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Old October 13th, 2010, 08:52 PM   #101
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DreamDowntown peeks out from the scaffolding!

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Old October 16th, 2010, 04:44 AM   #102
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Somewhere Leona Helmsley Is Smirking...

From Curbed: http://ny.curbed.com/archives/2010/1...otally_did.php

Quote:
Gehry Didn't Mean to Conquer Trump, But Oops, He Totally Did

Friday, October 15, 2010, by Joey Arak

Nearly one year ago, Frank Gehry stood at the base of his throbbing Beekman Tower in Lower Manhattan, looked up, and said, "No Viagra." We all laughed. You know who probably wasn't laughing? Donald Trump, whose Trump World Tower near the United Nations is, for now, the tallest residential building in the city. The Donald wasn't pleased when Larry Silverstein announced plans to outgrow the Trump World Tower, and we can't imagine that he's thrilled with Bruce Ratner and Frank Gehry actually doing it. But it wasn't supposed to be like this, according to Franktastic.

Gross mental image of old men private parts ahead. >>
Gehry was interviewed by architecture critic Paul Goldberger at the 92nd Street Y on Wednesday night, and Atlantic Yards Report has a recap. When asked about the Beekman Tower's height, he said: "I asked Bruce to make it one foot lower than Trump, because I didn't want to get into a pissing contest with Trump. But now that this is taller, he's going to have to build a taller one." Donald, please, he didn't mean it.
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Old October 17th, 2010, 05:44 AM   #103
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From: http://www.lohud.com/article/201010160342

Quote:
2 designs remain for new Tappan Zee Bridge

By Khurram Saeed • [email protected] • October 16, 2010

plan 3


plan 5

NEW CITY — There still isn't any money to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge but there are now two final designs for what the new bridge might look like.

One is a single-level span that would have room for trains to run in the middle, with bus lanes on either side of the tracks, and car and trucks traveling in the outer lanes (Plan 3 above).

The second design is a dual-level bridge (Plan 5, above). Trains would run underneath the north span. Vehicle traffic would be on the top level, with two dedicated bus lanes in the center. Because it would have fewer support structures than the single-level span, 66 compared with 118, it would take less time to construct.

Michael Anderson, leader of the Tappan Zee Bridge/Interstate 287 Corridor Project, unveiled the recommendations Friday in New City. He said the two designs were narrowed from six options by the project's consultants — Earth Tech/AECOM, AECOM and Ove Arup, all of Manhattan — because they had the shortest construction times, lowest costs to build and the least environmental impact to the Hudson River. They also offered the greatest transportation flexibility and provided the safest emergency access.
"We haven't made any hard and fast decisions," Anderson said. "We're going to take these recommendations into consideration as we advance the DEIS (draft environmental impact statement)."

A new span to replace the soon-to-be 55-year-old Tappan Zee Bridge is just one part of the $16 billion project. It also would add bus rapid transit from Suffern to Port Chester along 30 miles of Interstate 287 and would call for the construction of a new passenger rail line across Rockland, over the new bridge and into Westchester onto Metro-North Railroad's Hudson Line, ending at Grand Central Terminal in Manhattan.

A new bridge with highway improvements in Rockland would cost $8.3 billion (the bridge alone is $6.4 billion); bus rapid transit would run $1 billion; and the rail line would cost $6.7 billion in 2012 dollars.

The two final bridge recommendations, as well as the transit and highway improvements that were unveiled Friday, will be analyzed in the environmental review, which is due to be finalized early next year.

The state Department of Transportation is the lead agency and is supported by the state Thruway Authority and the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Metro-North Railroad.

During the 3 1/2-hour meeting, project officials also said they were continuing to work on financing for the project but had secured no firm commitments. Each of the bridge designs shares traits: four lanes in each direction; two dedicated bus lanes; safety shoulders; two railroad tracks (or the space to add them later); and a shared-use pedestrian and bicycle path on the north side of the span.

Anderson said in the case of the single-level span, where the train would run in its center, the tracks could be built at a later date in segmented sections at night, much like the ongoing deck replacement on the Tappan Zee Bridge.
The new bridge would be built about 400 feet north of the old one, and connect to the Thruway in the same places it does now.

The new bridge also would rise gradually to the midspan, unlike the current bridge, which features a steep grade to its highest point. That slope leads to many problems, Anderson said. "We have determined that heavy trucks coming up this 3 percent grade ... results in a reduction of speed by about 15 mph," he said. "That is not good for traffic flow and probably contributes to a number of accidents." It's also necessary to have a relatively flat grade in order for the trains to travel on the bridge.

Anderson spoke before more than 60 residents, politicians and transportation officials in New City at a meeting organized by Rockland County Legislature Chairwoman Harriet Cornell. She has held similar summits on the project for the past six years.

Philip Ferguson, the head of the project's finance team, reported that it was focusing on the first phase of the project, namely securing $8.3 billion for the new bridge and highway improvements. It was looking at both "traditional and innovative" financing options, and said that it would require multiple funding sources.

Martin Robins, a transportation consultant who is working with the Rockland Legislature, said the cancellation of the New York-New Jersey rail tunnel project due to cost overruns proves how "brittle" the financing of public works projects are today. "It just underscores the difficulty New York state DOT is having in 2010" in putting together a financing package, Robins said.

.
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Old October 18th, 2010, 09:43 AM   #104
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From Curbed:

Quote:
Park Place's Most Shocking New Building Isn't a Mosque

Thursday, October 14, 2010, by Joey Arak

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Does it matter what we write here? Probably not. There's no way we can distract from the total insanity pictured above with boring, old-fashioned words. But we'll give it a go anyway. This, friends, is what appears to coming to 19 Park Place, a skinny lot near City Hall and that planned Islamic center that's been flying under the media's radar. If you recall, we touched upon the future of this site back in 2008, when it looked like there were two competing proposals filed with the Department of Buildings. The taller one, 21 stories from architect Ismael Leyva, won out. Did it ever!

What the hell is going on here? >>
A tipster alerts us to some action at the site (pictured in the gallery above):

Saw a chinese dance troupe and a number of suits in hard hats at 19 park place. The plywood was open, and just beyond, a party tent had been set up with a banner “GROUNDBREAKING”...

Some life on park place other than the constant scuttlebutt around the Muslim community center and the seemingly dead silverstein/4 seasons across the street at 99 church. The Chinese drum and dance troupe is interesting though...Does it relate to a new source of financing?

Mysterious! There was a Stop Work Order in place on the site since June '09 (it got lifted today), and the permit issued for the temporary tent says the project will be 21 stories and 29 residential units. Leyva's website now sports the above renderings of 19 Park Place, though we don't have confirmation this is indeed what's getting built. It kind of looks like a mashup of his monstrous Hell's Kitchen ghost tower and his stalled Flatbush Flatiron in Brooklyn, but the interiors are almost too normal for the Jetsons design. Will this sliver building distract from the "Ground Zero Mosque?" We're guessing no, because after staring at the rendering all we want to do is find a place to pray.

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Old October 18th, 2010, 07:51 PM   #105
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Do it! I do prefer plan 3.

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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #106
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785 Fifth is stirring back to life! [as a hotel!]

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Old October 19th, 2010, 02:28 PM   #107
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From: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000...s_newyork_main

Quote:
Penn to Get Mightier

Stalled Project Set for First Construction
By ELIOT BROWN



The chronically stalled plan to expand Penn Station into the neighboring James A. Farley Post Office is slated to see a first in its checkered two-decade history: the start of construction.

On Monday, a parade of government officials is expected for a ceremonial groundbreaking on the first phase of the project that calls for expanding the western Penn Station concourse, currently used only by Long Island Rail Road, to allow access to eight tracks used by New Jersey Transit and Amtrak. This phase also includes the construction of new entrances next to the post office and ventilation work.

According to people informed of the event, the federal government is expected at the same time to make official an $83 million grant that was critical to the launching the first construction phase, which is projected to cost $267 million. But Monday's announcements still leave the grand vision—a new train hall for Amtrak in the Corinthian-columned post office—years away and hundreds of millions of dollars short, with no clear route toward full funding.

Known as Moynihan Station, in honor of late U.S. Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan who pushed it throughout the 1990s, the project has been supported by four governors, three mayors and an array of transportation and civic groups, but has been consistently derailed by a shifting political and financial landscape.

The construction that's beginning, while limited in its scope, is a rare victory for Gov. David Paterson on a major economic-development project. Two years ago, he pledged to be the first governor to actually get the project started, an announcement that coincided with a plunging economy. To break the logjam, the Paterson administration last year split the plan up into two phases—the first of which involves the concourse expansion and ventilation work—and secured the $83 million grant from a federal economic-stimulus program. The transformation of the Farley building would follow, the administration believed, should future funding materialize on the federal or state level.

"This first phase by itself, even if nothing else happens, this is money well spent," says Tom Wright, executive director of the Regional Plan Association, which has long supported the station.

With the new entrances west of Eighth Avenue and a longer, wider western concourse, the construction will decrease congestion in Penn Station and offer easier access to the new development planned to the west as part of the second phase.

That phase also calls for bringing in two private developers, the Related Cos. and Vornado Realty Trust, to develop retail space in the train station and build a new tower to rise on the same block as 1 Penn Plaza with air rights purchased from the state. The developers had previously pushed for a grand $14 billion plan that involved moving Madison Square Garden and an array of new office towers, an effort that died amid tremendous complexity and funding gaps in 2008.

City planners have been dreaming of developing a new Penn Station as a grand portal for the city ever since the original neoclassical station was razed in 1964 to make way for the current Madison Square Garden. Mr. Moynihan later called its demolition—long a cause cťlŤbre among preservationists—"the greatest act of vandalism" in the history of the city. The groundbreaking—slated to include U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, Sen. Charles Schumer Mr. Paterson, and Mayor Michael Bloomberg—comes as questions surround another major transportation project in the area.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has said he wants to pull the plug on the $8.7 billion new rail tunnel planned to go into a new station just north of Penn Station, and he is in the midst of a two-week review at the request of federal officials. That project, also in the works for decades, would provide a release valve for the at-capacity Penn Station, although Mr. Christie is concerned about funding overruns and is looking for ways to fund the state's highway system.
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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:04 PM   #108
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From the NY Times: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/20/re...e/20sixth.html

Quote:
Square Feet
3 Midtown Projects and How They Grew (or Didn’t)
By JULIE SATOW
Published: October 19, 2010


The Continental

One of Manhattan’s newest skyscrapers is rising on a nondescript corner of the Avenue of the Americas and 32nd Street. In coming months, the building, once called Tower 111 and now tentatively renamed the Continental, will begin marketing its 338 rental units. Its developer is hoping that sweeping views of the Empire State Building, nine-foot ceilings and amenities that include an indoor swimming pool will draw renters to this mostly commercial stretch of the Garment District.

The Continental isn’t the only new development in the area. There are three large projects on this stretch of Avenue of the Americas, from 32nd Street to 29th Street. Each has met a different fate, and their stories tell a tale of real estate’s slow, jagged recovery from the recession.

The 53-story Continental, at 885 Avenue of the Americas, was nearly undone by the slumping economy, and only a cost-savings agreement with the construction trade unions saved the tower. The owners of a site one block to the south, at 855 Avenue of the Americas, were not as fortunate: a vacant lot attests to a residential development that never got off the ground. Another developer recently bought the mortgage on the land, and is now angling to take control.

Just to the south of that site, at 835 Avenue of the Americas, is the Beatrice, a limestone-and-glass rental and hotel building that recently opened. The tower was far enough along when the market crashed that it emerged from the downturn relatively unscathed. “This neighborhood doesn’t really have a name or a clear identity, but it continues to grow,” said Richard V. Hamilton, a senior vice president of Halstead Property who specializes in the neighborhood. “It’s appealing to some because it is so central, with Broadway plays just 10 blocks to the north, Chelsea to the south, nightlife and shopping relatively accessible, and then there is great transportation.”

The Continental, at the southern tip of Herald Square, is the newest addition. It is still under scaffolding, and the builder, Atlantic Realty Development of New Jersey, has yet to complete many details, including the building’s name and its rent roll. The first tenants will most likely move into the building this spring, said Clifford Finn, the director of new development marketing at Citi Habitats, the brokerage that is representing the rentals. The mix of studios and one- and two-bedroom apartments, which start on the 10th floor, will have a starting rent of about $2,500 a month.

In addition to the rental part of the development, there is a three-floor, 38,000-square-foot retail space. With its location across from the Manhattan Mall, the developers are hoping for a big-box tenant. The outdoor gear retailer REI was close to signing a lease when it chose instead to move to the Puck Building in SoHo, said Benjamin Fox, the president of the Winick Realty Group, which is representing the space. A gym is now considering the space, while TD Bank and Duane Reade have also looked. The asking rents range from $125 a square foot to more than $300 a square foot. Retail rents on nearby West 34th Street command an average of $500 a square foot, according to the Real Estate Board of New York.

The Continental was almost never built. When the market downturn hit, said Alan Schall, a senior executive at Atlantic Realty and the project manager of the Continental, “we slowed construction, and there was definitely some contemplation about stopping.”

The construction trade unions saw the difficulty that builders like Atlantic Realty Development were experiencing. “When we realized that many projects were being put on hold, that everything was coming to a stop, we called an emergency meeting,” said Louis J. Coletti, president and chief executive of the Building Trades Employers’ Association, which represents some 1,700 construction managers, general contractors and subcontractors in New York City.

In 2008 the group, along with the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York, began negotiations among the unions, culminating in what it calls the Economic Recovery Project Labor Agreement. The agreement, which was instituted last year and comes up for renewal in March, requires that members lower their profit margins, work more efficiently and take other austerity measures to help make development projects more economical in the downturn. Developers must fill out an application showing their financial duress, and the level of savings is need-based.

The Continental was one of the first projects to take advantage of the agreement. “We had a big role in getting that agreement done,” said Mr. Schall, who declined to detail how much savings the project received. “The savings were significant, and it’s safe to say we wouldn’t have built without it.”

The owners of the land directly to the south of the Continental were not so fortunate. The Chetrit Group and Tessler Developments acquired the parcel, between 30th and 31st Streets, in 2007, taking out a $105.3 million mortgage. The plan called for a 37-story tower that would include retail space, more than 10 floors of offices, a parking garage and residential condominiums. Like the Continental, it would be designed by the architect Costas Kondylis. But with the real estate market crashing around them, the developers never broke ground.

This year, Durst Fetner, a partnership of the Durst Organization and Sidney Fetner Associates, acquired the mortgage for an undisclosed sum from the troubled lender iStar Financial, which took over the loan when it acquired Fremont Investment & Loan in 2007. IStar is now struggling with nearly $9 billion in debt.

City records do not show any foreclosure proceedings, so experts in real estate turnarounds say it is likely that Durst Fetner is negotiating to take control of the land through a deed in lieu of foreclosure, or some other private deal. Both parties declined to comment. “The timing of this project is good,” said Mark S. Edelstein, a partner in the real estate workout group at the law firm Morrison & Foerster. “Even if Durst Fetner spends the next 10 to 15 months foreclosing, they will still take title towards the bottom of the market, in an area that is ripe for future development.”

In stark contrast to the vacant lot is the recently opened Beatrice. The mixed-use project is typical of developments that were popular during the market boom — complex to build, with many features and amenities. At the base is a retail space featuring FoodParc, a food court by the restaurateurs Jeffrey Chodorow and Ed Schoenfeld. The first 24 floors make up the 292-room Eventi Hotel, which opened in May. Above the Eventi are 301 rental apartments.

The rental component, known as the Beatrice, has a separate entrance on 29th Street, a fitness center and private sky lounge, floor-to-ceiling windows and washers and dryers. It is 40 percent rented, said Mr. Finn of Citi Habitats, which is also the leasing agent. The rentals start at $2,775 for studios, $3,875 for one-bedrooms and $6,150 for two-bedrooms.

The timing of the project was such that “by the time we began feeling the pinch we were already far along in the building process,” said Evan Stein, the president of JD Carlisle Development Corporation. The company bought the land, once a two-story parking garage, in early 2005 and broke ground in 2007. In 2008, the company did reach out to the unions to partake in the same project labor agreement that the Continental benefited from, but because the project’s fate was not so dire, savings were minimal, Mr. Stein said.

The Beatrice is clearly a product of the real estate boom, said James P. Stuckey, a divisional dean of the Schack Institute of Real Estate at New York University. “If done today,” he said, “it would have a substantially harder time getting financing because of its complexities.”


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Old October 20th, 2010, 10:12 PM   #109
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This Is Canal St.?

The new Sheraton Hotel at 370 Canal St.

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Old October 26th, 2010, 06:08 AM   #110
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Curbed

Quote:
Monday, October 25, 2010
City Planning Ready to Approve 1,260 Parking Spaces at Riverside Center
by Noah Kazis on October 25, 2010


The City Planning Commission is likely to approve 1,260 parking spaces at Riverside Center. Will that require a second level of parking. Image: Extell Development

The City Planning Commission is likely to approve a 1,260-space garage for the Riverside Center mega-development at its meeting this Wednesday, according to multiple sources. Thatís space for hundreds more cars ó causing more congestion and more pollution ó than requested by the Upper West Sideís representatives. Itís yet another case where the commission and planning chair Amanda Burden have disregarded the sustainability goals of PlaNYC when shaping parking policy.

To quickly recap the public review process of Riverside Centerís parking supply: In July, Manhattan Community Board 7 voted to recommend 1,000 spaces, after a long and sophisticated discussion of the issue. Borough President Scott Stringer later recommended 1,100 spaces.

The planning commissionís number is also much higher than appropriate given the cityís sustainability commitments under PlaNYC. If Riverside Center were built simply with the same ratio of parking as its neighbors, for example, it would only contain 550 parking spaces, according to CB 7 member and Regional Plan Association staffer Hope Cohen. For a city trying to get greener and encourage more sustainable modes than driving, the planning commissionís endorsement of 1,260 parking spaces represents another perplexing shift toward auto-centric development.

The difference between 1,100 and 1,260 may also be particularly important from an urban design perspective. Only 1,100 cars can fit on one floor of parking, according to the community board; those 160 extra spaces would then require an entire extra level of parking. That in turn could force the entire project to sit on a platform, separating it from the street and deadening the sidewalks around it, according to Ethel Sheffer, a CB 7 member and former president of the New York American Planning Association chapter.


City Planning isnít giving in to the developer completely. Extell Development had requested 1,800 parking spaces, which would choke city streets with even more cars. At 1,260 spaces, there will be less parking at the site than there is today; right now, around 1,650 cars park at lots on the site during the day and around 1,440 park there overnight [PDF]. But the decision to allow so much parking had no connection to the goal of building a greater, greener New York.

Dan Gutman, an environmental planner whoís fought with the city on off-street parking issues before, explained the City Planning Commissionís logic as he heard it at a review session. The commissioners estimated that around 700 cars currently parked at the site belong to people outside the immediate neighborhood, who would start parking closer to home once Riverside Center was built. Thereís also room for around 500 cars in nearby garages. So out of 1,650 cars on the site now, commissioners guessed that about 1,200 would park elsewhere. City Planning then added the approximate number of cars left over to the 840 parking spaces that would be allowed under the parking maximums in effect below 60th Street. And there you have it: 1,260 parking spaces.

In other words, the effect of parking on traffic and transportation more broadly was not considered. Whether 1,260 parking spaces will worsen congestion, slow down buses, endanger pedestrians, or pollute the air wasnít considered. Parking is, by this math, an end entirely unto itself.

The Department of City Planning confirmed that the 1,260 number was under discussion but would not release any explanation of the analysis that had generated that number until the commission votes.

Once the City Planning Commission votes on Riverside Center, it will move to the City Council. Local Council Member Gale Brewer has previously stated that she only wants to see one floor of parking.
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Old October 27th, 2010, 10:24 AM   #111
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New Penn Station/MSG concourse rendering

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Old October 28th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #112
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It just keeps on getting better, but keeps on going unbuilt... hopefully it's for real this time.

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Seven years, my god...
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Old October 31st, 2010, 04:51 AM   #113
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Coming soon: The Mondrian SoHo

(check out the water tank up top!)

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Old October 31st, 2010, 02:48 PM   #114
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a new bridge for NY? that's great news! too bad it will take so long (2017 ) to build it. the new penn station render looks great.
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Old November 2nd, 2010, 12:46 AM   #115
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Gotham Hotel

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Old November 2nd, 2010, 03:00 AM   #116
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a new bridge for NY? that's great news! too bad it will take so long (2017 ) to build it. the new penn station render looks great.
The Tappan Zee is actually quite far to the north of NYC.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 07:40 PM   #117
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He is not refering to Tappan Zee but the new Kosciuszko Bridge (replacing the old one). Btw it will only take 3 years to build since they don't plan to start construction until 2014.
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Old November 3rd, 2010, 11:48 PM   #118
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He is not refering to Tappan Zee but the new Kosciuszko Bridge (replacing the old one). Btw it will only take 3 years to build since they don't plan to start construction until 2014.
yes, i was refering to the new kosciuszko bridge.

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Old November 4th, 2010, 02:26 PM   #119
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--- PLEASE READ THROUGH CAREFULLY (many new skyscraper proposals and other stuff) ---


NYC construction status
(updated list, includes U/C, App, Prep, Pro) -- 01.03.2011 --

SUPERTALLS

U/C:

- 1WTC (417m roof, 541m spire, currently working on the 57th and 58th floors, current height = 211m, making the tower the 39th tallest building in NYC.)
- 2WTC (390m roof, 414m spire, foundation work / piling, footprint taking shape, tower cranes already assembled)
- 3WTC (349m roof, 378m spire, foundation work / piling, core steel expected to rise soon, tower cranes on site)
- Carnegie 57 (306m roof, formerly known as 157 W. 57th St., currently working on the 8th floor)

Approved:

- 15 Penn Plaza (there are two possibilities: 371m roof (multi-tenant design) and 365m roof (single-tenant design), recently approved by the city council, construction will start when a major tenant is found, likely next year)
- The Gira Sole (323m roof- when they finish the subway tunnel this will be U/C, full construction will start in 2013, expected to be completed by 2016)
- Tower Verre (320m roof - needs a redesign, will be built)
- Tishman Speyer Towers (336m x 2, on hold, Prep)

Proposed:

- Midtown Towers (371m roof - aka One Manhattan West, they need to build the platform first, latest news: construction to begin in 2012)
- New York Tower (305m roof)
- Edgar Towers Skyvoid (396m roof, newest supertall proposal, 70 floors)
- Hudson Place Tower I (396m)
- Hudson Place Tower II (329m)

SKYSCRAPERS

U/C:

- 4WTC (297m roof, 15 floors already done, current height = 83m)
- 99 Church Street (278m roof, construction started, currently on hold, site cleared, construction likely to resume by 2012 [new timeline])
- 56 Leonard Street (253m roof, construction started, currently on hold)
- 50 West Street (218m roof, on hold, construction site already excavated and prepared for foundation work)
- Beekman Tower (265m roof, renamed to "New York by Gehry", hoist is down- soon to be completed [interior work])


Approved:

- 250 East 57th Street (218m roof, Phase I already U/C, Phase II following (construction of the actual tower will begin in 2012)
- 366 10th Avenue (236m roof)
- 610 Lexington Avenue (215m roof, on hold)
- 5WTC (264m roof, the port authority has taken responsibility over the site, plans to build an office tower)

Proposed:

- 1 Madison Avenue Addition (285m roof)
- PANYNJ Tower (261m roof)
- 260 12th Avenue Hotel (252m)
- Two Manhattan West (285m roof)
- 45 Broad Street (216m roof)
- 1715 Broadway (229m roof (minimum 218m), demolition ongoing. will be built)
- 440 Park Avenue (likely to rise up to 70 floors, also known as the Drake Hotel redevelopment)
- 225 West 57th Street (200m+, demolition)
- 1 Dekalb Avenue (200m+, 65 floors, located in downtown brooklyn)
- 3 Columbus Circle (likely to exceed 200m)
- 708 1st Avenue (203m, 45 floors)
- 700 1st Avenue Tower 3 (210m, 66 floors)
- Javits Convention Center Hotel (202m, 50 floors)
- 1041 6th avenue (> 200m)
- 740 Eighth Ave (>200m)


HIGHRISES

U/C:

(counting only 100m+ buildings)

--- upcoming --- (there are at least 70 100m+ towers U/C, App, Prep or Pro in NYC)
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Last edited by HK999; March 1st, 2011 at 12:45 PM.
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Old November 13th, 2010, 07:28 AM   #120
desertpunk
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Cool Kids vs the NIMBYs

Curbed

Quote:
Twisty MePa Tower Gets Sliced & Diced by Landmarks Commission

Wednesday, November 10, 2010, by Pete Davies


The view along Washington Street. Well, not anymore.

Architect Morris Adjmi's bold plan for a new office building sprouting out of an old Meatpacking District warehouse at 837 Washington Street got some love from the Landmarks Preservation Commission yesterday, but not enough to get the project to second base. The commissioners praised the design but found it wrong for the Gansevoort Market Historic District, instructed developer Taconic Investment Partners to sharpen its butcher's knife. Despite a stack of supportive letters from nearby property owners and positive testimony from the Romanoff family, whose site kitty-korner across Washington Street just outside the historic district has been approved for a new 200' tower, the LPC sided with community naysayers who were against the 8-story plan.

It's a height thing.

Adjmi and adviser Bill Higgins together laid out the genesis of the torqued framework as an expression of the movement and flow of people and goods through the area as it grew from a small village to a center of commerce. But the commissioners thought the 100' building to be too tall for the two-story base that would hold it. They asked for precedent in the area that would allow for such a plan, but the cited examples were all outside the historic district. The design team explained that the idea for the grid of steel beams, rotating slightly around a taller brick core, was born from the way city streets come together on this block at Washington and West 13th Street.

This is where the old downtown street grid, running diagonally across the lower part of Manhattan, intersects with the later 1811 Plan that created the familiar orthogonal grid of streets covering Manhattan to the north. Still, no dice, so it's back to the drawing board, with the development team trying to figure out a way to build something dynamic and new while constrained by the restrictive rules and the context of the low-slung warehouses that line the streets of the historic district. New plans will be drawn up, but no date has been set for a repeat performance.
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