New York: New York`s Empire State Building got a rival Wednesday after a developer received a green light to build a skyscraper that would rival the height of one of the world`s iconic buildings, news reports said.
The City Council, a kind of legislature for New York City, unanimously approved plans by the developer, Vornado Realty Trust, for a 67-storey building, which is to stand just 11 metres shorter than the Empire State Building.
The landmark 1931 building is currently New York`s tallest building at 416 metres, after the 2001 terrorist strikes destroyed the World Trade Center`s twin towers.
The Vornado project will be just two blocks from the Empire State Building at Penn Station, near 34th Street and 7th Avenue. It has the support of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
New York`s newspapers have dubbed the fight between the Empire State Building and the Vornado project, the War on New York`s Skyline.
Malkin Holdings, which owns the Empire State Building, said the new building would challenge not only its height but also its famous status of a landmark in New York.
Malkin Holdings had called the Vornado project a "monstrosity" that may alter the city`s skyline. The project was approved last week by the city planning commission and received final approval Wednesday by the City Council.
"The Empire State Building is the most important and single largest landmark - with a capital `L` - in the city of New York," said Anthony Malkin, president of Malkin Holdings.
New York`s other skyscrapers include the newly built Bank of America at 400 metres and the Chrysler and New York Times buildings, both at 349 metres.