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Old July 30th, 2006, 04:48 AM   #341
TalB
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_16...sinthesky.html
Volume 19 • Issue 11 | July 28- - August 3, 2006

Pines in the sky for Tribeca project’s wealthiest tenants

By Ronda Kaysen


Rendering of the third-floor terrace at 101 Warren St.

he residents of 101 Warren St. will not need to trek upstate to enjoy pine trees — they’ll have a whole grove of them right outside their window.

The new luxury development currently under construction will come equipped with a bucolic grove of 101 Austrian pine trees set atop the building’s third floor terrace. The building’s sports center will open out on the grove, and all the residents in the 227 condo units will have access to the trees.

“There’s just the serenity and peacefulness of this grove,” said landscape architect Thomas Balsley. “The needles, the texture, the sound of the wind going through the pine trees above. It’s really an extraordinary experience, it’s almost religious. It’s one that would be transported to this roof as a gift to the residents of this building.”

The “gift” will be reserved for the condo residents only. The public and rental tenants in the building’s 163 rental units will not have access to the forest or any of the other amenities reserved for the condo residents.

“You’ll see the pines rising off from the roof, but you will probably have to go across the street to see them,” said Balsley.

In 2005, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. set aside $15 million in Community Development Block Grants for 77 units of affordable rental housing at the lot, formerly called Site 5B. “They will have their own amenity rooms in the rental building,” Jeffrey Sussman, executive vice president for the developer, Edward J. Minskoff Equities, Inc., said in an e-mail. Rental tenants will have a separate fitness room and lounge and a different address: 89 Murray St.

The 1 million sq. ft. development has no public plaza, either. “The rental building was the giveback for the community,” Lawrence Kruysman, Sunshine Group’s director of sales for the property, told Downtown Express.

The Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill-designed building will open at the end of 2007 and already, buyers are grabbing at the luxury abodes, which range from $1.2 million for a one bedroom apartment to a whopping $16 million for a five-bedroom 34th and 35th floor duplex. Nearly 50 percent of the units have sold since they hit the market in April. “Sales have been great,” said Kruysman.

Promotional materials boast a Whole Foods Market, a sports center and the building’s proximity to P.S. 234, “the city’s top ranked public school.”

A promotional video shows a future Tribeca family—equipped with a handsome couple, their two curly-topped young children and miniature dogs—reveling in their sleek, modernist abode.

Current Tribeca residents have long complained that 234, which is currently at 120 percent capacity, will be further squeezed by the new residential developments in the neighborhood.

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Old July 31st, 2006, 07:23 AM   #342
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Wonderful job. I have to admit that these renderings/pictures are very interesting, but most of them don't look futuristic, they look banal to say the least. Most of them remainded me of the Art Deco times. This is nothing compared to Shangai or Dubai. And for those who still claim NYC as the skyscraper king, sorry... NYC is lossing the title.
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Old August 1st, 2006, 05:37 PM   #343
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Chelsea's Sixth Avenue completes shift to high-rise row
Last remaining parcels getting filled in with housing as flower and flea market retailers recede




The Chelsea Landmark rising
at 55 West 25th Street



By Gabby Warshawer
August 2006 Issue

As Manhattan real estate values transform every last corner of the island into a haven of high-priced housing, another down-at-the-heels area has joined the ranks of unlikely hot neighborhoods.

Sixth Avenue between 24th and 31st streets is the locus of frenzied construction, as a former enclave of flower and flea markets becomes a high-rise residential corridor with thousands of new luxury condo and rental units. Less than a decade ago, several parking garages and an accumulation of low-lying buildings fronted by wholesale businesses dominated the neighborhood, and the Chelsea Flea Market was a weekend fixture attracting droves of bargain hunters.

Now many of the flower sellers have been forced or priced out of their storefronts and are largely relegated to 28th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. After 29 years in the neighborhood, the Chelsea Flea Market relocated to Hell's Kitchen last year.

Developers are quick to tout the extent of the transformation.

"To imagine what it's going to look like in five years, all you need to do is go back six years and double it," said Jules Demchick, president of JD Carlisle Development Corporation, which is building a 46-story tower on Sixth Avenue between 29th and 30th streets. "It's going to be a vibrant residential neighborhood."

From a residential developer's perspective, the area is ideal. It's close to the 34th Street transit hub and to Midtown office buildings, and surrounded by Chelsea's retail and dining establishments.

The seven-block expanse may have been ripe for building, but it saw no significant residential development until the late 1990s. A 1995 rezoning changed the area's designation from a manufacturing district to allow high-density residential and commercial structures. Developers could build on these blocks, and build high.

Today, there are five rental towers along the stretch, all of which have gone up since 2000. Three construction plots dot the streets, the future sites of one rental tower, Rose Associates' Chelsea Landmark at 55 West 25th Street, and two condo towers, Adellco's the Remy at 101 West 28th Street and LCOR's yet-to-be-named building at 101 West 24th Street.

Meanwhile, groundbreaking is imminent on two other sites. The JD Carlisle development between 29th and 30th streets will be a hotel with condo units starting at the 20th floor. On the next block, Herald Square Development recently purchased all the parcels on the west side of the avenue between 30th and 31st streets for redevelopment.


The new developments will satisfy some of the demand for housing in central Manhattan, filling a need that is stymied in neighboring prime Chelsea and the Ladies' Mile district by height restrictions on residential projects.

On the other hand, the towers threaten to obliterate the neighborhood's unique character. In the rental towers that have gone up since 2000, chain stores like CVS and Starbucks, as well as several bank branches, have filled the ground-floor retail spaces.

The Flower Market, which has been in the neighborhood since the 1890s, has lost dozens of flower sellers to evictions and rising rents since the residential development began (see below).

"I think it's really sad that the city is letting the wholesale district be crushed," said Cordelia Persen, executive director of the Flower Market Association. "On the other hand, it makes sense, because this should be a residential neighborhood."

On the northern end of the district, several wholesale apparel and jewelry stores serving the Garment District are also likely to be forced out by new developments.

"Anyone who thinks they've been living in this outpost district with a cool little store underneath them that they never shop at, that's going to go," said Richard Hamilton, senior vice president at Halstead Property. "I see the neighborhood ending up a little bit like that area between 23rd and 30th streets on the far East Side that's not quite Gramercy and not quite Murray Hill. It has a large number of buildings and is short on the cutesy."

According to developers and brokers, because most of the new buildings going up are condos, residents will stay in the neighborhood longer than they typically do in the existing rental towers.

"The rents in those buildings are so high that I think people are going to choose to buy," said Kevin Kurland, president of Kurland Realty. "I think it's going to make it more of a long-term neighborhood." Kurland said he expects the condos to sell for $900 to $1,200 a square foot.

LCOR's 37-story tower at 101 West 24th Street will be the first completed condo development. Construction will be finished by late 2007, and the building will be Chelsea's tallest.

"We felt it was time to have an ownership property in the neighborhood," said David Sigman, senior vice president at LCOR. "Our target audience is the people already living in the corridor."

Sigman said the changing face of retail along Sixth Avenue was a natural outgrowth of the rezoning, and that there would be a respite area for small businesses along side streets since developers can't build as high there. Persen of the Flower Market Association said that with the exception of the Remy -- which will be a glass tower composed of interlocking squares designed by Costas Kondylis -- "they're building modern, uninteresting monstrosities.

"It's extremely complicated," she said, "but I wish it was easier to preserve neighborhoods in New York without having to turn them into museums, like Greenwich Village."


Once blooming Flower Market fading


Flower sellers set up shop between 26th and 29th streets in the 1890s because of the area's proximity to the Ladies' Mile stores and the one-time Tenderloin District's restaurants, clubs and theaters. The Flower Market thrived there until the 1970s, when some sellers started relocating to the suburbs.

After the 1995 rezoning, though, the market started shrinking at a faster pace, and over the past 10 years most of the sellers on Sixth Avenue have been forced out of their storefronts.

"If you look at the revenue condo buildings bring to the city, we bring a lot less," said Richard Walker, who has been selling flowers in the district for over 20 years and is the co-owner of Foliage Garden at 120 West 28th Street. "But the city is going to regret tossing the market aside."

Plans to move the Flower Market to another neighborhood have been discussed for years but are currently on the back burner due to a lack of consensus among the merchants.

Aside from rent hikes and evictions, the shift to residential has also detrimentally impacted the flower sellers because it has led to an uptick in parking tickets, driving customers away and making it difficult for truckers to make late-night deliveries without getting fined, said Cordelia Persen, executive director of the Flower Market Association.


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.
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Old August 2nd, 2006, 07:40 PM   #344
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Titan of Tenements Stakes Out West Side



Michael Bloomberg would have liked to see a
development centered on an Olympic stadium
at the West Side rail yards, but rising real-estate
mogul Baruch Singer likely has other plans.



By: Matthew Schuerman
Date: 8/7/2006

Mayor Michael Bloomberg failed to bring the Jets to the West Side. And now it looks like there’s little he can do to stop a controversial landlord from moving there instead.

Baruch Singer, who owns dozens of tenement buildings in the city’s poorer neighborhoods, has spent $61.7 million dollars with his partners on five lots on or near 11th Avenue since last December, including a warehouse formerly used by the artist Robert Rauschenberg.

The transactions are filed in the city’s online property database under official-sounding names such as Hudson Yards L.L.C. or Javits Center Development L.L.C., but they can be traced back to Mr. Singer’s company, Triangle Management, at 95 Delancey Street.

Mr. Singer is best known as the owner of a Harlem apartment building that partially collapsed in 1995, tipping sleeping residents from their beds into a pile of bricks and killing three people.

He had also tried to buy the massive Greenpoint Terminal Market just months before the 19th-century warehouse complex went up in flames in May.

In neither case was he charged with any wrongdoing. But Mr. Singer’s storied history as an owner is still troubling city officials, sources said.

In one case, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development tried to prevent him from bidding on one of its properties in Harlem, although Mr. Singer’s lawyer, David Jaroslawicz, said that H.U.D. later reversed its decision.

The West Side purchases imply that Mr. Singer is entering the second phase of a well-worn trajectory in real estate: going upscale and moving from residential ownership into office development.

The recently purchased lots are located in the 40-block area that was rezoned last year to make way for a major new residential and commercial district just west of midtown, dubbed Hudson Yards.

The placement of the purchases suggest that Mr. Singer is assembling adjoining lots to create at least two office towers, one between 36th and 37th streets and the other on the block to the north. The new zoning permits construction with a base floor-to-area ratio (F.A.R.) of 10, increasing to 21.6 if Mr. Singer purchases development rights from nearby property owners and the city. Only a small portion of the buildings, which could reach about 40 stories high with that F.A.R., can be residential.

The rezoning is one of the remnants of Mayor Bloomberg’s once-grand plan that included a new stadium for the 2012 Olympics and the Jets football team a few blocks to the south of Mr. Singer’s holdings. Across 11th Avenue, the state is going ahead with a $1.7 billion expansion of the Javits Convention Center.

And Mr. Singer has probably got the liquidity to take advantage of all that and become an office-building mogul.

He reportedly sold dozens of his apartment buildings last year to the Pinnacle Group, although he retained a minority share. This spring, he was down to 58 buildings, but has since purchased a number more and now owns 86 buildings which together have 4,565 outstanding housing violations, according to the city Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The violations may have predated Mr. Singer’s ownership, however, and may have been cured without the owner having notified the city housing department.

Mr. Singer didn’t respond to interview requests placed by phone and in person at his Lower East Side office.

A partner listed on one of the deeds, David Galanter, and a lawyer involved in two of the purchases, Kevin Vernick, also did not return telephone messages.

Mr. Jaroslawicz said through an assistant, “He is always buying and selling, since he is in real estate.”

Of course, Hudson Yards will only become attractive to commercial-office tenants once the No. 7 subway line is extended west along 41st Street and then south to 34th Street, an extension that is currently scheduled for 2012—which means that any building on the property is likely years away from materializing.

Mr. Singer may simply be speculating, purchasing property at prices ranging from $124 to $295 per base zoning square foot, only to sell them later at a profit. The lots he has purchased represent just a smattering of the property that he would need to assemble a footprint large enough for a Class A office building.

An incentive program proposed by the city last week to encourage development of the new Hudson Yards would cut property taxes on new buildings on Mr. Singer’s lots by as much as 40 percent for the first four years after construction. The tax abatements would gradually recede in subsequent years.

Rachaele Raynoff, spokeswoman for the Department of City Planning, told The Observer that representatives from Hudson Yards L.L.C. had inquired about the mechanism by which the city is selling extra development rights on the Far West Side, but they didn’t discuss their plans, she said. The development rights are selling for $106.48 per square foot.

City housing officials said that there was nothing stopping Mr. Singer’s foray into commercial development so long as he found banks willing to finance his purchases.

City records show that Mr. Singer is relying at least partially on Fortress Credit Corporation, a private equity firm in Manhattan.

The blocks where he is getting a foothold are now populated by warehouses, a stable for Central Park carriages and parking lots that serve visitors to the Javits Center. One of the properties, a 4,937-square-foot lot at 544 West 38th Street, includes a nondescript three-story brick warehouse that had been used by Mr. Rauschenberg since 1993 as storage for art works, according to a representative from the artist’s studio. Mr. Rauschenberg, who has long lived and worked in Florida, bought it for $875,000 and sold it for $8.575 million.

Three other lots that Mr. Singer purchased along 37th and 38th streets are occupied by warehouses formerly owned by a family business, Astra Spinning Mills, that once stored textiles in them. The lots, totaling 12,343 square feet, according to city records, went for $24 million.

Another property, a 9,875-square foot lot at the corner of 37th Street and 11th Avenue that is now occupied by three taxi repair shops, went for $29.13 million.

The remaining property owners say that they’ve been approached by a variety of developers since the rezoning, although they added that they wouldn’t know if Mr. Singer was one of them, since developers often employ representatives to mask their identities.

“The first condition is that they help me relocate, and after that we can talk about price,” said Cornelius Byrne, the owner of Central Park Carriages on West 37th Street. “So far, no one has done that.”


copyright © 2005 the new york observer, L.P.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 03:18 AM   #345
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Thanks for the updates.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 03:23 AM   #346
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krull
Chelsea's Sixth Avenue completes shift to high-rise row
Last remaining parcels getting filled in with housing as flower and flea market retailers recede


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.
This is the one instance of gentrification/highrise construction that I lament. That stretch of 6th used to be one of the most unique and mysterious locations in Manhattan. Now just another bland stretch of uninspired midrises.

I happen to like pretty much all skyscraper development in the city and will often be the first to tell a nimby off, but the line has to be drawn somewhere.
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Old August 3rd, 2006, 03:27 AM   #347
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Quote:
Originally Posted by christian818
what happens if u guys drown because of global warming. the water is goin to start risin wat do u do. i dont know






I got a disaster plan. I'll shit myself and think "damnit, what to do".

However, I may be relatively well off as I work on the 23rd floor and live pretty far inland in Jersey, behind the high cliffs of the Hudson Palisades.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 12:26 AM   #348
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MARKET SHARE
YOUNG FAMILIES ARE INVESTING THEIR FUTURE IN THE FINANICAL DISTRICT



FAMILY FORTUNE: David and Charis Cooper and son
Max bought at 150 Nassau.



By GABRIEL BELL
August 3, 2006

Stockbrokers, bankers and bulls - these are what the Financial District is known for. But babies?

"When I told people I was moving here, they asked, 'Why?'" says expectant mother Dr. Sonni Mun, who like many others, found a number of reasons to make her home among Wall Street's skyscrapers. "The views are amazing," she says, "and it's so quiet at night."

Yes, a hush does fall over the Financial District when the weekday suits depart its narrow alleys and head back to the burbs. But the residential market near New York's economic heart is anything but quiet. A decade after Mayor Giuliani initiated a massive financial redevelopment scheme, Manhattan's oldest neighborhood has evolved into its latest success.

Dr. Mun, who recently transitioned from full-time work at Mt. Sinai Hospital to full-time motherhood, and her husband, lawyer Jeff Fourmaux, are typical Wall Street newcomers: mid-30s professionals taking advantage of Liberty Bonds and post-9/11 tax abatements to buy into one of the hundreds of new condo properties and office-space conversions. In Mun's case, the discounts made her brand-new two-bedroom, two-bath, 1,475-square-foot apartment in Nassau Street's revamped Croft Building a relative bargain at $1.3 million. "We're absolutely happy here," she says. "We could stay indefinitely."

Like Mun, it seems the area's rookie tenants have instantly become as much a part of the local landscape as Bowling Green's "Charging Bull" statue. In fact, a recent survey commissioned by the Downtown Alliance finds that 60 percent of the new arrivals intend to remain among its European-styled streets. Says Pierre Moran, a top agent with DJK Residential and a former local, "the area has gone from basically nothing on the residential side to becoming a vibrant place to live."


A BUILDING BOOM

Few predicted such dramatic changes when local commercial occupancy nose-dived in the 1990s. As with all investing, though, a few saw prospects amid the losses. "I told my colleagues it was going to be a gold mine," says Michael Hepinstall, a sales associate at DJK Residential. "While residential people saw an opportunity, commercial people were sitting on their hands. Loans helped developers and it trickled down from there."

Indeed, in the years since the terror attacks, aggressive building and selling has increased residency twofold.

At the start of this decade, the ancient alleys east of Broadway between Park Row and the Battery housed 19,000 souls. While that sounds like an impressive number, current projections suggest that the local population will soon reach 65,000 - a boom so far unmatched in Manhattan.

It's not just the numbers that are speaking loudly. High-profile developments like the Cipriani Club Residences at 55 Wall St. (home to Naomi Campbell and Harvey Weinstein), 20 Pine (with interiors by Armani), Philippe Starck's dramatic redesign of the former JP Morgan building at 15 Broad St. and the restored 90 West St. have earned the attention of New York's elite. "A few years ago," says Hepinstall, "it was difficult to convince individuals to go to the area. Now it's in great demand."

And while those with extra scratch can regularly enjoy expensive eateries (Bayard's, Haru Sushi, Bobby Van's Steakhouse) and the gaggle of forthcoming luxury retail choices (HermŠs, Tiffany & Co.), for the average resident, it doesn't help that it's easier to buy a string of pearls than a carton of milk.

Former area resident Barrie Mandel, senior vice president of the Corcoran Group and in charge of sales for the new South Star condos on John Street, remembers the lack of staple amenities. "It wasn't convenient for everyday necessities like groceries or drugstores. Those things were there, you just needed to discover them - you felt like you had a secret."

While options have improved, today's tenants are demanding more. A Downtown Alliance survey indicates local retail options failed to meet the standards of 45 percent of residents. Also, 40 percent of those polled cited the lack of retail choices as a reason to move. Measured against the fact that 70 percent do their day-to-day shopping in the area, it suggests there's a need for retail diversity rather than upscale stores - something the new BMW and Hickey Freeman shops don't address.

Nonetheless, change abounds. For the gourmet, there's the South Street Seaport greenmarket, Zeytuna on William Street, Bell Bates on Reade and a Whole Foods planned for TriBeCa. There's also a spate of everyday restaurants and bars, such as Bin No. 220 on Front Street and the soon-to-open Table Tales Café on Water.

Says Chris Bossert, 24, of Hanover Square, "There are great restaurants here and you don't have to wait two hours to get in."

Other top-flight amenities include the Crunch Gym in Broadway's old Cunard Building and Pasanella and Son Vintners on South Street. There's the recently opened Claremont Preparatory School. And the multiple subway lines make getting around the city easy.

"Creating a community and enhancing services is a challenge," says Joe Lombardo, an agent at Manhattan Apartments Inc. "Many people still view the District as being offices and happy-hour bars."

As Zohra Atash, 25, found out after she moved into her Maiden Lane apartment, there's a reason that Wall Street's 9-to-5 reputation persists. "I spent most of the time exploring and looking for at least one 24-hour deli or diner," she says. "I didn't have much luck."


A FAMILY AFFAIR

Atash's luck is likely to change as more families arrive. Already, the Maclarens and Bugaboo strollers on the sidewalks are transforming this Type A hood into a family community.

Just ask management consultant and Nassau Street condo owner David Cooper. "My wife, Charis, got involved with two mother's groups nearby shortly after the birth of our son, Max, two years ago. We now have five to 10 couples with whom we are close friends and have kids his age." He says what first attracted them to the area was "a palpable sense that things were going to change for the better."

But not everyone views the stunning renaissance on Wall Street in the same way. Politicians and private citizens alike have observed that the economic incentives created to rebuild downtown after 9/11 have assisted primarily in the construction of upper-income housing. According to a recent Wall Street Journal article, the median household income for the area is $87,000, or about twice the average New York City salary, so it's not surprising that the vast majority of new listings fall into the "luxury" category.

Still, according to figures from Prudential Douglas Elliman, the average rent in the Financial District for 2005 was around $2,600 a month - well below the Manhattan average of $3,191. Moreover, some future openings - including the Historic Front Street project abutting Peck Slip, and 15 William St. - contain set-asides for affordable housing.

Whatever one's opinion for this re-imagined Wall Street, the building can only continue for so long and, considering the constant 95 percent residential occupancy rate and the upcoming end of funding programs, investors - so to speak - may have little time left to buy in on the ground floor. Though still bullish on the Financial, Mandel cautions, "as the schools, parks and shopping improve, people are going to wonder why they didn't come when prices were lower."


-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Trading places
Even though Wall Street favors the tycoon who is in business to buy, there are still plenty of blue-chip properties available for the savvy renter.

130 Water St.: Newly converted 2-BR with granite kitchen countertops in a doorman building, $3,150/mo. Available Sept. 1. Agent: Richard N. Rothbloom, Brown Harris Stevens, (212) 452-4485.

10 Hanover Square: 2-BR, 2-bath penthouse duplex with terrace; building has fitness center and roof deck, $6,100/mo. Available now. Agent: Alexander Acevedo, Citi Habitats, (212) 619-1212.

15 Broad St. (Downtown by Philippe Starck): 1-BR with private terrace, full health center, Jenn-Air and Bosch applicances, $4,000/mo. Available now. Agent: Yuri Lobachevsky, Citi Habitats, (212) 619-1212.

41 John St.: 1-BR/flex-2, 1,111 square feet, marble bath, $4,250/mo. Available September. Agent: Martin Rowan, (212) 206-6044, Times Equities Inc.

220 Front St.: 2-BR, 2-bath with beamed ceilings and brick walls in 18th-century building near South Street Seaport, $5,800. Available Aug. 15. Historic Front Street rental office, (212) 566-2780.


Copyright 2006 NYP Holdings, Inc.
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Old August 4th, 2006, 12:31 AM   #349
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7 WTC is gaining fame fast.

"Law and Order" is being filmed in front of the building at this very moment



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Old August 4th, 2006, 12:39 AM   #350
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Far West Side Development Critics Line Up


BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
August 3, 2006

At a hearing scheduled for today, critics will try to poke holes in the city's plan to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks to help develop a new office district on the far West Side of Manhattan.

The Bloomberg administration says Midtown is full and the incentives are needed to draw office developers into the area, now a low-rise expanse stretching from about Eighth to Eleventh avenues and from 31st to 43rd streets.

Critics, who include fiscal watchdog groups, say improving the area's transportation by extending the no. 7 subway line and the recent rezoning of the neighborhood should be enough to entice developers to the far West Side.

A development consultant, Brian Hatch, said the city's economy was strong enough to avoid handing out tax breaks.

"They say there is no place left to build in Midtown, but they need to give massive subsidies to get this thing going? That doesn't make sense," Mr. Hatch said.

"What we have is a demand side problem, not supply side. As soon as there is a tenant that wants to build, bang, they will find a site," he said.

The rents in the area, the city suspects, will be 20% to 25% lower than Midtown, but construction costs will be the same, making it less profitable to build. City Hall says the incentives will help direct $17.2 billion in private sector investment to the area through 2035, 24 million square feet of office space, thousands of apartments, 225,000 new permanent jobs, and 217,000 construction jobs.

Last June, Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver killed Mayor Bloomberg's vision for a West Side stadium in the Hudson Yards district, saying that it would compete against the rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, which is contained in the speaker's district.

Yesterday, a spokesman for Mr. Silver, Charles Carrier, said the speaker had similar concerns over the Hudson Yards tax breaks. "We have a concern that the depth of the subsidies not place a greater advantage to development on the West Side than in Lower Manhattan," Mr. Carrier said.

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said tax incentives are common in most new commercial buildings across the city, and that the level of Hudson Yards incentives was justified to attract the "pioneer" developers who venture into the far West Side. He noted that the tax incentives were roughly half as big as those designed to boost redevelopment around the former World Trade Center site.

"The first movers are not exactly moving into the heart of Midtown," Mr. Doctoroff said. "We feel that that makes it appropriate to give them some benefit."

Today's public hearing in front of the city's Industrial Development Agency is largely a formality since the agency is expected to approve an amendment that will allow the tax breaks on Tuesday. The City Council approved the Hudson Yards plan in October.

Critics say the tax breaks are meant to accelerate the development of the area to help float what they call a highly ambitious and speculative financing plan by the city.

Developers in the Hudson Yards district, instead of paying property taxes and mortgage recording taxes to the city's general fund, will give payments in lieu of taxes to a city-created corporation. The corporation will use that money to pay down debt on about $3 billion in bonds it hopes to issue this fall. The proceeds from the bond sale will be used to pay for the extension of the no. 7 subway line, as well as other area improvements like parks and new streets.The city will pay the debt service on the bonds for about three years, but if the project is a total failure, the loss will be borne by the bondholders.

A contributing editor of City Journal, Nicole Gelinas, who specializes in municipal finance, questioned whether the bonds would be attractive to investors.

"They are basically taking on all of the risk of speculative development," Ms. Gelinas said.

Proponents of the city's financing plan say an extra tax incentive is necessary to offset the added cost of building in the Hudson Yards district. Based on the city's rezoning of the area, developers have to pay a fee to use the expanded air rights.

The president of the Partnership for New York City, Kathryn Wylde, said there is "some nervousness" that the extra costs for the expanded air rights would have "a chilling effect" on demand to build in the area. "That is balanced out by a discount" on property taxes, she said.


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:20 AM   #351
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krull

Critics, who include fiscal watchdog groups, say improving the area's transportation by extending the no. 7 subway line and the recent rezoning of the neighborhood should be enough to entice developers to the far West Side.
Dream on, watchdog groups, dream on.
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Old August 5th, 2006, 05:29 AM   #352
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Originally Posted by TalB
The new luxury development currently under construction will come equipped with a bucolic grove of 101 Austrian pine trees set atop the building’s third floor terrace. The building’s sports center will open out on the grove, and all the residents in the 227 condo units will have access to the trees.
ARCOLOGY!

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Old August 5th, 2006, 07:40 PM   #353
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Wow! All project together in a 'imagine-skyline' would make a complete new city a impressive skyline! Nice and unbelievable!
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Old August 6th, 2006, 06:54 PM   #354
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10 West End Avenue





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Old August 7th, 2006, 03:53 AM   #355
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_16...mingaslaw.html
Volume 19 • Issue 12 | August 4 - 10, 2006

Tower looming as law school breaks library ground in Tribeca

By Ronda Kaysen


New York Law School just broke ground on its new library on Leonard St. and W. Broadway. The school released this rendering of what the new building will look like. With the sale of its Mendik Library, neighbors worry about the size of the building being planned at the old library site.

New York Law School sold its Tribeca library building, making way for a new high-rise residential tower and shoring up its endowment, now one of the 10 largest in the country.

The school sold the Mendik Library site on Church and Leonard Sts. in June to the Alexico Group, a development and management company known for building luxury residential towers and hotels around the city. The proceeds from the sale — estimated at about $140 million, according to the New York Post— and the sale of $135 million in triple-tax free bonds from the city filled the law school’s coffers. Its endowment is now worth about $190 million, rivaling the nation’s best-endowed law schools including Harvard, Yale, Columbia and New York University.

“It’s a very elite category,” Richard Matasar, dean of the 1,400-student Tribeca law school, said in a telephone interview. “Endowments signify that the school has reached a certain stature.”

Flush with the newfound funds, the school broke ground on a new nine-story library and classroom building to rise on the site of a Leonard St. parking lot and a former residential building at 54 Leonard St. The new 200,000 sq. ft. glass-enclosed building, designed by the SmithGroup, will rise five stories above ground and have four stories below grade, and include a cafeteria, auditorium, classrooms and a new library. The school also plans to finish renovating existing buildings by 2010.

But the development that will most dramatically impact the neighborhood will be the new 240 Church St. tower, a 306,000 sq. ft. luxury residential building developed by Izak Senbahar and Simon Elias of Alexico.

The team has developed several luxury projects in recent years, including the Alex Hotel in Midtown. The two recently developed 165 Charles St., a 16-story residential condo designed by Richard Meier. That West Village tower with Hudson River views was lauded by the architectural community, but evoked the ire of local residents who insisted that it and two other nearby Meier buildings changed the character of the neighborhood and cut the area off from the waterfront. Alexico is currently at work on a 30-story luxury tower on the Upper East Side designed by Costas Kondylis.

The Mendik sale has been the subject of speculation since the school first announced last summer that the parcel was on the market. Last fall, a deal with Tishman Speyer Properties fell through and since then the school has been mostly silent about who might buy the property and what a potential buyer might develop there. Even after the sale, school officials declined to say who purchased the building and for how much, despite the information being a matter of public record.

“My responsibility is to generate the resources we need to be able to exist into the future,” said Matasar. “You have to have a process where a potential buyer feels they can have a confidential conversation.”

Some neighbors have voiced outrage at the possibility of a high-rise tower landing in their sleepy, Tribeca neighborhood, worrying that a new influx of residents will further burden an already strained public school system. The neighborhood’s only zoned elementary school, P.S. 234, is already at 120 percent capacity.

The area is mostly zoned for low-rise buildings, with heights capped at 120 feet. But the Mendik site has much looser zoning restrictions. A developer could build a 306,000 sq. ft. tower on the 12,500 sq. ft. parcel, an equation that could translate to a 50-story building, some speculate.

“Whatever beef that exists is a beef with the zoning laws of New York City,” said Matasar, noting that the sale is “as-of-right,” or within the zoning laws. “We should be able to maximize the value of our property.”

Community Board 1, which represents the neighborhood, often struggles with developers to reduce the scale of new developments. But in this case, the board has taken a quieter approach, arguing that it has little room to influence a development that will not need to go through any kind of public review process.

“We are not pleased about this at all, but the decision was made years ago to rezone that area… and put the large buildings along Church St. and that leaves us in a very unfortunate situation,” said Julie Menin, C.B. 1 chairperson. The neighborhood’s efforts would be better spent fighting for more public schools to absorb all the new children in the neighborhood, she added.

Not everyone agrees that the options are so limited on an as-of-right development. Former C.B. 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils insists that developers can be influenced and she has organized a group of Leonard St. residents to fight the development.

“When I was chair of the [community] board, I had my head to the ground and I generally knew which developers were being talked to,” she said. “Many times I talked to the developers and I warned them. I tried to take a more proactive approach to it. It’s just a matter of style.”

The law school could have been pressured to restrict the terms of its sale because its endowment was enriched with $135 million in public bonds, said Wils. “Given that the public is basically endowing New York Law School… it seems to me they’re taking advantage of the community,” she said.

In 1995, Wils chaired the C.B. 1 committee that worked to rezone the neighborhood. Wils said the school was exempt from the zoning restrictions with the idea that it might one day grow, not so that it could sell off its property to become one of the wealthiest schools in the country. “This isn’t expanding the law school in the spirit of what was given,” she said.

Wils and others in the group of residents started a fundraising campaign and has met with City Councilmember Alan Gerson to discuss their options. Now that the building is sold and the buyer is known, “we can come up with real strategy,” said Leonard St. resident Antonio Convit.

“We are going to explore different avenues of leverage to keep the height to a scale that comports with the community,” said Gerson. “Ultimately, I think they would recognize that with all else being equal, people will want to come in and live in a place where they’re welcome, not where they’re viewed as denigrating a community.”

Alexico will meet with the community board in the fall to discuss its development plans. Senbahar of Alexico did not return a call for comment.

The law school has no plans to further develop the Tribeca campus once the new addition is complete. They will however, continue to look for dormitory space. Last year, the school leased a 13-story East Village dorm, which was a resounding success with students. “It turns out the East Village is more the taste of young people,” said Matasar. “It turns out we’re a bunch of old farts.”

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Old August 7th, 2006, 02:55 PM   #356
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NYC construction projects are coming more and more I imagine.
Skyscrapers would be built outer borough to turn into Manhattan in due course.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 01:13 AM   #357
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34th St. next 'It' neighborhood
Moynihan Station drives surge in values, high-end projects; bye-bye, schlocky stores



by Julie Satow
Published on August 07, 2006

For 20 years, Alex Adjmi has owned four small buildings on West 34th Street across from Madison Square Garden. Just a few months ago, however, the landlord began preparing to oust the discount stores and the Regency Inn to erect an upscale hotel or rental tower.

"The properties have become so valuable, and we want to maximize that," Mr. Adjmi says.

As plans for the new Moynihan Station move forward, developers are betting that West 34th Street will be transformed into a tourist and business destination rivaling Times Square. Next door to Mr. Adjmi, owner Andrew Borrok is smartening up the dowdy 14 Penn Plaza. Further east, real estate investment trust SL Green has acquired four run-down buildings and intends a ground-up redevelopment, including state-of-the-art retail space. Rents are already creeping up.

"Forty-Second Street is a major cross street where almost every big name developer owns a site," says David Noonan, a senior managing director at Newmark Knight Frank. "The same thing is on the verge of happening on 34th Street."

Like its uptown neighbor, the Herald Square area is full of office workers--about 300,000--and has a web of transportation lines and tourist destinations, including Macy's and the Empire State Building. Tacky discount shops that have been fixtures on the blocks east and west of Macy's are getting pushed out by higher-end stores. Last year, Borders and Kay Jewelers moved in. They followed trendy clothier H&M, which has two stores on the street, and Victoria's Secret, which started the retail momentum in 2002.

The proposed Moynihan Station--named for late New York Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who championed the project--is helping to spur the change. Vornado Realty Trust, which owns 7 million square feet of real estate around Madison Square Garden, and The Related Companies have been chosen to expand Pennsylvania Station under Eighth Avenue and into the James A. Farley Post Office to create the station. The project may also include moving the Garden further west and building a commercial complex atop Penn Station. Final approvals are expected in the fall.


Drastically different look


"Over the next 12 months, you'll see Vornado begin developing their sites, and with the new train station, this area will look drastically different," says Michael Liss, a senior associate at brokerage Trammel Crow Co.

The office market has begun to reflect these changes. Asking rents at 14 Penn Plaza have jumped 25% in the past year, to $40 a square foot, far outpacing the overall midtown office market, which rose 5% in the period. The occupancy rate at the 550,000-square-foot building has gone to 98% from 92% two years ago. Mr. Borrok has renovated the lobby, replaced the elevators and hired Swanke Hayden Connell Architects to redesign the storefronts.

"We have seen dramatic changes along 34th street," Mr. Borrok says.

Retail is also booming. Apple Computer recently signed a deal for a 20,000-square-foot store in one of the vacant buildings acquired by SL Green and landlord Jeff Sutton. Asking rent for the space tops $500 a square foot, far above the area average of $400, says Robert Futterman, president of retail brokerage Robert K. Futterman & Associates.

"Retail is leading the way with new, high-level tenants and escalating rents," says Douglas Harmon, a managing director at Eastdil Secured.


Walking on air


Retail is only part of SL Green's strategy. The company is considering using the air rights from its low-story buildings on West 34th Street--including 21, 25-27 and 29--to build a hotel or residential development.

"The purchases reflect our belief that 34th Street is going to be the next great shopping destination in Manhattan," says Andrew Mathias, SL Green's chief investment officer.

Mr. Adjmi, who owns 213 through 223 W. 34th St., has similar plans. He's negotiating with two potential joint venture partners to create a 350,000-square-foot hotel or rental tower and 80,000 square feet of retail space on his plot across from the Garden. He's in talks with a department store, which he wouldn't name, for the retail space.

Even residential demand has picked up, despite the Manhattan market's general slowdown. At 433 W. 34th St., between Ninth and 10th avenues, for example, a one-bedroom co-op just sold for $627,000--twice its value two years ago.

"With all of the development on the West Side, I hope Manhattan is not going to tilt to the left," says Eric Anton, a senior managing director of brokerage Eastern Consolidated. "The West Side, including 34th Street, is finally coming into its own."


©2006 Crain Communications Inc.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 01:22 AM   #358
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New tall condo tower near Lincoln Center


03-AUG-06

The website of Douglaston Development indicates that it is “in pre-development on a luxury condominium project to be located at 160 West 62nd Street.”

“The project,” the website continued, “is being developed in conjunction with Continental Properties. The design architect is Cesar Pelli & Associates. Upon completion, the project is anticipated to have 300 luxury condominium homes in a 55+ story glass tower, an outdoor garden for residents and a high-end restaurant. The second floor of the building will be dedicated to an extensive amenity package, including a designer spa, fitness center, screening room, and business center.”

Jeffrey E. Levine, a principal of Douglaston Development, told CityRealty.com today that project discussions are being held with the City Planning Commission about possible desired modifications to bulk regulations for the site prior to certification into the city's Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP). He said that while the project's development rights are clear, details on the building's massing and number of units and stories have not yet been finalized, adding that devlopment hopefully would begin next year.

The tower would rise on the southeast corner of 62nd Street and Amsterdam Avenue just to the north of the 38-story Alfred apartment building at 161 West 61st Street, and to the east of a Fordham University campus that is south of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts.

The new building, which conceiveably could be as tall as about 620 feet, would serve as a southern foil to the 60-story apartment building known as 3 Lincoln Center on the northeast corner of 65th Street and Amsterdam Avenue with both towers framing the western boundaries of Lincoln Center.

Cesar Pelli & Associates, which is now known as Pelli Clarke Pelli Associates, is the architect of the World Financial Center at Battery Park City and One Beacon Court on the former site of Alexander’s Department Store on the full block bounded by Lexington and Third Avenues and 58th and 59th Streets.

Douglaston Development is nearing completion of a condominium apartment tower at 325 Fifth Avenue and its other projects in Manhattan include the Zinc, a 21-unit residential condominium building planned for 475 Greenwich Street, and a 28-unit dormitory for the School of Visual Arts at 101 East Tenth Street at Third Avenue.


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Old August 9th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #359
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Expect big things to happen...


IDA approves tax breaks for Hudson Yards


by Julie Satow
August 08, 2006

Commercial developers are now eligible for $650 million worth of tax breaks, which are expected to generate $1.8 billion in new revenue.

Commercial developers on the far West Side are now eligible for $650 million worth of tax abatements.

The city's Industrial Development Agency Board today approved the tax breaks, which are expected to generate $1.8 billion in new revenue by spurring the development of 24 million square feet of office space in the 45-block neighborhood.

"The Hudson Yards area represents the city's greatest opportunity to create badly-needed space for new office jobs," says Joshua Sirefman, interim chairman of the IDA. "But it will not happen without mitigating rising development costs that would continue to deter development in the area."

The city estimates that in 2012 -- the first year an office property is expected to be complete -- a property owner without any tax abatement will pay $15.27 a square foot. With the breaks, however, that property owner will shell out only $9.16 to $11.45 a square foot, depending on how far west the project is located.

The IDA today also approved an $11.2 million break on the mortgage recording tax for The Related Cos' development of Gateway Center at Bronx Terminal Market and a $5.6 million break on the mortgage recording tax for the East River Science Park, to be built by Alexandria Real Estate Equities.


©2006 Crain Communications Inc.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 08:17 AM   #360
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http://newyorkmagazine.com/news/features/18862/
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