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15 Penn Plaza facts for kids

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15 Penn Plaza
15 Penn Plaza (artist's impression).png
General information
Status Proposed
Type Mixed
Location 15 Penn Plaza
(401 7th Avenue)
Roof 1,201 ft (366 m)
Technical details
Floor area 2,050,000 sq ft (190,000 m2)
Design and construction
Architect Pelli Clarke Pelli
Developer Vornado Realty Trust
Structural engineer Severud Associates

15 Penn Plaza, also known as the Vornado Tower, is a 68-story tower proposed by Vornado Realty Trust to be located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. It would be located on Seventh Avenue between 32nd and 33rd Streets, on the site of present-day Hotel Pennsylvania. The Hiller Group is the designer. Despite only having 68 floors, at 1,216 feet (371 m) it would be just 34 feet (10 m) shorter than the 102-story Empire State Building.


The building would have 430 units on 68 floors and 2,050,000 square feet (190,451 m²) of floor space. It would be 1,216 feet (371 m) in height, 34 feet (10 m) shorter than the Empire State Building two blocks east. Anthony and Peter L. Malkin, owners of the historic structure, had requested the creation of a 17-block exclusion zone that would prohibit large buildings from being built that would obstruct views of the Empire State Building and suggested that the proposed skyscraper be limited to 825 feet (251 m) in height. While Manhattan Community Board 5 voted overwhelmingly against the proposed project, the New York City Planning Commission approved the plan, which would allow the building to be 56% larger than standard zoning rules provide under special regulations that encourage the development of high-density office space near transit hubs. Opinion is divided about the plan, with Henry Stern, former Commissioner of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation said the proposed building "could do irreparable harm" to the city, Daniel Biederman, president of the 34th Street Partnership joined union and construction officials in saying that "If there's anywhere a building of this size and bulk should be built, it's at Penn Station.


On March 4, 2013, Vornado announced that it was abandoning plans to build the tower; instead it will "invest aggressively" into the Hotel Pennsylvania to make it into "a really profitable, really good hotel for our purposes."

On August 2014, citing increased interest from tenants, the project was unshelved and the proposed renovation of Hotel Penn was put on hold indefinitely.

Still, as of February 2015, Vornado Chairman & CEO Steve Roth was non-committal to the project:

The Hotel Penn is important, but not the main event. The main event is to get the office buildings so that they command higher market ranch than they do currently. And by the way, they are rising with the marketplace, quite smartly, currently. So we’re not prepared to commit to what our plan for the Hotel Pennsylvania is.

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