Mixed reaction to LG reducing height of planned Englewood Cliffs headquarters

By Sydney Shaw and Jim Norman
Staff Writers | The Record

ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS – Local residents had mixed reactions Tuesday to news that the controversy over the height of the proposed United States headquarters of LG Electronics USA had been resolved.

LG has agreed to reduce the height of its proposed building to 69 feet, a decrease of more than half its original proposal.

David Maron, an architect who lives in the borough said he was “pleased” with the reduction in the height of the proposed building from eight to four stories.

Maron said he could never understand why unions representing construction trades had steadfastly opposed any reduction in the height of the building.

“What the contractors never seemed to understand is that with the reduced height would come a bigger footprint, and that would mean more work for trades people,” he said, “more foundation work, more linear feet of curtain wall, more square feet for the roofers – more for everyone.”

“As long as the height of the building does not extend over the tree line, it’s fine, and as long as it does not despoil the Palisades,” Maron said.

Ji Lee, another resident, had a more critical perspective. “That sets a precedent for other buildings to be taller than the limit,” he said. “I don’t think 70 feet is scaling it back enough. I don’t think 40 feet is scaling it back enough. If I wanted to live in a big city, I would move across the river.”

Anna Nieto, a server who works in the Dunkin Donuts store near the site of LG’s present building, said she could see both sides of the issue.

“New York has so many tall buildings, it’s frustrating that we can’t build for the sake of their view, and more big buildings can bring more jobs to the area” Nieto said. “On the other hand, New York is very congested . Do we want to start building this area up?

“A bigger building means more tax revenue for our town,” said Donald Rizzo, a resident of the borough. “I’m all for it. I was never worried about the height of the building. I was worried about letting LG go.”

Across the Hudson River in New York, where many had expressed concern that the original proposal for a 143-foot building would impinge upon the view of the Palisades, one pizza shop owner said it is not right for one state to impose its will upon another.

“One state trying to prevent another state that’s a river away from a building too high is too much control,” said Gilmar Vilca. “A view is a view. Sooner or later, it’s going to happen. They’re going to build it up.”

Vilca said he did not think the change in the view across the river would have an effect on his property value.

“Or at least I hope it won’t,” he said.”

*This story was originally published in The Record.

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