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Old November 3rd, 2006, 04:26 AM   #521
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Developers Are Poised for Projects in Midtown

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: November 2, 2006

Brookfield Financial Properties bought a development parcel on Ninth Avenue last week for well over $100 million in the latest sign, developers say, that the market is finally ripe for building new office towers in Midtown.

For two decades, Brookfield has owned an adjacent site, across Ninth Avenue from the Farley Post Office building, between 31st and 33rd Streets, but was unable to lure a corporate tenant that far west during real estate booms in the 1980s and the late 1990s.

Now, with rents soaring and few large blocks of space available in Midtown, Brookfield, one of the largest commercial landlords in the city, decided that the time was right to acquire the adjacent parcel from Harvey Schulweis to build two, or possibly three, office towers. Combined, the properties cover five acres, about the size of Bryant Park. Under the current zoning, the company could build up to 4.6 million square feet of space, the equivalent of two Empire State Buildings.

In addition, SJP Properties, Vornado Realty Trust and Boston Properties are considering new commercial towers on the West Side after a six-year lull in office development.

“I’m extremely bullish,” said Josh Kuriloff, an executive vice president at Cushman & Wakefield, a commercial broker. “There is a window to build new office buildings on spec and be enormously successful as rents continue to spike. Financial institutions and global law firms will pay a premium for high-end space.”

According to Cushman & Wakefield, the vacancy rate for prime Midtown office space has fallen to its lowest point since 2000, 4.8 percent, while the average annual rent has climbed to more than $60 per square foot.

And two buildings that are already under construction, including the headquarters for The New York Times, have leased nearly all their space at rents that were unthinkable two years ago. The developer Douglas Durst and the Bank of America are building a 54-story, 2.1 million-square-foot tower at 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, where a law firm recently signed a deal for $100 per square foot.

So far this year, 31 companies have signed deals with rents of $100 or more per square foot, which is about what a developer needs today to justify building a new tower.

So unlike Mr. Durst, who started his project with an anchor tenant, SJP Properties plans to break ground soon on a 40-story, 1.1 million-square-foot office tower at the southeast corner of 42nd Street and Eighth Avenue without a tenant.

“This is the first time in 25 years that we’ve seen the Midtown market this strong for Class A office space,” Steven J. Pozycki, SJP’s chairman, said when the company bought the land in August for $305 million.

Across Eighth Avenue from SJP’s site, Vornado Realty Trust and the Lawrence Ruben Company recently revived talks with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to build a 1.3 million-square-foot office tower over the north wing of the bus terminal. The developers agreed in 1999 to pay the Port Authority more than $110 million for the development rights, and there were talks about building a headquarters for Cisco Systems. But the dot-com boom collapsed in 2000, along with the chances of landing a tenant.

Since then, the two sides have been in litigation, though they now seem eager to get the project moving again.

Vornado also owns another potential development site, the Pennsylvania Hotel, across Seventh Avenue from Madison Square Garden.

Related Companies and Boston Properties are putting together a commercial development site on the east side of Eighth Avenue at 45th Street, according to real estate executives, that would involve using air rights from nearby Broadway theaters.

But it can take years to obtain government approvals and erect a tower. The New York market can be fast-moving and treacherous. In 2000, when the Midtown vacancy rate was 2.2 percent, the developer Jules Demchick planned a 17-story office building for the north side of 42nd Street near 12th Avenue. But New York soon plunged into a recession, and the vacancy rate jumped, although housing prices continued to rise.

Mr. Demchick, a shrewd builder, switched back to his original plan, a 49-story apartment tower, which is now nearing completion, by a different developer.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:01 AM   #522
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in other words, 'we are expanding midtown buildings to the hudson river.'

finally river to river, a massive skyline. cant wait to see what buildings we end up with.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 05:10 AM   #523
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Yes, it's becoming a reality, along with the #7 line expansion.

If we are lucky, the West side could become another Rockefeller Center filled with sky high office towers.

A bonus would be some major retail stores, perhaps another Bloomingdale's, Barney's, etc.

If you think Madison Ave, 5th Ave, etc., you could probably picture the idea.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:13 AM   #524
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Development will do that to that rather deserving area.
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 07:21 AM   #525
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In 50 years there won't be any fish left...

...we need this project now!
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Old November 3rd, 2006, 08:10 AM   #526
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Yea man? No fish? That sucks. I'll miss Chilean Sea Bass. . Wait what the??????
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Old November 4th, 2006, 11:45 PM   #527
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/re...ref=realestate
From Odd Lot to Upscale

By C. J. HUGHES
Published: November 5, 2006


Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times
NEW TO THE EAST VILLAGE One Avenue B, on the corner of East Houston Street and Avenue B.


WIDENING Houston Street in the 1950s left lots of jagged edges where a neat east-west alignment used to be. In the decades since, the odd-shaped lots along those edges have seemed suitable only for parked cars and billboards.

More recently, however, developers have zeroed in on the castoff parcels. Sneaker stores, hotels and a large complex of rental apartments now form part of a parade of ambitious new commercial and residential buildings along this high-traffic and high-visibility corridor.

A luxury condominium is about to join them, on the corner of East Houston Street and Avenue B in the East Village.

Rising from a triangular slice of land where a gas station used to be, the seven-story building, called One Avenue B, will by next March have 24 apartments. These will range from 465-square-foot studios to 1,260-square-foot two-bedrooms, though most will be one-bedrooms offering 600 to 800 square feet.

Prices for the units, which went on sale on Oct. 13, start at $525,000 and reach $1.75 million, according to Marcello Porcelli, president of the LargaVista Companies, a developer based in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, whose portfolio includes office buildings and franchise restaurants in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

Large windows, now installed, set the building in sharp contrast to the dowdy 19th-century tenements nearby — and to Houston Street itself, which is still a relative workhorse, a heavily used path across Manhattan for streams of cars and trucks.

Yet those involved in the project say an effort was made to match the architectural styles of the neighborhood, which is near the Lower East Side.

“We didn’t want to build a big tower in the sky that sticks up,” said Mr. Porcelli, whose family owns Gaseteria, one of whose outlets used to stand on the property. “We wanted to respect what’s been there for a long time.”

The daytime doorman at One Avenue B, however, may well stand out, in an area with only a handful of them. David Schefer, the project’s designer, whose portfolio includes restaurants like Commune and Fred’s at Barney’s, will shield the lobby’s windows with heavy wood blinds, and line its narrow passageway with a full-wall photo of palmetto trees.

“We want you to be able to come in off the street and decompress,” Mr. Schefer said. “It will have a boutique hotel feel.”

The building will house an 800-square-foot fitness center with treadmills, elliptical machines and a yoga studio, in the basement, where there will also be storage units and a bicycle room.

The 4,000-square-foot ground-floor retail space will be leased by a branch of Banco Popular.

Apartment kitchens will have walnut cabinets, marble counters and stacked Bosch washing machines and dryers. Bathrooms will have slate floors and Toto toilets.

Upstairs windows are casement rather than double-hung. Panes are double-glazed, to help muffle the sound of honking horns, according to Mr. Porcelli.

But he sees Houston’s Street’s ugly-duckling status as temporary.

“Change has already happened,” he explained, alluding to the new buildings along the stretch of East Houston between Broadway and Second Avenue. “Now it’s just migrating east.”
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Old November 6th, 2006, 06:25 AM   #528
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/11/05/ny...on&oref=slogin
In Manhattan’s Diamond District, a Turf Battle Looms

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: November 5, 2006


Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times

A developer hopes to revitalize West 47th Street with a new tower devoted to the diamond and jewelry trade.


The billboard above the blue construction fence on 47th Street west of Fifth Avenue announces the “Future Home of the Global Diamond and Jewelry Trade,” including modern office space, underground parking, a maximum-security vault and a museum.

The project, and the city Economic Development Corporation’s decision to provide a $37.5 million subsidy package over 10 years, has touched off an angry debate in the secretive Diamond District. And the outcome may very well determine the future of the dowdy 60-year-old Midtown enclave, which continues to draw tourists and New Yorkers looking for a good deal on a ring or a necklace.

The developer of the $433.5 million project, Gary Barnett, a former Belgian diamond trader, promises that his tower, like similar complexes in Antwerp, Shanghai, Dubai and Ramat Gan, Israel, housing diamond cutters, traders, brokers and jewelry retailers in a modern upscale setting, will restore the district as a world center for the trade.

But some longtime landlords and tenants on 47th Street have mobilized against the proposed tax incentives, hiring lobbyists and publicists to go against those employed by the developer at a city Industrial Development Agency hearing on Thursday.

They say that the city’s subsidies will not draw new business, but will only enable the developer to poach existing tenants and destroy the block’s delicate symbiosis between small dealers in the booths and the big shots at the Diamond Dealers Club. The 47th Street Business Improvement District opposed the deal at first, but is now neutral.

“He’s going to build the building no matter what,” said Jeffrey Levin, the district’s chairman. “It’s not going to be all jewelers. He’s going to pay a lot of money to the BID. I think that’s good.”

But Bettina Damiani, director of Good Jobs New York, questioned the rationale for favoring one landlord over another. “The industry might need some upgrading, but there’s not a desperate need for taxpayer assistance,” she said.

Mr. Barnett dismissed the criticism, saying the aging buildings on the block between Fifth Avenue and the Avenue of the Americas are outdated. About 90 percent of the diamonds coming into the United States flow through New York, he said, but the district must improve or lose ground to other cities. The competition is getting closer: In October, a 50-story “World Jewelry Center” with modern amenities was proposed for Las Vegas.

New York’s district has been in decline for 20 years, said Mr. Barnett, chairman of the Extell Development Company. He added, “There is no modern facility like they have in all the other diamond and jewelry centers in the world.”

The opposition is led by Kenneth Kahn and Arthur Margolin, who own two prominent buildings in the diamond district, and Philip A. Mactaggart, the owner of three others. Mr. Barnett has been wooing many of Mr. Kahn’s and Mr. Margolin’s tenants, including the Diamond Dealers Club, one of 20 diamond bourses in the world, and the Gemological Institute of America, which grades and certifies precious stones.

According to club members, Mr. Barnett has offered state-of-the-art space for little or no rent, at least in the early years. The club would lure distributors, retailers and manufacturers. The Gemological Institute has long been unhappy at its location and is said to be considering moving some operations to New Jersey.

Mr. Margolin said he was not afraid of competition, but resented the city’s providing tax breaks for one owner. He and his partner complained that the tower would lure the leading retailers that draw customers into the exchanges, while leaving behind the smaller stores and some distributors to fend for themselves.

“Barnett will have a diamond building and the rest of the block will become something else,” Mr. Margolin said. “It’s almost as if the city is helping him steal tenants.”

But Seth Pinsky, executive vice president of the city’s development corporation, said, “The city feels it’s important to preserve 47th Street as a center of one of the few soup-to-nuts industries still in Midtown.”

Mr. Barnett was at an impasse with the city this year over his request for a hefty subsidy package, but several weeks ago the development corporation agreed to a new proposal — backed by some City Hall officials — that tied the exemptions to new jobs in the industry.

The more new jobs, the larger the exemptions on property, sales and mortgage recording taxes, according to officials and executives briefed on the talks. Mr. Barnett would lose the benefits altogether if less than two-thirds of the building was occupied by tenants from outside the industry, or if less than a fifth of the occupants were new or expanding businesses.

The New York industry has been buffeted in recent years by competition from India and, more recently, from China, as well as by dealers on the Internet and in suburban exchanges. Thousands of cutters and polishers have been put out of work or forced to retire. But the city remains a hub, specializing in the larger and most expensive stones — five or more carats — which are cut and polished behind a set of triple-locked doors at high-end manufacturers like the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation nearby on 48th Street.

Industry experts say that manufacturing will not return to New York — not when it costs about $110 to cut a one-carat diamond in New York and $10 to do so in India.

Mr. Barnett said his building would attract high-end retailers, distributors and manufacturers polishing diamonds “worth many thousands of dollars a carat,” because it would have well-designed space, high-speed elevators and underground parking for secure deliveries. He said that some tenants might come from Mr. Kahn’s building for the modern space, but that most would come from outside the city.

Two possible tenants are Isaac E. Musighi, president of Pacific M International, a Los Angeles diamond wholesaler and manufacturer, and Jacob Kristal, chief executive of Royal Diamond Cutters in Antwerp, a major manufacturer that employs 3,000 diamond cutters in Belgium, India and Russia.

Mr. Musighi and Mr. Kristal each said he might buy a 6,000-square-foot condominium in the 750,000-square-foot tower and employ a half-dozen people. They also said they might sublease some of their space.

“Forty-Seventh Street is a mess,” Mr. Kristal said. “I’m not J. C. Penney or 7-Eleven. People who are coming to me are looking for an image. This building will be the center of the industry and the other buildings will be like satellites.”

Critics say it may be hard to fill the tower with many small tenants who require just 600 square feet or less, and even more difficult to create the 520 to 1,320 new jobs promised by the developer.

“The idea that he’s going to fill the building with fresh blood sounds great,” said Saul Goldberg, chairman of William Goldberg. “It’s a frighteningly large amount of square footage for our industry. Most of the important players are already here.”
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Old November 6th, 2006, 12:12 PM   #529
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great tower. is that a pyramid on the board?
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Old November 6th, 2006, 07:18 PM   #530
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great tower. is that a pyramid on the board?
I am afraid is not going to be a pyramid tower. That is a diamond on the board.

This is the rendering so far...


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Old November 6th, 2006, 07:48 PM   #531
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Visions of Manhattan: For the City, 100-Year Makeovers



In Grand Central Terminal, History Channel design competitors presented New Yorks for 2106.
Terreform’s included a ban on private cars.



By ROBIN POGREBIN
November 4, 2006

Imagine a Manhattan given over to a new Central Park, with a crystalline city floating above it.

Or a series of self-propelled islands floating around Manhattan, docking as needed and providing extra space for concerts and green markets (or cordoning off visiting dignitaries so that their caravans don’t disrupt traffic).

Or that the populations of Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx have been moved into Manhattan and stacked 65 stories high, so that those four boroughs could be used purely as green space.

These were among the 10 radical, sometimes quirky, visions of New York 100 years from now, presented by teams of architects and engineers in a competition that ended on Thursday.

Organized in connection with “Engineering an Empire,” a History Channel series that examines the achievements of ancient civilizations, the competition called for each team to design a 22nd-century “City of the Future” for a prize of $10,000. Similar competitions are to be held in Chicago on Nov. 17 and in Los Angeles on Dec. 8. A national champion will ultimately be selected from among the three winning teams and awarded another $10,000.

In New York the firms, all local ones, were handed their challenge on Oct. 26 at 5:30 a.m. Their brief was to envision the city in 2106, striving for a high level of innovation and technological sophistication. Polished presentations were due a week later, at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday. Assembling at 8:30 a.m., the teams had four hours to put the presentations together in the Vanderbilt Room of Grand Central Terminal.


“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and I’m now pretty sure New York can’t be built in a week,” said one of the competing architects, Craig Konyk.

At 12:30 p.m., time ran out. “Teams, please stop building,” ordered the architect Casey Jones, who with Reed Kroloff, his partner, was a competition adviser. “Time is up.”

Then the judges filed in: the architects David Rockwell and Billie Tsien; Ray Gastil, the Manhattan office director of the city’s Department of City Planning; Terrence O’Neal, president of the New York State chapter of the American Institute of Architects; and Paul Goldberger, architecture critic at The New Yorker.

During the next three hours, the judges moved from one project to another, asking questions. “What is happening in the other boroughs?” Ms. Tsien asked the Urban Research Group, the team that suggested emptying every borough except Manhattan of its inhabitants. “Whatever the city needs to support itself,” replied Moji Baratloo, one of the group’s architects. “It’s a conceptual idea to understand what it would mean to free up land.”

As Laurie Hawkinson of Smith-Miller & Hawkinson Architects sought to defend her team’s presentation, Mr. Goldberger suggested that it wasn’t architectural: a series of postcards depicting New York as the architects hoped or expected it would be. The computer-generated images included a giant pool in place of Central Park; an all-night golf course; a yellow cab that would take a passenger from New York to Boston in 45 minutes (at $7 a mile); a hot dog served by a mechanical arm; street signs in Chinese as well as English.

Diane Lewis and colleagues at Diane Lewis Architect drew on a History Channel program on ancient Rome, “not to see history as something past, but as a structural example,” she said. (That segment won an Emmy Award for picture editing this year, and each team in this competition was sent a copy as possible inspiration.)

She created what she called a “quadrata,” with major streets going down one mile and up one mile, forming an overall cube. “The Romans looked at infrastructure as architectural,” Ms. Lewis said in an interview. “Quadrants were connected into the grid of the city.”

The Lewis team also created its own social institutions in place of Roman models — instead of the Forum, a United Nations for Freedom of the Press; rather than a Pantheon, an international peace institute. “We are interested in a postphilanthropic Manhattan,” Ms. Lewis said. (In deliberating later, the judges agreed that this was an intriguing idea that had not been sufficiently developed.)

The team from Konyk Architecture came up with “Cloud 09,” a city floating in air. It included a vertical subway system of high-speed lifts, or “vrams”; annexed Hudson and eastern Bergen counties in New Jersey; and envisioned office buildings as so technologically advanced that “business travel would cease to exist,” Mr. Konyk said. “Travel would be strictly for recreational purposes.”

Mr. O’Neal asked: “Where do you see the common man in your vision?”

With computers in every school, Mr. Konyk replied, “I think the common man is technically advanced.”

Sustainability was a common theme. “How can we use New York as a model for the rest of the world to create a sustainable environment?” asked Jonathan Marvel of Rogers Marvel Architects. His team conceived of parkland that would create a green ribbon around the edge of Manhattan and a system of pneumatic tubes that would collect and tag sorted household waste for recycling. These are “all ways you as an inhabitant take an active role in solving problems of sustainability on an active scale,” Mr. Marvel said.

The top prize went to the team from the Architecture Research Office firm, which, acknowledging global warming and climactic change, explored the idea of harnessing the water that would ultimately flood the streets. Avenues would become “vanes,” watery channels with buildings above them, a team member, Adam Yarinsky, suggested.

The group’s formal proposal invoked modern and ancient architectural precedents. “If the Miesian skyscraper and the Parisian arcade can account for one-half of the vane’s pedigree,” the team said in its presentation materials, “the aqueduct and the Roman baths answer for the other.”

After the judges’ hasty deliberations, Daniel L. Doctoroff, the city’s deputy mayor for economic development, presented the prizes. He said his office was preoccupied by many of the same concerns as the contestants — “parks and open space and pedestrianization and transportation” — though it might not be looking quite as far ahead.

“It’s so exciting for me to see this group of architects and designers think so creatively about the future,” he said.

Mr. Marvel’s team won the honorary mention for technological advancement. The Terreform group won the mention for best presentation, with a proposal that involved eliminating privately owned cars in Manhattan; it predicted that 60 percent of the city’s population would be walking to work by 2038.

Over all, the proposals conveyed a confidence that amid energy shortages, population increases and global warming, New York’s urban problems could be addressed and even solved.

Surveying the flooded streets in the Architecture Research Office proposal, Ms. Tsien asked, “Do you see it as optimistic or elegiac?”

Mr. Yarinsky replied: “I see it as optimistic. The way a city transforms.”



The Urban Research Group team assembled its model
in Grand Central Terminal.



Rogers Marvel’s model had a green belt around Manhattan.


The Architect Research Office members built their model, then showed it, top.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Old November 6th, 2006, 07:53 PM   #532
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Damp visions of a post-apocalyptic Manhattan


BY JUSTIN DAVIDSON
Newsday Staff Writer
November 6, 2006

After power has withered and the glories are buried in sand, what remains are the tough structures, the temples and aqueducts and stadiums that loom over daily life. In its series "Engineering an Empire," the History Channel has been telling the story of antiquity's vast relics. Now it has asked architects to imagine the relics of the future. It's a child's question, or a visionary's: What will cities look like when today's skyline has become obsolete?

To get some answers - and to promote its brand - the channel organized a pyramid of competitions, which got under way last week and will culminate early next month. Teams of architects - 10 each in New York, Chicago and Los Angeles - are given a week to propose visions for the city of 2106. One group in each city wins $10,000 and can double it by beating the two other finalists. The result is purely virtual: no new city, no TV show, just something for posterity to smile about.

Whatever kind of place New Yorkers will inhabit a century from now, it will probably not look much like the hallucinations that went on display briefly in Grand Central Station on Thursday and will reappear on the History Channel's Web site (history.com) sometime next month. Since incremental change is too difficult to conceive, most designers imagined a post-apocalyptic Manhattan half-drowned by rising oceans.

The catastrophe of choice was not a nuclear explosion, against which even architects have to admit they have few antidotes, but global warming. The exhibits displayed a certain buoyant inventiveness. The competitors suggested levitating Manhattan, ringing it with pontoon islands or lacing the harbor with floating causeways.

Hurricane Katrina seemed to be on everybody's mind, and the challenge of raising a city, both literally and in its architectural aspirations. Let the floodwaters come, these teams proclaimed: We can fix that.

The quickie show demonstrated why architects should never be given too much power. The Urban Research Group, guided by the slogan "No Manhattan is an Island," proposed cramming New York City's entire population into one fortress borough and giving the rest over to greenery. In this neo-medieval burg, you could get to the fields by subway.

A group called Konyk took the opposite tack: Let wilderness overrun Manhattan and turn it into one vast park of moss-covered towers, while the data-crunchers of the 22nd century commute via high-tech beanstalks to a honeycomb of translucent cubicles in the sky.

The firm of Smith-Miller + Hawkinson doctored real postcards to evoke transformations, one of which showed the Lower Manhattan skyline beneath a glass dome. What better way to deal with greenhouse gases than by building an actual greenhouse?

The jury picked the Architecture Research Group, which figured that New York's best hope in a high-water world would be to become New Venice. Its aqueous metropolis bristles with "vanes": supertall structures that would rise far, far above today's stumpy towers. The notion that Manhattan will one day be far more vertical than it is today seems plausible.

The question is whether today's skyline will be tomorrow's flooded basement.


Copyright 2006 Newsday Inc.
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Old November 6th, 2006, 11:34 PM   #533
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Quote:
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I am afraid is not going to be a pyramid tower. That is a diamond on the board.

This is the rendering so far...


thank god
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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:24 AM   #534
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20-story condo building planned for West 78th Street





06-NOV-06

A 20-story residential condominium building with 35 units is planned for 230 West 78th Street between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue by Amsterdam 78, LLC, in care of Urban Residential LLC at 599 Broadway.

An offering plan was filed with the New York State Attorney General’s office April 27, 2006 with a total offering price of $109,525,000.

Handel Architects is the architect but Lauren Hlavenka of Handel Architects, responding to a query from CityRealty.com, said in an e-mail message that “unfortunately, we are not releasing information of this project just yet.”

The offering plan did not provide many details about the proposed new building but it indicated that part of it would be cantilevered at the 4th and 6th floors.

The building would have 75 feet frontage on 78th Street. The building would have bicycle storage, a fitness center, an attended lobby and a roof deck. A four-bedroom apartment with three-and-a-half baths on the 18th floor with 3,156 square feet of space plus 611 square feet of terrace is priced at $6,950,000. A one-bedroom, one-bath unit with 949 square feet is priced at $975,000.

The site is presently occupied by a four-story building with an 11-step stoop entrance and a rusticated stone facade.


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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:25 AM   #535
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20-story condo building planned for 531 West End Avenue





06-NOV-06

Demolition has started at 531 West End Avenue between 85th and 86th Streets where IMICO West End LLC., of which David Rothstein is an executive vice president, plans a new 20-story residential condominium building.

The new building, which is a project of Extell Development, will have 34 units and 30 parking spaces in an attended garage.

According to an offering plan filed in July for testing purposes with the New York State Attorney General’s Office, the project would have a purchase price offering of $274,105,000.

There would be four studio units of 615 to 725 square feet on the second floor, larger units above the second floor and “penthouse” units on floors 16 through 21 which would seven-bedroom units with seven-and-a-half baths with 6,275 square feet priced at $11,600,000 to $12,100,000.

The building will have a landscaped courtyard, a recreation room a fitness center with a swimming pool, and a game room. It would have 100 feet of frontage on 86th Street.

Mr. Rothstein did not return a call from CityRealty.com for further details.

Part of the site is occupied by an orange-brick clad low-rise residential building, shown at the right.


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Old November 7th, 2006, 01:27 AM   #536
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Start Your Engines!





02-NOV-06

Marketing has begun for 15 William Street, a 47-story residential condominium development in the Financial District.

The marketing mascot for the project is a tuxedo-clad beaver holding a martini glass and the first, rather racy rendering of the project, shown at the right, indicates that stylistically the building falls into the “racing car/flying cab/Fith Element” category of spirited but spiffy mayhem, or, as a press release on the building states, "a departure from the mundane and the minimal."

Tsao & McKown is the architectural firm for the project. The building, which will contain 319 apartments, is being developed by SDS Investments, of which Tamir and Alex Sapir and S. Lawrence Davis are principals, and André Balazs.

The project is known as the William Beaver House because it is located at the intersection of William Street and Beaver Street. It is across the street from Delmonico’s.

The tower will be clad in "subtly contrasting fields" of bronze and gray brick and yellow-glazed brick and it will have a street-level base covered in ipe, a reddish-brown wood.

SDS Investments acquired the site last year from the Manocherian family for about $90 million.

The building will have 258 simplex residences, 10 duplex “townhouses” with terraces, three penthouses with terraces, 48 custom furnished units as well as many studio and one- and two-bedroom units.

Apartments will have 9-foot-8-inch-high ceilings, windows, Burmese teak floors and Bosch washers and dryers. Living room ceilings in the duplex units will have 18-foot-high ceilings.

Mr. Balazs developed the Mercer Hotel and 40 Mercer Street in SoHo and One Kenmare Square.

The building will have an outdoor dog-walking garden, a 30-person screening room/disco lounge with lavender chaise “cinema beds” and wet bar, and a Penthouse Sky Lounge with catering kitchen and private dining room and sun deck.

The lobby entrance will have a see-through ceiling supporting a glass-encased, lighted outdoor Jacuzzi that is part of a second floor amenity center. The notion of looking up as one enters the building at the bottom of people sitting in a Jacuzzi has amused some posters on some websites. The amenity center will also have a 60-foot lap pool, outdoor basketball court with bleachers, a squash court, a gym and handball and tetherball courts.

The building has a driveway paved with the same marble used in the lobby, which will have a large, oval, sunken “conversation pit” with fireplace, and the lobby will be open to the public and offer prepared foods.

Kitchens will have sliding backsplashes that conceal the facet and sliding butcher-block panels that conceal the sink or cooktop.

Bedroom apartments have bathrooms that open fully into the bedrooms.

The building is expected to be completed in early 2008. Prices are expected to start at about $890,000 for a one-bedroom and range up to about $2.5 million for a penthouse with terrace.

Mr. Balazs was quoted in an article by Steve Cutler in The Real Deal as saying that “We wanted to back off of an all-glass building and make it contextual, yet fun and somewhat distinguished at the same time.”

An article by Julie V. Iovine in The New York Times yesterday quoted Mr. Balazs as sayng “If you have children, go to Battery Park City.”


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Old November 8th, 2006, 02:29 AM   #537
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City presents draft of Lower East Side rezoning plan





07-NOV-06

The Department of City Planning held a community meeting last night in the Engineering Building of Cooper Union at 51 Astor Place on a draft of a rezoning proposal for a large part of the Lower East Side and the East Village.
An environmental impact statement for the proposed rezoning will begin next year and the department hopes to certify the rezoning proposal into the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process in the fall of 2007.

The area affected by the proposed zoning is bounded by the north side of East 13th Street, the west side of Avenue D, the north side of Houston Street, the west side of Pitt Street, the north side of Delancey Street, the east side of Essex Street, the north side of Grand Street and 100 feet in from the east side of the Bowery and 100 feet in from the west side of Third Avenue. Approximately 100 blocks are included in the area.

Last year, the community board proposed a contextual rezoning for the area between East 13th and Houston Streets, east of Third Avenue and the Bowery in the East Village area and between East Houston and Grand Streets from Essex to Allen Streets and from Houston Street to the north side of Delancey Street east of Essex Street.

The city presentation was for the same East Village area but its mapping for the Lower East Side area was the blocks bounded by Houston St. Pitt Street, Delancey Street and Ludlow Street and Grand Street and the west side of Christie Street.

The city’s presentation indicated that the area in the proposed zoning that would be eligible for the inclusionary zoning problem would be along Houston and Delancey Streets, the west side of Christie Street and the west side of Avenue D.

Under the new zoning the maxium bulk of a building in the area north of Houston Street would be limited to a F.A.R. (floor-to-area ratio) of 4 whereas existing zoning permits a F.A.R. of 3.44 for residential projects and 6.5 for community facility projects. The new zoning would also impose a building height limit of 80 feet whereas the existing zoning had no building height limit as long as a project complied with sky exposure plane regulations.

Along Delancey and parts of Houston Street in the area to be rezoned, the proposed zoning would permit buildings to be up to 120 feet high with a F.A.R. of 7.2 if the projects have inclusionary affordable housing.

David McWater, chairman of Community Board 3, told the standing-room only gathering that the city’s proposed rezoning does not include anti-harrassment and anti-demolition provisions that the community board has requested and that the proposed rezoning also does not include Third and Fourth Avenues as the community board has requested. A spokesperson for the Department of City Planning reiterated the department’s position that Third and Fourth Avenue should not be included in this rezoning as they have a different character, but she noted that the community board was separately studying those areas for rezoning.

Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation and a member of the 197-A Task Force Committee of Community Board 3, said that the exclusion of Third and Fourth Avenue’s from the city’s proposed rezoning was “a terrible mistake” because the current zoning “not only allows but encouorages monstrously out-of-scale developments (like the currently planned 26-story NYU dormitory-on-a-plaza at 120 East 12th Street) which are destructive to the scale and character of the neighborhood.”

Several speakers at the hearing expressed concerns that the timetable for implementing a rezoning is too long and that a moratorium on new development should be included and others noted that many area residents have incomes too low to qualify for the proposed “affordable” housing.


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Old November 8th, 2006, 06:09 AM   #538
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Old November 13th, 2006, 06:17 AM   #539
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/11082006...lois_weiss.htm
LARRY'S NEW PLAN

SILVERSTEIN PLOTS WEST SIDE TOWERS

November 8, 2006 -- LARRY Silverstein will soon be developing another set of twin towers.

This time, however, the project, worth nearly $1 billion, will not rise from the World Trade Center site downtown but instead farther north at his River Place site between 41st and 42nd streets near the Javits Convention Center.

Located exactly at 600 W. 42nd St., Silverstein's $917.6 million project will involve constructing a common base that will serve as the foundation for two 57-story towers.

Inside will be 1,157 residential units, 18,277 feet of commercial space and a 194-car underground garage.

A Silverstein spokesperson declined to comment.

Silverstein is applying to use $656 million in Multi-Family Housing Revenue Bonds from the New York State Housing Finance Agency in return for offering 20 percent of the housing units to lower income families.

His daughter, Lisa Silverstein, has been overseeing this development for many years.

A snaking tower with Hudson River and city views was previously planned for the most westerly portion of the site, but development got held up by Gov. George Pataki, who was leaning on Silverstein to make the land the site of an official Javits Center hotel.

Condemnation plans for a sky bridge over 41st Street that was to connect to a new hotel to an expanded Javits Center had begun but weren't finished in part because the additional expansion of the convention center has run into roadblocks.

Chief among them is figuring out where to relocate an MTA bus garage that currently takes up the block between 40th and 41st street.

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Old November 13th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #540
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i love new york!
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