After being approved by the City Planning Commission in July, plans for a 1,200-foot tower just two avenues away from the Empire State Building are being reviewed by the City Council. If passed, the tower at 15 Penn Plaza would be a huge change to the New York City skyline. And the Empire State Building isn't happy about it. Anthony Malkin of Malkin Holdings, an ESB owner, wrote to the City Council:
The Empire State Building is the internationally recognized icon on the skyline of New York City. We are its custodians, and must protect its place. Would a tower be allowed next to the Eiffel Tower or Big Ben’s clock tower? Just as the world will never tolerate a drilling rig next to The Statue of Liberty, why should governmental bonuses and waivers be granted to allow a structure as tall and bulky at 15 Penn Plaza to be built 900 feet away from New York City’s iconic landmark and beacon?...If built, be as much a scar on the complexion of New York City as the loss of Penn Station.
If approved by the City Council, Vornado Realty Trust would be allowed to construct the building unless Mayor Bloomberg stopped them. They say they wouldn't begin construction until they found tenants for the new building. The City Planning Commission previously called the building, "precisely the type of well-designed…office building that New York City needs to stay globally competitive." They also assured opponents that "the prominence of the Empire State Building would not be significantly affected" by the new building.