At a hearing with the zoning and franchises subcommittee of the City Council yesterday, Vornado Realty Trust, the developers behind the proposed 1,200 ft. 15 Penn Plaza, and Empire State Building owner Anthony Malkin made their cases to the committee.
David Greenbaum of Vornado Realty Trust insisted they were in no way attempting to take away from the glory of the Empire State Building, "We love the [Empire State] building, they love the building, New York City loves the building, we respect the building. We do not think that somehow the building is in any way blocked, defaced by having another major building in the skyline of New York." He also accused Malkin Holdings of producing inaccurate renderings of what the new building would look like. But according to Malkin, there can only be one.
"This is a size 22 foot in a size 12 shoe. It’s too bloody big," Malkin raged at the meeting. And according to a poll he commissioned, 71% of New Yorkers said the skyscraper would degrade the city's skyline. But Greenbaum accused Malkin of whining over the inevitable. "The fact is, New York City's skyline has never stopped changing, and I certainly hope it never will."
Though Malkin suggested capping the new tower at 825 feet, folks on the Empire State Building observation deck told AP yesterday the new tower would be a crime against the city's aesthetics. One said the lower tower "would still be no good, because I like to look down at the streets of New York," while another just remarked, "Wow! Wouldn't that be sad!" Final approval for the new tower could be decided by the committee by as early as Wednesday.