New York: The New York City Council has
approved a plan for construction of a 362.7-meter tall tower
that will only be a few feet less than the Empire State
Building in Manhattan.
During the past week, the owners of the Empire State
Building argued that allowing the building would change the
New York City skyline forever.
However, the Council today decided by a 47-1 vote to
give the green light to the building of Vornado Realty Trust,
called 15 Penn Plaza, that will be little smaller than the
1,250 feet tall Empire State Building.
Some Council members found the developer`s agreement
to spend more than USD 100 million on improvements to subway
entrances and tunnels at the adjoining station more
convincing, The New York Times reported.
"New York City is moving forward and moving out of
this recession," said Christine C Quinn, the Council speaker,
noting that the project was about jobs.
"This project and this zoning vote today are going to
help make sure New York City has a new and important
21st-century office tower in Midtown Manhattan."
Vornado had argued that New York skyline is never
static but always changing.
Bud Perrone, a spokesman for Vornado, said the company
believed that 68-story building would be "an outstanding
addition to New York`s iconic skyline."
Anthony E Malkin, an owner of the Empire State
Building, noted that the tower should be shrunk so as not to
obscure the view of his building.
"We thought that 15 Penn Plaza was too close to the
1,250-foot-tall Empire State Building for its height and
design," he said.
The Empire State Building, which was completed in
1931, is currently the tallest building in the city.
The Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre overtook the
Empire State Building, which will have to settle for the
second position once the new, 1,776-foot WTC is erected.
The construction of the new building, however, is not
expected to start for several years.