The Fight Over the Palisades View

Thursday, May 01, 2014

LG plans to build its tall new headquarters above the tree line in the Palisades, and environmentalists and others are pressuring the company to lower it. Kim Lueddeke, reporter for The Record, gives an update after attending a public hearing last night in Englewood Cliffs. Plus, she'll talk about a new state senate bill that would ban all tall buildings along the Palisades.

Joining her is Mayor Paul Tomasko. His town, Alpine, is Englewood Cliffs' northern neighbor. He explains why he is against LG's tall new headquarters, too.



Kim Lueddeke and Mayor Paul Tomasko

Comments [36]

katy Sullivan from Fort Lee

LG electronics can build LOWER on the Hudson River Palisades (35', the way it has been respected for 100 years) and have the same number of JOBS (the win win solution). The construction workers want to go to work either way (at the meeting they told us they could support a lower design), BUT LG and Englewood Cliffs NJ Mayor Joe Parisi insist on the 143' tower that would look like a giant middle finger all the way north and west to the Ramapo Mountains, and all the way east to the people on the north shore of Long Island. It'll be like taking a giant dump on the Palisades. The 143' foot tower (eight 18' stories) will be 80' feet over the tree line. LG will take advantage of a National Historic Landmark (a world monument and a national natural landmark) by juxtaposing the view (the beautiful Palisades and the Hudson River) with the LG tower (with the LG logo in blinking neon red lights on top of the tower) to concoct a genius advertisement scheme ! (NEGATORY) The other reason why they won't budge is because their Korean CEOs will have a one of a kind awesome view of the Palisades, the GWB and the NYC skyline to impress themselves and their clients. Pats on your own back are in order you goons! When the NJ State Legislature approves the bill to stop this nonsense, it will be up to (guess who?) Mister Chris (Soprano) Christie to sign it into law, and everyone knows at this point he wants to save his own ass. We'll see what the bully will do. Boycott LG and Boycott Englewood Cliffs' businesses and sign the petition (which by the way is nearing 5000 signatures) Do the right thing LG and Mayor Parisi.

May. 05 2014 01:19 AM
Karen from NYC

If anyone wants to see a foreshadowing of the visual pollution that the LG Palisades development will bring, look at the George Washington Bridge from NJ and northern Manhattan. No more glorious sunsets over the bridge with this immense glass residential tower of no partular architectural interest in the picture.

On another note, bringing in office towers with thousands of people will severely strain the Englewood Cliffs and Alpine suburban infrastructure. Extra demands on water, sewer lines, power, and traffic [9W is a mess now at rush hour]-- who is going to be paying for or living with all that?

May. 02 2014 09:46 AM

...lets pass the plate so we can raise money to buy the property....

Jeff,you are beyond ridiculous. you logic,comes out of both sides of your grey matter.

May. 01 2014 10:19 PM
Al from NYC

This issue is a concern for everyone who cares about protecting one of the last stunning natural vistas on the East Coast.

May. 01 2014 10:13 PM

@ Jeff from Jersey- "entitled views of 1%rs" ?! talk about a warped construct of a concept. to frame the discussion in such a manner,is to grossly and selectively distort the baseline necessity of allowing for the preservation of nature. would you also argue that 99%rs should, or should not, have equal access to the natural commons?

May. 01 2014 09:56 PM
Moola from NYC

@Jeff from Jersey

Hey Buddy,
do you chance have a ballpark for how much that property in question goes for that the ordinary citizens of NYC could purchase it. Let's see...the last person who bought land up there was a Rockefeller... =D

I totally agree with you though, there is definitely some co-opting going on.
Happily awaiting your ball park estimate for the cost of the land in question.

May. 01 2014 06:16 PM
Jeff from Jersey

Hi Moola,

I think it's safe to say that more development in that area is in the cards; the town has all but announced such. But that's not an environmental issue; I assume that all development will be subject to the usual environmental reviews, etc and will have to pass muster on those grounds. The point is this: building height doesn't, as far as I can tell, impact the environment. Granted I'm no expert, but it would seem to me that taller with smaller footprint might actually have less of an environmental impact. Again: this is not an environmental issue, and treating it as such is buying into what seems to be a fairly dishonest campaign that's attempting to co-opt environmentalism in order to gain a moral high ground from which to pursue the interests of wealthy Upper West siders who don't want their view spoiled.

Once again: there is an easy way for these New Yorkers to ensure that their view isn't spoiled: buy the property in question.

May. 01 2014 02:21 PM
Vic from .

Brian, when are you finally going to connect the dots for your listeners...concerning the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, TPP...?
With this proposed agreement, this corporate coup d'état, many of the important issues currently being debated in our national interest ~ tar-sands extraction, & the XL Pipeline, hydraulic fracking, GMOs usage & labeling, as well as, local issues such as zoning regulations...all will potentially become moot issues_out of out control_& no longer our concern. We will, (unwittingly), be giving up our sovereignty...trumped, & over powered by corporate interests & their directives.
What's the deal...? You should avoid discussing any of the implications of the TPP until after it is fast-tracked into legislation, & too late to de-rail_...?!

Whose side are you on, anyway, at WNYC_?
Wait Wait, don't tell me...( )

May. 01 2014 12:27 PM
Moola from NYC

@Jeff from Jersey

No one is credulous enough to believe that a building proposing to be the first to go beyond the tree line isn't signaling bigger and greater development to come. More land give-away, more tax breakers for multi-billion dollar corporations more pollution more environmental damage.

LG must feel it's entitled to be the first to build so high in the name of jobs and economic development - that is where LG's credulity lies - that people are dumb enough to swallow that line of trash.

May. 01 2014 12:24 PM
Jeff from Jersey

I'm a bit disappointed with the credulity Brian displayed in discussing this as an environmental issue. I'm unfamiliar with the details, but nothing in the show indicated the height of the proposed LG building has an environmental impact. Rather the issue seems to be that it will spoil the view of wealthy Upper West Siders. That's worth discussing, but framing it in environmentalist terms is fundamentally dishonest.

Also it's a bit amusing that the show opened it's first hour with a discussion of Piketty, and it's second hour opened with a discussion mostly focused on the entitled views of a bunch of 1%'ers. If UWers want to avoid having their view spoiled, there is an easy solution: buy the property from LG.

May. 01 2014 11:42 AM

The Pallisades is not for sale. It's protected for good reason- its incredibly unique and akin to our own Niagara Falls, sans waterfall. Why this is even an issue is shocking. Ironically that entire stretch of land it was bought by a few rich for the People, for everyone to admire and cherish, to be left for endless generations to come... one of the rarest cases you will ever see.

Unbelievable LG and developers are even pushing for this plan, but as usual it's a case of blinders on hiding the bigger picture, wanting to exploit for short term gain- for a few, not taking into account medium to long term effect.

LG didn't seem to bother to have their architects draw a mock up of an alternate plan for a lower structure, knowing full well the height limitations? Or maybe like with most developers they assume they can ram through the worst case plan, wave a carrot in front of local politicians, keep plans hush hush, and screw everyone else.

LG could've done the right thing- build low, create jobs, get what they want. Why didn't they seek another location for their HQ? Have they not looked at Newark, which is already being revitalized?. WHY have no developers seen that as the next hot spot to rape & pillage? They actually want ideas and investment! They have space and transportation infrastructure! Obvious solution. Makes far better sense to build where it's appropriate and continue to bring back a once great city.

Lastly, I do not want to hear any oh-woe-is-them, pity party fake sympathy for construction workers and organized labour. Makes me cringe hearing construction workers whining about needing jobs, or hearing politicians and developers use them as pawns and leverage saying because of the economy they're suffering, experiencing divorces and financial troubles. They need to suck it up, like everyone else learn another craft so when hard times hit you can survive. There cannot be constant massive construction projects forever, its unrealistic to expect that. Look elsewhere for work. There's a massive need for truckers and has been for years, the job is safer than construction and actually pays better. Getting involved in this LG plan and blindly defending it is ridiculous and short sighted.

May. 01 2014 11:42 AM
Peter from BORN/raised EC

The Palisade Interstate Park which is protected from development is separate from Englewood Cliffs and every other town that is west of essentially the PIP, IE, Englewood Cliffs can do this.

Shame on them and anyone else who may follow.

The caller who suggested to follow the $ is on the right track.

The only recourse may be a boycott of LG. products; that will have them reconsider and maybe even raze the building if those pressures are not felt until this is an actual eyesore and gets national and wven global attention.

May. 01 2014 11:27 AM

I'm a rabid environmentalist. However, from what I have seen, this building will not destroy the Palisades, it will destroy the VIEW of the Palisades. I drove up Sylvan Ave the other day and that area is very developed. The buildings are much lower however, than the proposed LG building. In my view, building UP is better for the environment than building OUT. This building will have less impervious ground cover, and may thereby be better for the actual environment. I would like to see the environmental impact statement that was submitted to get approval to see if there is damage to the environment other than the view.

May. 01 2014 11:22 AM
Moola from NYC

@ matthew miles
Your point speaks to Over Development in general.
This LG building is an environmental disaster, an omen for far uglier things to come.

Over development in Jersey [NY] is Certainly a factor in the ease and speed with which NJ floods!
Environmentalists haven't lost sight of that at all.

May. 01 2014 11:22 AM
Joan from NYC

Please ask about the position of the trade unions and specifically which unions were represented at the hearing. There are two issues: 1). how many real full time union jobs will actually be created and 2) how much of the work will be done by sub contractors who are non union?

It is common in NJ to bid a contract as if it will be union jobs, however most of the work will go to sub contractors.

May. 01 2014 11:21 AM
sp from nyc

You can be sure this is not the last awful gargantuan building that will go up if this stands, and that includes both New York and New Jersey. Now that the ghastly Bloomberg is gone, having destroyed innumerable neighborhoods by rezoning to accommodate his real estate mogul buddies, we might have hoped for better. But no, now the purportedly progressive De Blasio is threatening even more high-rise, high-density, life-sucking development so that soon no one will have access to light or space except the uber rich living at the tops of these monstrosities.

May. 01 2014 11:18 AM
Amy from Manhattan

What was the actual language of the original proposal that obscured the fact that the building would be as high as we now know it's planned to be.

Karen, I've seen the building next to the GWB's NJ tower. From some angles it looks like it's right next to the tower & equally high. It really does spoil the view. Unfortunately, the original arrangement to limit the height of buildings doesn't apply south of the bridge, so I don't think there was any way to prevent it.

superf88, parks are free. Nobody needs to be wealthy to go there & enjoy the view...while there is one.

May. 01 2014 11:17 AM
Joan from NYC

Please ask about the position of the trade unions and specifically which unions were represented at the hearing. There are two issues: 1). how many real full time union jobs will actually be created and 2) how much of the work will be done by sub contractors who are non union?

It is common in NJ to bid a contract as if it will be union jobs, however most of the work will go to sub contractors.

May. 01 2014 11:17 AM

The Palisades Interstate Park is forever protected. This is about the land just a little in from the edge. The park is a narrow band.

May. 01 2014 11:17 AM
lk from brooklyn

Same old story. The developers send in the unions to disrupt community meetings and unions as part of their job are required to go to these community meetings. No matter how many times alternatives are presented that would give the same amount of jobs, it doesn't matter because the developer is paying them to be there and give their talking points.

Another horrendous building proposed that will mess up the environment for everyone else but the selfish developer doesn't care about anything but his own selfish economic bottom line.

Last night we in Brooklyn were subject to the same talking point fiasco at the required EIS hearing on Atlantic Yards. Oh, yes-it is still going on See here for report from the hearing:

May. 01 2014 11:16 AM
Tracy Kahley from Hell's Kitchen, NYC

How paradoxical that the LG building is intended for "Sylvan" Avenue, which refers to the woodland.

May. 01 2014 11:16 AM

That arguments that the delay to LG, by re-planning to build horizontally, would adversely affect their company economics, and that the construction workers would have to wait to get this work are so short sighted. Both of those are short term delays, whereas once the view is gone--it's gone permanently.

May. 01 2014 11:15 AM
Nancy from Manhattan

I'm in the market for a new TV.

Guess which brand I'm NOT going to consider buying?

LG, do the right thing and build low.

May. 01 2014 11:14 AM
matthew miles

I am surprised the "environmental" focus is on the limited range of preservation of views. Given the recent heavy rainfall, I would think that a taller building, with a smaller footprint would actually mitigate storm drainage more easily, perhaps even more naturally, than a long low horizontal building.

As a suburban transplant, I abhor the long low-slung, parking lot surrounded asphalt developments that are so typical throughout the US.

May. 01 2014 11:13 AM
Moola from NYC

BL+ BL listeners: what is up with all the SHOCK? Wow, shocker "for the sake of jobs" this country is willing to pollute the air, water, deforest the land, extract and blow up whatever else FOR THE SAKE OF JOBS = $$$money$$$.
Let me be a fortune teller on this issue - LG will Build high, others will eventually build even higher, we will all get used to it and start forgetting a time this country stood for something other than Money Money Money.
People in this country lost their voice a long time ago.

Bottom Line: Elections Matter.

May. 01 2014 11:11 AM
pliny from soho

they want the taxes that will flow into city hall
and all the friends and relatives that will be at the
feeding trough.

May. 01 2014 11:07 AM
Bob from Huntington

Yes, "jobs" is the mantra corporate interests and their Republican lackeys chant every time they want to screw people over enroute to further enriching themselves. Of course, in this instance, there's a logical rejoinder: "Boycott!"

May. 01 2014 11:07 AM
Mia from Manhattan

I live in NJ and work in NYC and I think this LG building is an abomination, and if this building goes ahead, it's going to be the beginning of the end. Both New Jerseyians and New Yorkers should protest this. There are other ways to accomodate as many people in an office as LG wants, but doing it horizontally and/or underground.

And LG is a tech company - why don't they hire people and let most of them telecommute?? That way they'd need a smaller/lower building AND they'd reduce pollution from commuters.

What do Chris Christie and Corey Booker have to say on the subject?

May. 01 2014 11:07 AM
Martin from Brooklyn

Terrifying photos of the projected development at the petition below:

There is no way to go back with development like this.

May. 01 2014 11:06 AM
david from NYC

Trade unions need jobs ?
There are plenty of roads/bridges/rail lines est. that need work.
Please save us from the unless rant.

May. 01 2014 11:05 AM

Stop these buildings !!!

May. 01 2014 11:03 AM
Erica from New York, NY

To superf88: I attended last night's hearing and can tell you that New Jerseyans are equally outraged by the proposed LG building. Also, the people most affected by this structure on the New York side, i.e., those who live in Washington Heights, hardly have "spare money and time." This area is not a socioeconomic extension of the Upper West Side; the view of the Palisades is one of the few bits of wilderness many who live in upper, UPPER Manhattan can afford to enjoy on a regular basis.

In any case, why should avoidable "visual pollution" be accepted anywhere? LG can, and always could, build their headquarters in accordance with the 35 foot height zoning rules for this area. How they managed to get Englewood Cliffs' planning board to grant them a variance is this new move to redo the master plan, thereby permanently erasing those zoning rules, and paving the way for more construction along the Palisades.

May. 01 2014 10:29 AM
Ben from Westchester

I live in Westchester and bought a new Volkswagen yesterday.

I specifically went out of my way to buy it at a NY state dealer instead of the East Coast Auto Mall at Englewood Cliffs NJ.

If the town of Englewood Cliffs wants to be a bad neighbor to the whole Hudson Valley, then we should boycott the entire town as far as I'm concerned. Then we can see how much they like all those "new LG jobs"!

May. 01 2014 10:24 AM
Seth Pecksniff

If more people voted, it would be easier to stop disasters like this, but politicians have little to fear from voters and everything to fear from a corporation's big money going to their rival. Until we vote in great percentages, we can't really complain about our views being polluted.

May. 01 2014 10:05 AM

Wealthy New Yorkers with spare money and time are indeed a withering force. Visual pollution: served!

May. 01 2014 09:03 AM
Karen J from nyc

I wonder how much the Englewood Cliffs zoning board members received to OK the LG tower’s height. Here is what the George Washington Bridge now looks like from upper Manhattan.


Lovely, isn’t it? Fabulous sunsets. Nothing is worth wrecking the beauty of the Palisades.

K. Greene

123 West 79th Street, LL6

NYC 10024

May. 01 2014 06:50 AM

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