Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Developers Cry Money In Trendy, Expensive Meatpacking District

In these tough times, people have to pull together, help one another in need. Perhaps a neighbor or a friend across town can't make rent or put food on the table. These are actual, real-life examples of living in a recession, or even a society that has a large gap between rich and poor. However in New York City, even the wealthy developers try put their hand in the cookie jar of the city's sympathies.

From The NY Times:

Then there are the hardships of city real estate developers. At a Tuesday meeting at the Board of Standards and Appeals, a lawyer, Gary R. Tarnoff, argued that his client, the Romanoff family, would face hardship if it could not get special permission to build a bigger office tower on its site next to the High Line, the long-awaited elevated park that has helped drive up real estate values in the meatpacking district.

At a meeting that ran more than two hours, Mr. Tarnoff argued that because the High Line cut through a section of the Romanoffs’ site, it was more costly to build a tower there — and, he said, lead contamination, poor soil conditions and a high water table had already added to the developer’s construction bill. So he proposed building a 12-story, 117,000-square-foot tower rather than a building at less than the 75,000 square feet that the city’s current zoning rules allow.

“We’re not saying we wish the High Line wasn’t there,” Mr. Tarnoff said. “But it makes it more expensive to build.”
Yeah I know, I can feel the tears streaming down your face. I'm ready to bawl myself. Seriously though, how ridiculous is it that the Romanoff company is even trying to argue about the costs of building on the high line. The benefits of being on an elevated park more than make up for construction costs.

With zoning laws under attack across the city, this is a case where the community must stand up and reject the Romanoff's bid to build yet another glass and steel edifice that is too big for the area it is being built in. Bloomberg and his allies have had too many victories in the last several years for their development and real estate industry friends. If Community Board 2 has any sense, they'll keep the Romanoffs in check and leave the development as is.