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Parks & Public Spaces

Application from MdeAS Architects and One Penn Plaza LLC, c/o Vornado Realty Trust, for a Distinctive Sidewalk at One Penn Plaza

At the regularly scheduled monthly Community Board Five meeting on Thursday, June 10, 2021, the following resolution passed with a vote of 34 in favor; 0 opposed; 1 abstaining:

WHEREAS, MdeAS Architects and One Penn Plaza LLC, c/o Vornado Realty Trust (“Applicant”), in association with their design team, have submitted an application for the installation of a distinctive sidewalk at One Penn Plaza; and

WHEREAS, The site encompasses the entire block between 34th and 33rd Streets to the north and south and 7th and 8th Avenues to the east and west; and

WHEREAS, The site is at the prominent and highly trafficked location of the major transportation hub of Penn Station; and

WHEREAS, The distinctive sidewalk is being installed as part of the major renovation to One Penn Plaza; and

WHEREAS, The existing concrete sidewalk and steel faced curbs will be replaced with limestone pavers and curbs, to be made from Belgium “Petit Granite” limestone which is extremely hard, dense, and durable; and

WHEREAS, The pavers will be installed in a running bond pattern, similar to other locations of granite pavers within Manhattan, and in a neutral blue-gray color to recall historic bluestone paving, and will have a slip-resistant finish and tight ¼” joints throughout; and

WHEREAS, New ADA-compliant curb cuts will be installed at all corner crossings; and

WHEREAS, The applicant has agreed to consider widening the ADA-compliant curb cuts beyond the requirements of the ADA, due to the extremely high volume of pedestrian traffic at intersections on this block; and

WHEREAS, No existing trees or tree pits will be removed by the installation of the distinctive sidewalk, and the owner is investigating the feasibility of installing additional trees; and

WHEREAS, The existing Privately Owned Public Spaces (POPS) within the site will also receive the new limestone paving; and

WHEREAS, New ramps are being provided in all locations where there are stairs to the POPS and the existing stairs are being widened; and

WHEREAS, The POPS will be made more visible and welcoming with the increased access and lowering of adjacent planters; and

WHEREAS, The sidewalk on 7th Avenue will be widened as per DOT’s plan to better accommodate the high volume of pedestrian traffic; and

WHEREAS, The POPS on this lot have been included in the Project Description for the Empire State Complex, a proposed series of future developments in this area, and accordingly, Community Board Five is concerned about the potential for any future construction to result in the removal and waste of the material described herein; and

WHEREAS, The Applicant has expressed the intention to reuse and repurpose the proposed limestone pavers to the maximum extent feasible during any future development of this lot; therefore, be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five recommends approval of the application from MdeAS Architects and One Penn Plaza LLC, c/o Vornado Realty Trust, for a Distinctive Sidewalk at One Penn Plaza; and be it further

RESOLVED, Community Board Five requests that the Applicant take any measures necessary to ensure that any future developments on this lot involve the reuse of the materials proposed for this application to the maximum extent feasible at that time.

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