By Jennifer Glickel
MANHATTAN — The Empire State Building could have a new rival, and the landmark’s owners are not pleased.
A proposed 69-story skyscraper called 15 Penn Plaza slated for the current site of the Hotel Pennsylvania at 32nd Street and Seventh Avenue threatens to soar almost as high as the Empire State Building from its site less than two blocks away.
And opponents say the addition would be a "black eye" on midtown's iconic Manhattan skyline.
"The Empire State Building is the internationally recognized icon on the skyline of New York City," said Anthony Malkin, the president of Malkin Holdings, LLC, part owner of Empire State Building, who is part of the group pushing to stop the new project.
"Would a tower be allowed next to The Eiffel Tower or Big Ben’s clock tower? Just as the world will never tolerate a drilling rig next to The Statue of Liberty, why should governmental bonuses and waivers be granted to allow a structure as tall and bulky at 15 Penn Plaza to be built 900 feet away from New York City’s iconic Landmark and beacon?"
Opponents released renderings this week of what the new skyline could look like if the building is approved, and the images show a massive new building blocking the iconic skyscraper's view to the west.
The new skyscraper, set to be built by Vornado Realty Trust, would stand 1,200 feet tall, just 25 feet shorter than the top floor of the Empire State Building.
A spokesman for Vornado Realty Trust declined to comment.
The proposed new skyscraper has been rejected by the community board, but goes before the City Council for a hearing on Monday. If approved, the proposal would go before Mayor Bloomberg for a vote, opponents said.