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Downtown Whitney Lovefest, Continued: City Commission’s Vote, CultureGrrl’s Radio Commentary UPDATED

Members of New York’s City Planning Commission (Amanda Burden, chair, in white), minutes before today’s Whitney vote

Embraced on all sides by glowing adjectives, the Downtown Whitney expansion project was unanimously approved this afternoon by New York’s City Planning Commission, which had heard nothing but accolades in testimony by community denizens and government staffers at hearings held last month. The commissioners were “thrilled,” “very excited,” “very pleased” and “happy.” They termed the project “an unparalleled partnership” (with the soon-to-open High Line elevated park to its north), a “creative design” and a development that was “changing the neighborhood in a wonderful way.”

Time (and $680 million dollars) will tell. The building is due to open at the end of 2012 or beginning of 2013.

One of the Whitney’s lawyers for the project, Albert Fredericks, told me that the project would likely come before a City Council subcommittee at the beginning of next month, with a final vote by the full Council likely to come “a week or two after.” Then, the last government-approval hurdle will have been cleared.

But will it clear the CultureGrrl-approval hurdle? If all goes according to plan (always a big “if”), I’ll be commenting on the project tomorrow (Tuesday) at about 5:30 p.m. on WNYC, New York Public Radio, 93.9 FM and 820 AM. You can also hear me live here. And I’ll post the audio on CultureGrrl when it’s available. I’ll try to update this post, if the time changes.

UPDATE: My revised air time is 5:46 p.m. (Time will tell.)

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