By Serena Solomon
MUNICIPAL BUILDING — A $1 billion development slated to rise near Columbus Circle made it over a major hurdle Tuesday when the Landmarks Preservation Commission ruled in its favor.
The commission voted 6-3 that landmark status be designated to only one of the two buildings the real estate developer Extell wanted to turn into high rise apartments, a hotel and retail space at Broadway and W.57th Street.
The ruling outraged some preservationists, who had wanted both 1780 Broadway and 225 W. 57th Street to be given historical status. Only 1780 Broadway made the cut.
"I'm appalled," said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of the Historic Districts Council.
"It [225. W.57th Street] was a worthy building that was rejected for inappropriate reasons."
Extell, a development company, had originally hoped to turn both buildings that occupy the same city block into a tower, incorporating commercial and retail space with residential units and a hotel.
The plan hit a snag in July when the comission identified both buildings as possible preservation sites because of their location on Automobile Row, previously the hub of car dealers for the city.
Both buildings, which once shared the same freight elevator, were constructed in 1909 by B.F. Goodrich, a tire manufacturer.
With the potential preservation of both buildings, Extell feared loosing its entire project. So the company submitted a compromised plan suggesting just 1780 Broadway be landmarked.
The LPC rejected the recommendation of Community Board 5 to preserve both buildings.
A spokesman for Extell, George Arzt, argued there was some support from the community board to only landmark one building.
He also argued that, while years away from completion, the project will be an asset to the Midtown West community.
"It will be an unbelievable boost for the whole area," he said, referring to the area as "run down."
Jim Manos, 40, who owns the wine store located next to 1780 Broadway and grew up in the area, was happy with LPC's decision.
"It leaves a little bit of history on Broadway," he said, referring to the decision to landmark 1780 Broadway. As a business owner, though, he said he is also looking forward to Extell's redevelopment.
"Since the Time Warner building went up, it changed the whole feeling of the neighborhood," he said as he pointed to several redevelopments that had taken place recently.
About 18 months ago, when he noticed people with higher incomes moving into the neighborhood, Manos replaced his photo development store with a wine store.
He said business was doing well, thanks to wealthier customers.
"When they come to the neighborhood they will leave their money in the neighborhood," he said.