Biking Dutchman Hijacks Governors Island Planning Meeting
Does the developer who wants to tear down the High Line above 30th Street have an inside track on getting the Hudson Yards contract? Sources who ought to know tell us that the Durst Organization, which complained last week that preserving the High Line would cost $117 million, has hired the architecture firm of FXFowle to prepare its Hudson Yards bid. Coincidentally (we're sure), FXFowle is the same firm that prepared the architectural protocol for the project on behalf of the MTA and the Hudson Yards Development Corp., a city-created overseer. The MTA claims it wants to keep the High Line, provided it understands the costs and revenues involved. But it will take quite a bid by another developer to dispel the notion that Durst has already seen the answer sheet. Alec AppelbaumREAD MORE »
That sound you just heard is the last huff of Soho's industrial grit. With unceremonious filings last night, the city cleared the Trump Organization to build a 41-story tower on one of Soho's last scraps of industrial land. The Trump Soho project calls itself a "condo-hotel," a taxonomy that lets its developer build what some might call a residential tower in a manufacturing zone without special permits. The Greenwich Village Society for Historical Preservation calls it a precedent for sneaking other condos into other manufacturing zones around town, distorting property values and sundering urban character. For months, GVSHP has urged city agencies to drag the project through a public zoning review to air its potential neighborliness. But on April 26, the development team promised to let shareholders use the units for a maximum of 120 days a year (and for only 29 of every 36 days). Now, GVSHP chief Andrew Berman tells us: "This is a case of the city not enforcing its own laws, and that makes them vulnerable to a lawsuit." Does that mean he's threatening one? —Alec AppelbaumREAD MORE »
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