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Council to review 2 revised designs.

Council to review 2 revised designs

Two contingency plans for the Commodities Exchange Building were approved by the New York City Planning Commission late last month.

A last minute withdrawal by the Mercantil Exchange left the other exchanges scrambling to contend with both the original five-exchange tower as well as a quickly modified four-exchange design. For the time being, the latter version seems the most likely scenario.

Sources said the Mercantile Exchange pulled out because it was asked to bear 55 percent of the cost while using only 38 percent of the space.

Commodities spokesperson, Michele de Milly, said a 30-story building was approved by the Commission for use by five exchanges, as well as the "envelope" of what would be a four-exchange 22-story building. Architects will be filling in the blanks of the smaller tower in the coming weeks.

Either way, the building will contain 965,410 square feet, with a different floor plate sizes depending upon the final use. a four-exchange tower would rise 355 feet high, while the five-exchange design would be 586 feet. The original proposals called for a 47-story building with over 1 million square feet of space.

The City Council's Land Use Committee, chaired by Councilwoman June M. Eisland, will be holding a hearing on Feb. 18 on the exchanges plans. There is still determined opposition from community groups who have been joined by new Council member Kathryn E. Freed who represents the 1st District. She voiced concerns over the proposed garage and increased traffic, as well as construction noise and the loss of the space which residents were hoping to use for a school or playground. She pointed out the high Downtown vacancy rate and suggested looking for space elsewhere. Freed is also worried the exchanges will run out of money and stop building in the middle, causing either a bail-out by the city or a half-built structure looming on the property which would leave the space unusable for everyone.

Many other council members have said that keeping the exchanges, and their jobs, in New York City is more important.
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Title Annotation:New York City Council, Commodities Exchange Building
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Feb 12, 1992
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