Dark Shadows And Jackie 0. Plague A Dallas Contractor In New York

Dallasite Ron Brame, president 6f Dallas-based Harwood K.Smith & Partners Inc. (HKS), is Overseeing what may be thelargest mixed-use project in the country on Columbus Circle inManhattan. The project, called Columbus Center, will tower over3,300,000 square feet of some of the world’s most choice realestate. And that’s a big problem, as far as former first lady andenvironmental activist Jackie Onassis and journalist Bill Moyerssee it.

The 925-foot-tall structure will sit on the southwest edge of Central Park, and several community groups are worried that it will cast a huge shadow over the park in the afternoons. Since July, Onassis and Moyers have added their voices to the New York Municipal Art Society, which along with two other groups has brought a lawsuit against the city of NewYork. Testifying before the New York Board of Estimates, Moyers urged the group “to force the builders to scale back their ambition.” Onassis has recruited a roster of big names to lend support, including Norman Lear, Walter Cronkite, and architect I.M. Pei.

“The lawsuit is after the fect,” says Joseph Costabile. of Boston Properties, a joint venture developer of the project. He points out that all permits and approvals were granted before the citizen outcry.

Columbus Center will be a synthesis of office, residential, and retail space, topped by luxury condos that will sell for as much as $3 million. Despite the protests, Brame and company see a sunny future for their brainchild.


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