selling off the High Line to developers - no, really!

fourteen floors, most of them condos, to be built on top of our park

I admit that I've known about this building for some time. I've been quietly fuming about it (something I don't do often - the quietly part, that is) for perhaps a year; it's just that getting an email from the developers boasting essentially about how clever they are to have arranged this public scam put me over the top.

This isn't the first instance in which the city has sold a part of the High Line to developers, and it may not be the worst, but it's just about the most egregious.

Has New York been able to reverse nature's own law, that plants need sun, even in parks? And, more importantly, are we going to have parks in this city or are we just going to have developers' opportunities?

This text is copied directly from the press release I received today:

Denari's HL23 will rise fourteen stories from a singularly challenging site: a 40-foot wide footprint located at 515-517 West 33rd Street, just steps from Tenth Avenue and half covered by the High Line, the historic elevated railway bed slated for transformation into one of the nation's most lyrical urban parks. Overcoming this through-block site's inherited restrictions while exploiting them with boldness [and the power of money and influence], Denari has conceived a building that will dramatically increase in size as it rises from its slender footing to cantilever gracefully over the rails. Made possible by a Special Authorization, comprising of seven waivers granted by the New York City Department of City Planning [my emphasis] in support of the building's unique contribution to the cityscape, HL23's reverse-tapering form [absolutely the reverse of New York's historical and progressive setback zoning] will make it a local landmark while creating cinematic views and unrivaled intimacy with the High Line for residents inside.
Why not call it the Highline Tunnel? Construction is supposed to begin in a few days.

CORRECTION: I originally described it as a thirteen-story building in this post, but apparently a penthouse will comprise a fourteenth floor.

[image from triplemint]