LG’s plans to build new headquarters in Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey have caused a great deal of controversy over the past several years. The company plans to construct a building that will stand 143 feet tall, which opponents argue is significantly taller than the rest of the buildings in the area.
LG’s building site is near the Palisades, a stretch of green cliffs along the Hudson River in northeastern New Jersey and southern New York. The cliffs have been protected from development by builders and homesteaders for more than a century. Last week, the National Trust for Historic Preservation added the Palisades to its 2014 list of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places as a response to LG’s plans.
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 490,000-square-foot building to begin.
A bill currently in the state Senate would create a “preservation zone” in the area that would apply retroactively to LG’s construction, while officials like New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli and Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph Parisi have urged the two sides to reach a compromise.
Each side of the debate has a differing view of how the future building will affect the Palisades.
Here’s what the building will look like from above, according to renderings released by LG.
With 85,000 square feet of solar panels in addition to high-tech water conservation systems, it will be the largest LEED Platinum-certified building in New Jersey when it’s completed, LG spokesman John Taylor says.
The new building could accommodate up to 1,600 LG employees by 2020.
But, according to materials released by opposition group Protect the Palisades, the LG building will destroy the natural beauty of the area’s cliffs. The conservationist group imagined that this will be the view of the Palisades from the Cloisters, a museum in northern Manhattan.
LG, on the other hand, argues that the opposition’s depiction of the future building is misleading and inaccurate. The company points out several buildings that are already visible from the New York side of the Hudson, including two 47-story residential buildings in Fort Lee.
In LG’s version, the headquarters will be slightly visible above the treeline. The structure will not be white, as the opposition shows, but will instead be made out of glass.
Another major critique of LG’s project is that it will essentially clear the way for other tall buildings to be built on the Palisades. Protect the Palisades uses this photo as evidence.
But according to LG, this scenario would be impossible because commercial construction is prohibited in parks and other green spaces. LG is building on one of the few parcels of commercial land in the area.
LG is currently in the demolition phase of its 490,000-square-foot construction project.
In a press conference last week, Englewood Cliffs Mayor Joseph Parisi urged opponents of LG’s proposal to reach a compromise with the company. If LG decides to leave the city, it would cost Englewood Cliffs an estimated $US2.5 million in tax revenue.
“I want everyone to have an agreement of what the building should look like,” he said. “Remember, they can always say, ‘We’re out of here.'”