LG has agreed to reduce the height of its proposed US headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey after nearly a year of compromise with local officials and conservationist groups.
The headquarters will be built along the Palisades, a stretch of green cliffs along the lower Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York. Residents of Englewood Cliffs had taken issue with the building’s proposed height, which, at 143 feet, would have been significantly taller than the buildings in the surrounding area.
The plans for the new building, as agreed upon by LG, Scenic Hudson, the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs, the Natural Resources Defence Council, New Jersey Conservation Foundation and New
York-New Jersey Trail Conference, will now be just shorter than 70 feet tall and will protect the community’s views of the Palisades.
“We have found a solution that satisfies LG’s business needs and addresses concerns of our neighbours on both sides of the Hudson,” LG Electronics USA President and CEO William Cho said in a press release. “The discussions were constructive, and parties on both sides showed a willingness to compromise, recognising that there is a greater good to be acknowledged for the people, economy and environment of New Jersey.”
The cliffs have been protected from development by builders and homesteaders for more than a century. Though the area’s current zoning laws limit building height to 35 feet, LG obtained a variance in 2012 that essentially cleared the way for construction on the 360,000-square-foot building to begin.
The original plan had received plenty of opposition, including from four former New Jersey governors — Thomas Kean, Christine Todd Whitman, James Florio and Brendan Byrne — who wrote a letter to LG’s vice chairman in South Korea, asking for the building’s proposed height to be reduced to meet the current 35-foot limit, according to the New York Times.
In the letter, they wrote that they were “concerned that this tower would not only interrupt the historic, natural vista enjoyed by millions, but would also set a precedent for greater building heights stretching northward along these iconic cliffs, eroding the unique American landmark of the Palisades.”
Local conservation groups have agreed to withdraw their legal appeals as part of the new agreement.
The current plan for LG’s new headquarters call for a 27-acre LEED Platinum-certified campus, with plans to protect surrounding woodlands and wetlands. The company plans to nearly double its New Jersey workforce to 1,000 employees by 2019.
“The entire community is thrilled that LG will remain in our town, while demonstrating in a very real way LG’s commitment to preservation of the environment,” Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph Parisi, Jr. said in a press release. “This partnership is very good for Englewood Cliffs, Bergen County, the state of New Jersey and the entire Tri-State region.”