 13, 2007

    UNITED NATIONS — While sources say Mayor Bloomberg wants to revive a plan to erect a new building in an effort to avert what he calls the "disaster" of losing the United Nations to another world city, such a building could act as an aid for city developers to regain possession of lucrative office space currently leased cheaply by the world body, sources said.

    On a visit to Washington yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg expressed concern about the United Nations leaving New York. According to several sources, the mayor intends to revive an old plan to build a "swing space" to house U.N. offices while its headquarters undergoes an ambitious $2 billion renovation.
    U.N. officials, however, say they have no current plan to leave the city. And many business and U.N. sources familiar with the issue say the aim of several real estate developers is not to help the United Nations but to make a Midtown office building more profitable.

    The United Nations and several of its agencies currently lease part of the U.N. Plaza Hotel building on 45th Street and First Avenue at well below market rent. If the world body vacates the space, it could be renovated and sold for nearly $500 million — half of it net profit for a lucky developer.

    For that to happen, however, the United Nations needs to be persuaded to give up the space. One proposal is to move the offices currently in the space to a new building in Long Island City, Queens, across the East River from the landmark U.N. building. Staffers could be ferried easily to and from the United Nations.

    Before a meeting with Secretary of State Rice yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg told reporters that he hoped she could help him keep the world body in the city.

    Foreign diplomats and their financial contribution to local businesses "would not be there if the United Nations wasn't in New York City, and to lose the United Nations would be a disaster," the mayor said.

    City planners reportedly believe that the state legislators who rejected an earlier plan to erect a building for the United Nations in an open space at Robert Moses Park on 42nd Street may drop their resistance. Opponents of the plan have softened their stance since last year's elections, which changed the power structure in Albany, aides to Mr. Bloomberg believe.

    But Senator Martin Golden, a Republican of Brooklyn who led the opposition to the plan, told The New York Sun, "I don't think anything currently happening at the U.N. could make us change our mind."

    For their part, U.N. officials say the time has passed for the Robert Moses Park plan, and that their current renovation proposal does not include a permanent swing space. The officials, who requested anonymity, also said they doubt such a space could be built before the start of the renovation this year, which is scheduled to wrap up by 2014.

    Mr. Bloomberg's reported plan to revive the swing space idea "has nothing to do with the capital master plan" to renovate the United Nations, the spokesman for the plan, Werner Schmidt, told the Sun. The United Nations is now planning to renovate 10 floors at a time. A temporary conference space will be built on the U.N. campus, and while their offices are being renovated, staffers will be moved to a rented space in East Midtown, Mr. Schmidt said.

    He added, however, that the rent for the temporary new class B offices "will certainly be higher" than what the United Nations pays for its space in the U.N. Plaza Hotel building.

    Real estate developers have long eyed that building, which the United Nations, the U.N. Development Program, the World Food Program, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, among other U.N. agencies, have occupied for several years.

    The organization's long-term lease at the building will not expire before 2025.

    The United Nations currently pays $25 a square foot for the space, while similar offices in the neighborhood fetch $60 a square foot on average.

    One real estate source who crunched the numbers said recently that the United Nations' 320 square feet of offices could be renovated and sold as condominiums for $480 million. The net profit for the developer, according to the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, would be $220 million. The stumbling block for such a plan is persuading the United Nations — which currently enjoys a "dream arrangement," as one U.N. source described it — to give up its lease, and the renewed talk about the Robert Moses Park swing space plan may be connected to such an effort.

    But as the Sun earlier reported, the park's location above the Midtown Tunnel presents a major security risk. And building on a public park requires the approval of legislators in Albany, another challenge.

    Long Island City, on the other hand, is an area City Hall is interested in developing, and its proximity to the current U.N. campus could make it an attractive option for U.N. planners.

    © 2007 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.

  6. #171
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    The UN just approved the funding to renovate the tower, they are not building any swing space.

  7. #172

    Default As an aside...

    Here are some shots of the UN as it looks now...

    Panoramic views of the United Nations buildings, NYC

    It would be a shame to destroy the symetry of the current buildings and block out even more of the skyline...but perhaps I am a bit biased

  8. #173
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Yet, the UN plans saga continues...


    At a Longstanding Playground, Yet Another Plan to End the Games


    By ALEX MINDLIN
    Published: April 1, 2007

    The undistinguished little playground at First Avenue and 42nd Street, just south of the United Nations, has been tempting developers for years. Though it is called Robert Moses Playground, it is not much of a tribute to the master builder: a windswept 1.3-acre patch of painted asphalt, used by children, dog walkers and a roller hockey league.

    In 1981, Harry Helmsley tried and failed to acquire the playground from the city to construct a 50-story glass tower. And in 2002, Mayor Bloomberg began pushing a plan to build a United Nations office building on part of the site. The State Legislature rejected that proposal in 2005.

    Now the playground is back in play. Staff members from the office of Daniel Doctoroff, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, have met with most of the legislators representing the neighborhood over the last two months, pitching a plan for a 35-story tower that would consolidate United Nations offices now housed in widely scattered city-owned buildings. Because it involves taking parkland, the plan would require approval in the Legislature.

    Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said that residents would be compensated for the park’s loss by a planned esplanade and bike path along the East River. “The esplanade park would be more than three times the size of Robert Moses,” she said in an e-mail message.

    But the playground is 66 years old, and many neighbors say the esplanade is no substitute for this longstanding neighborhood institution. “What they’re proposing is park space for jogging or biking, or for people to sit on a bench and look at the river,” said Brian Kavanagh, the local state assemblyman. “That’s no replacement for a playground that’s used for active sports and kids running around.”

    The playground’s most faithful constituency is the East End Hockey League, a roller hockey league that plays five games a weekend there and has used the playground since 1972, often lobbying fiercely for its preservation. Jack Collins, the group’s longtime president, generally plays goalie or defense, a position that strikes him as apt. “There’s a lot of defense going on these days,” he said.

    Mr. Collins was skeptical about the group’s chances of finding a replacement space, in one of the city’s least green community districts. “I don’t see where there’s an alternative,” he said. “This is a modest space, but it’s someplace where you can use your imagination and make the most of a little playground.” ALEX MINDLIN


    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  9. #174

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime View Post
    Yet, the UN plans saga continues...
    “What they’re proposing is park space for jogging or biking, or for people to sit on a bench and look at the river,” said Brian Kavanagh, the local state assemblyman. “That’s no replacement for a playground that’s used for active sports and kids running around.”
    Because as we all know, running and biking are "passive" sports. That tells me all I need to know about the idiots in Albany.

  10. #175

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    Quote Originally Posted by krulltime View Post
    Janel Patterson, a spokeswoman for the city’s Economic Development Corporation, said that residents would be compensated for the park’s loss by a planned esplanade and bike path along the East River. “The esplanade park would be more than three times the size of Robert Moses,” she said in an e-mail message.
    A new metric is born. All parks can be measured Moses multiples... it reminds me of the Smoot bridge in Boston.

  11. #176

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    NY Sun

    Mayor Steps Up Pressure for U.N. Tower

    By ANNIE KARNI
    April 12, 2007

    The Bloomberg administration is stepping up its efforts to erect a 35-floor U.N. office tower on Robert Moses Playground, but the community, which says it is starved for open space, is putting up a fight over the 1.3-acre concrete square.

    Earlier this week, city officials presented a new plan at a community board meeting that would create a new ball field, jutting out over the East River around 38th Street, to host the roller hockey leagues and other activities that would be affected by the development.


    Initially, local residents and elected officials said a planned waterfront esplanade to be built by the city, which would be almost three times larger than the current park space, would not be a viable land swap for the 66-year-old asphalt park. They said it would not provide recreation space for the sports leagues that currently call the small playground home.

    "If we lose Robert Moses, there will be only one ball field in the area," the chairman of Community Board 6, Lyle Frank, said in an interview yesterday.

    The city's new proposal, however, gained more traction with the community Tuesday night. Details of the plan have yet to be fully hashed out, but Mr. Frank said the Parks Department agreed to present the community board with renderings of the substitute ballpark soon. A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg, John Gallagher, said "the administration agrees with the community regarding the need for open space in the area," and that Mr. Bloomberg would be working toward "a plan that works for everyone."

    Even if the new development plan wins community support, it could meet resistance at the state level. "The U.N. keeps themselves locked up in that little tower of theirs with no transparency or accountability," a state senator, Martin Golden, said in an interview yesterday. "As long as that's going to persist, there's no reason for the state to do anything for them."

    Any plan that involves a loss of city parkland requires the Legislature's approval.

    Yesterday, Mr. Bloomberg met with the new secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-moon, at the United Nation headquarters at Turtle Bay, but the subject of the new tower was not discussed, according to an undersecretary-general, Alicia Barcena.

    Mr. Bloomberg's first push to build a United Nations building on the playground site was killed by the Legislature in 2005. Developing the park space is back on the table now, as Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff seeks to build an office tower that would consolidate United Nations offices that are scattered throughout the city, for which many diplomatic tenants pay below-market rates.

    The local City Council member, Daniel Gardonick, and other elected officials who represent the Upper East Side last week penned a letter to Mr. Doctoroff, expressing their view that any discussion of developing a United Nations office tower had to take place in the context of a larger redevelopment plan, and include the pending rezoning of the site of the former Con Edison Waterside plant for residential and commercial use, and the renovation of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive, including plans to move a ramp 20 feet west to open up waterfront park space in one of the densest neighborhoods in town.

    Tuesday night's meeting, which drew more than 70 community members, as well as state senator, Liz Kreuger, and Mr. Doctoroff's chief of staff, Mark Ricks, marked the first time that city officials said they would tackle the various development projects in the area as pieces of a comprehensive development plan for the neighborhood, rather than as individual projects.

    "There's new opportunity for collaboration between the community and the city," Mr. Gardonick, said.

    The open space that has riled up the community is a nondescript concrete square at 42nd Street and First Avenue. But in a dense part of town that has only 26-acres of open space across almost 180 city blocks, elected officials say that every small park is vital to the neighborhood. "To take an existing park from this neighborhood before providing equal or better green space would be a serious blow to the community," Rep. Caroline Maloney said via e-mail.

    "The community was happy that for the first time, the city was saying they want to address all the various development projects comprehensively, rather than piecemeal," a spokeswoman Ms. Krueger, Sarra Hale-Stern, said.

  12. #177
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Here are those ballfields:


  13. #178

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    Right on top of the QMT vent building I see.

  14. #179

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    I really hope that this project gets put together. Not only to develop the playground and give the UN more space, but I hope that it would be part of a broader effort to improve the UN's immediate surroundings. I think it is an embarrassment to NYC that we have a leading world institution here that contributes a great deal to NY's claim to be the "world capital" and we have just pushed it off to the far edge of the city without really creating an area fit for such a symbol.

  15. #180
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    The proposed building does not complement the Secretariat building at all. I think it should go back to the drawing board it destroys the beauty of the UN architecture.

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