Friday, May 2, 2014

Cornell NYC Tech Says Campus Residential Building Will Have No Impact On Roosevelt Island Transportation During Presentation Yesterday At CB 8 Meeting - Building Design, Height, Garbage Pick Up, Migratory Birds Safety And More Discussed

The Roosevelt Island (RI) Committee of Community Board 8 (CB 8) met last night for a presentation by Cornell NYC Tech of the proposed new residential building component of their Roosevelt Island campus.

Cornell NYC Tech Residential Building Rendering From You Tube Video

RI Committee Chair Larry Parnes began the meeting noting that after the presentation, the committee would decide whether or not to make any recommendation to the full CB 8 Board at its Land Use Committee meeting on May 14 and then after full CB Board recommendation the design will be reviewed by the NYC Public Design Commission.

There will be 356 units with up to 500 students, faculty and staff in this 26 story, 285 foot tall residential building. Here is the Cornell NYC Tech Residential Building presentation by Cornell NYC Tech Assistant Director of Government and Community Relations Jane Swanson and Blake Middleton of Handel Architects, representing The Hudson Companies, developers of the residential campus building (also the developers of Southtown).

Part A

Part B

Following the presentation there were questions from the audience. When it was my turn, I asked about transportation, garbage pick up and more. According to Ms. Swanson and Hudson Companies David Kramer, there would be no adverse impact on Roosevelt Island subway, tram and parking from the Cornell NYC Tech residential building.

The question and answers started here.

More questions on garbage collection, trucking construction materials and migratory bird safety

and concerns that the residential building is too tall creating a wall blocking the Cornell campus from the rest of the community.

Following the question and answer period the CB 8 RI Committee discussed whether they should make any recommendation to the full Community Board on the design of the Cornell NYC Tech residential building. A motion was made to approve the design with a modification to include a sidewalk curb cup for garbage pick ups. After some discussion and a straw vote, it appeared that the Committee would not approve the motion with 2 members approving (Mr. Parness and Ms. Polivy), 2 members disapproving (Ms. Berdy and Ms. Buck) and one member abstaining (Mr. Escobar).

Ms Berdy and Ms. Buck objected to the height of the building which they saw as creating a wall between the campus and the rest of the community.  (The building height was approved during NYC ULURP process). Mr. Escobar indicated in the straw vote that he was abstaining because he thought it important that the views of Ms. Berdy and Ms. Buck be presented to the full Community Board.

After much discussion among the Committee Members and with the Cornell representatives, Mr. Escobar voted to approve the motion with the condition added that the views of Ms Berdy and Ms. Buck be included in the minutes for the full CB 8 Board Members to review.

The motion to approve the design was approved.

Architect Blake Middleton responded to some of the community concerns noting:
The city is an ever changing place. NY will continue to grow. It is the nature of cities to do that. Successful cities. If this city, New York, stops growing, forget it, we're all in big trouble. The question is how do you plan, how do you do make it work in a way that is congruent with neighborhood needs as well as what the city and all who live and work here need...