Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011

How to Steal Money from Manhattan, with Columbia's Pro-Biz Think Tank

The Center for Urban Real Estate of the Columbia’s Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation sounds like such a refined academic institution! But apparently it's pretty much the Heritage Foundation of land use. The direct of the "Center" (funded in part by your developing friends at the Durst Organization!) is a former executive vice president at your friendly local developer the Related Companies, where he still consults. (Just to pick one: guess who's responsible for the disgusting Gwathmey building on Astor Place? Yes.) And so this oh-so-objective piece in the Times on the Center and, I paraphrase, "wouldn't it be hilarious if they connected Governors Island to Manhattan with a landfill bridge" and "wouldn't it be neat if they rezoned to basically do away with the guiding principles of air rights in Manhattan," is an exceptional launching pad for the Center's pro-developer "ideas." All this is cast as how it would make the City money. (Landfilling around Governors Island would "generate $16.7 billion in revenue for the city" over 20 to 30 years is their claim.) This would be the next Westway if it wasn't pretty much obviously untenable. Points for dreaming big (business) though!

14 Comments / Post A Comment

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

"New Yorkers are fond, perhaps overly so, of assembling ever-creative names for newly hot neighborhoods, from NoMad (north of Madison Square Park) to SoBro (the South Bronx) to BoCoCa (Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens)."

But those names aren't creative at all! They're just the first syllables of the longer place names!

@boyofdestiny Relax, SoBro.

jfruh (#713)

Why stop at Governors? Land bridges to Brooklyn and Jersey and Staten Island! You could get rid of all the bridges and use the space to build iconic luxury condos.

MParcells (#375)

@jfruh Trash bridge to England!

Lockheed Ventura (#5,536)

Let's get on this right after we finish the Second Avenue subway sometime in 2050.

dntsqzthchrmn (#2,893)

As Coenties said to Catherine
As they slipped down by the water,
"You want to go on out there,
"Lie back and make a daughter?…"

stuffisthings (#1,352)

Needs more palm-tree-shaped islands.

BadUncle (#153)

Something like 60% of Governor's Island is landfill. And all it gets used for is puppetry performances. Do we really want that much more puppetry and performance art in this city?? Next thing you know, there'll be unicycle biathalons and a clown academy.

boyofdestiny (#1,243)

@BadUncle I thought there already was a clown academy. It's called NYU.

stuffisthings (#1,352)

@BadUncle So unicycling and target shooting, in the winter? Yeah OK I guess that sounds pretty New York.

Faceword (#9,065)

I don't agree with the cynicism and the snark on this post. Maybe expanding all the way to Governor's Island isn't realistic, but it's not like expanding Manhattan through landfill has never happened before (see evolution of coastline here: Wouldn't increasing housing supply on greater-Manhattan bring down rents and add to the normal ancillary environmental benefits of dense city living? Seems like a good idea to me…

stuffisthings (#1,352)

They should just go ahead and make a BIZARRO MANHATTAN with cheap rent and residents who do not think they're the center of the universe. Like Chicago, but on an island. Made of garbage.

iplaudius (#1,066)

Yes, because there is ample transportation in and around Manhattan, and not enough people thereabouts.

Dont nobody remember the 70s idea — fill in the entire East River!

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