Developers have proposed a new building that would rise just a couple blocks from the Empire State Building and rival its neighbor in height. The people who own the Empire State Building say the city should block the new building to “save our skyline” and, by sheer coincidence, allow their building to maintain the competitive advantage of unrivaled Midtown height. Even if the developers win, they’ll have to spend untold dollars on the effort, an effort that has already gone on for years and generated several million dollars in legal fees. Their tenants will pay the cost.
And all this happens every, single time anyone wants to build anything in New York. The abundance of restrictions and confrontations do far more than the shortage of space to make New York expensive.
Update: 15 Penn Plaza has won permission to build. But the Empire State Building owners can still challenge in court. I haven’t read any predictions one way or the other.