Robert Gladstone is building subway elevators in exchange for more density at 45 Broad. Some see them as a terrorism risk

Few J and Z stations have wheelchair access

Renderings of 45 Broad Street and Robert Gladstone
Renderings of 45 Broad Street and Robert Gladstone

Developer Robert Gladstone is planning to build two new elevators for the Broad Street station, a project that will bring much-needed access to the J and Z line. But some residents are concerned that the upgrade is an invitation for terrorists.

Gladstone sought to build the elevators — which will cost $20 million — in exchange for zoning perks, the New York Times reported. By paying for the improvements, the developer can add 70,000 square feet to his massive condominium building at 45 Broad Street.

A 1,100-foot, 84-story condo tower is planned for the site. The project is expected to have 206 condo units. That additional square footage would allow Gladstone to build dozens of extra condos, potentially increasing his sellout by tens of millions of dollars.

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Only five of the 30 J and Z stations provide wheelchair access, so the elevators would provide crucial access. But at a recent community board meeting, neighbors raised concerns over the vulnerability of the upgrades.

“The idea that people can then ride in on the subway with a bomb or whatever and come straight up in an elevator is awful to me,” Claudia Ward, who lives at 15 Broad Street, told the Times. “It’s too easy for someone to slip through. And I just don’t want my family and my neighbors to be the collateral on that.”

The land use committee unanimously approved the project, which will be reviewed by the full board on Tuesday.

The condo tower is already under construction. In 2016, Gemdale Properties and Investment, one of China’s largest developers, bought an 81 percent stake in the tower. [NYT]Kathryn Brenzel

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