YONKERS, N.Y. – Hoping to preserve their view of the Palisades, a group of Yonkers residents are joining an effort aimed at persuading developers to scale down their plans for a New Jersey high-rise building.
LG Electronics USA has introduced its plans to build an eight-story, 143-foot tall corporate headquarters building in Englewood Cliffs, N.J. At that height, the building would rise high above the tree-line of the Palisades, making it the first building north of the George Washington Bridge to be visible from the New York side of the river.
In an email last week, the Park Hill Residents Association in Yonkers urged its members to sign a “ Protect the Palisades ” petition.
“The grand vista has been conserved for over 100 years through philanthropy and local zoning, but now LG wants to despoil the view with this ill-conceived proposal,” the association said.
As proposed, LG’s new corporate headquarters would be built down the road from its present facility, and almost directly across the Hudson River from the Cloisters museum in northern Manhattan.
Early last year the Englewood Cliffs Board of Adjustment gave final approval to the project, allowing the developer to build at a height four times what was previously permitted.
Construction on the new building is set to begin later this year, according to a report on NorthJersey.com .
The approval of the plan, however, launched a high-powered preservation campaign led by well-known names like Larry Rockefeller, grandson of John D. Rockefeller, and by the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The Poughkeepsie-based Scenic Hudson has also filed two lawsuits challenging the rezoning approved in Englewood Cliffs. The non-profit says it would like to see LG lower the building's height so it doesn't rise above the Palisades.
“We would like to see the project proceed in a way that preserves the majesty of the Palisades ridge, which has served such an important historical and cultural role for those of us across the river,” the group says on its website .
In Yonkers, Steve Savard, president of the Park Hill Residents Association, said he is concerned the tower would disrupt views and potentially lower home values for properties along the western edge of Park Hill.
“It’s not that we don’t want LG to have a nice building,” he said. “But certainly you would believe they can design something that doesn’t go above the tree line.”
Many, like Scenic Hudson, say they are also concerned that once a developer has been allowed to build above the previously held 35-foot height requirement, others will soon follow.
Marilee Scheuneman, treasurer of the Yonkers Land Conservancy, said views of the undisturbed Palisades are part of the "grand scheme" of many homes in Yonkers.
“You don’t want to look at high rises there,” she said. “You want to look at nature.”