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Uptown Cheers Decision to Lower Height of Controversial NJ Office Tower

 LG agreed to lower the height of the controversial New Jersey building in order to preserve views of the Palisades.
LG Agrees to Lower Height of Proposed Palisades Office Tower
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WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — Opponents are cheering a decision by LG Electronics to lower the height of a New Jersey office tower — after more than two years of protests from those concerned it would destroy their view of the Palisades cliffs along the Hudson River.

LG announced Tuesday that it would lower the height of the proposed Englewood Cliffs building — which will serve as its North American headquarters — from eight to five stories.

The new hight will prevent the building from rising above the Palisades tree line, preserving the iconic views of the cliffs from Northern Manhattan. The south wing of the building will only reach three stories in height.

“In the end, it’s what we all believe is a win-win solution,” said LG spokesman John Taylor in a statement. “[It] will protect the vistas of the Palisades for years to come and allow LG to build a world-class facility that will also meet our needs for many years to come.”

The new headquarters will allow LG to double its local workforce to 1,000 employees by 2019, when the company expects the building to be ready for occupancy, Taylor said.

The building first made headlines in 2013, when a coalition of conservation groups led a charge to preserve the view of the Palisades.

State Sen. Adriano Espaillat and several Uptown community groups also joined the fight, calling on LG to change its plans, but the company declined.

Taylor told DNAinfo at the time that altering the plans would have increased the project’s cost by $10 million and delayed a 2016 move-in date.

In August 2013, a New Jersey court upheld the Englewood Cliffs zoning board’s decision to grant LG a height variance.

Five conservation groups including Scenic Hudson, the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Natural Resources Defense Council, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and New York-New Jersey Trail Conference, appealed the court’s decision.

Espaillat and several Bronx lawmakers also filed a brief against the plans in the New Jersey court last year. 

The project had been on hold for more than a year before LG and the conservation groups reached a settlement Tuesday morning.

Environmental advocates hailed LG's move.

“Preserving the cliffs and these majestic Hudson River views more than a century ago marked an early milestone of the conservation movement in America,” Mark Izeman, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council, said in a statement. “Today’s agreement shows we can keep this tradition alive in the 21st century when we work together to find common ground.”

The reaction from Uptown leaders was also positive.

“The view of the Palisades from upper Manhattan is an awe inspiring sight,’ said Espaillat in a statement. “A determined coalition of local environmental groups and elected officials were able to protect that view for what I hope will be the next 400 years.”