Scoping hearing held for Vornado’s 15 Penn Plaza site

Vornado exploring new development options for current site of Hotel Pennsylvania. On January 27, 2009, the Department of City Planning held a public hearing on the draft scope of an environmental impact statement for the proposed developments at 15 Penn Plaza in Manhattan. Bounded by Seventh Avenue to the west, West 33rd Street to the north, and West 32nd Street to the south, the Vornado Realty Trust-controlled property currently houses the 1700-room Hotel Pennsylvania.

In order to respond to changing market conditions, Vornado put forth two different development scenarios, both of which require discretionary approvals from the City Planning Commission, including zoning map amendments, text amendments, and various special permits.

The first scenario comprises a 2.84 million sq.ft. single tenant office tower that reserves 1.52 million sq.ft. for office space and another five floors for trading operations. The second scenario scales back the gross square footage of the building to 2.65 million, and allows for 1.85 million sq.ft. of office space and 380,447 sq.ft. of retail space. 228,114 sq.ft. of the retail space could alternatively be used for trading uses. In addition to providing the City with Class A office space, Vornado would seek to improve local mass transit conditions, as both scenarios contemplate re-opening and renovating the pedestrian passageway under the south side of West 33rd Street.

DCP: Draft Scope of Work, 15 Penn Plaza EIS (CEQR No. 09DCP019M) (Jan. 27, 2009).

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