Two weeks ago the Community Board 5 subcommittee that oversees land use and zoning sent a clear message to the developers of the Tower Verre that not every neighbor is thrilled about another skyscraper coming to Midtown?even one designed by Pritzker Prize winner Jean Nouvel. But last week the full CB5 voted 30 to 9 in favor of the taller-than-ever 53 West 53rd Street. VITAL Update: Ha ha, just kidding. Turns out the request to DENY the application was approved, meaning the 30-9 vote was actually in line with the subcommittee's take, CB5 tell us. Oopsies! As always, the Community Board's vote is only advisory, so this war has many battles left in it.
Now designed to rise 1,250', the mixed-use tower would increase the Museum of Modern Art's gallery space by 40%, and through the sale of air rights, contribute needed funds to the restoration of the famed stained glass windows down the block at St. Thomas Church. One complaint from locals about the 82-story tower is that it would plunge them into darkness, and judging from the results of the shadow study (seen in the gallery above), ice-skating in Central Park during the Holiday Season may indeed get a bit dingy.
The word on the street is that developer Hines is still (unsurprisingly) seeking financing and has yet to finalize a hotel partner, but amongst the key players, hope remains that construction of the glass and aluminum clad Tower Verre could be completed by 2013. Until then, the public land-use review process churns on. The tapering tower would contain double-height expanded space for three floors of MoMA galleries, 100 hotel rooms in the tower's mid-section and 150 sky-high condos up top.
· Nouvel's MoMA Tower Flunks First Community Test [Curbed]
· 53 West 53rd Street coverage [Curbed]