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Old December 9th, 2006, 08:33 AM   #621
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Parke-Bernet Galleries: A Blocky Base for Proposed Towers



Earlier this year, Aby Rosen announced plans to restore the
Parke-Bernet building to its 1949 appearance, as long as he
could add a pair of interlocking oval glass apartment towers,
designed by Norman Foster. The taller would rise to 30 stories.



NOW AND THEN The Parke-Bernet building in 1954.


By CHRISTOPHER GRAY
December 10, 2006

THE pair of curved glass towers proposed for the top of the 1949 Parke-Bernet Galleries building at 980 Madison Avenue have a lot of people talking. But somehow, despite the buzz, scant attention has been paid to the trim little modernist gallery itself. Built low by Robert W. Dowling to protect the light to the 40-story Carlyle Hotel, directly across the avenue, what was once the epicenter of the New York art world is something that most people just pass right by today.

The story of this peculiar building on Madison at 76th Street — 200 feet long but only six stories high — starts with the Carlyle, whose romantic tower crashed through the Madison Avenue skyline in 1931 like a movie cowboy thrown through a stage-glass saloon window.

Even before the hotel was complete, the Depression had descended on the Upper East Side, indirectly preserving the remaining low-rise buildings like the odd little houses just opposite that would, 17 years later, be razed to make way for the gallery.

By then, Mr. Dowling owned the Carlyle and planned a complementary structure for the site across Madison. He did not envision another Jazz Age tower, but rather a button-down modernist commercial building — long, lean, low and devoted to the sale of art. He arranged with Parke-Bernet Galleries, barely a decade old but already the dominant art auction house in New York, to be sole tenant of the custom-designed building.

His architects, A. Stewart Walker and Alfred Easton Poor, arranged retail stores, storage vaults, conservation rooms, photography studios, a big auction sales room and six large exhibition galleries — two of them double-height — behind an impassively spare facade of limestone blocks nearly six feet on a side.

The top two of the six floors were set back, making the building look even shorter from the surrounding sidewalks, and the design allowed the west light to reach the Carlyle.

The windowless third floor, the site of the galleries, gave the building a certain antiquity, accentuated by the 14-foot-long aluminum sculpture over the doorway by Wheeler Williams: a woman holding a torch floats over a reclining young man. The imagery, according to The New York Times in 1949, is mean to symbolize “Venus awakening Manhattan to the importance of art from overseas.”

Something about Venus also awakened the City of New York: her chest protrudes 18 inches into what is considered public space. That infraction was permitted only with a rental of $25 a year. (That sum has now grown to $3,251 a year, according to Ted Timbers, a spokesman for the city’s Department of Transportation.)

In 1950, The Journal of the American Institute of Architects reported the remarks of William Adams Delano at the building’s opening the year before. Mr. Delano, a designer of town houses and private clubs, said that on his way uptown, his taxi driver had called Parke-Bernet’s new gallery “the best damn building in New York.”

Lewis Mumford admired Walker & Poor’s deft, apparently effortless handling of the blocky form. “The slightest error in taste, the faintest blemish in workmanship, would seem like a rattle of static in the midst of a Mozart quartet,” Mumford wrote in The New Yorker in 1950.

Parke-Bernet was the Grand Central Terminal of the art world, where dealers, collectors, curators, appraisers and just plain voyeurs took in the great auction-dramas of the mid-20th century. It was natural to drop in between a visit to the library of the Frick Collection and an opening at the Metropolitan.

Sotheby’s acquired Parke-Bernet in 1964, and the new Sotheby Parke-Bernet remained in the Madison Avenue building, even as the art world opened other beachheads in SoHo and elsewhere.

But the center did not hold much past 1980, when Sotheby’s — by that time the Parke-Bernet had dropped out of common usage — started moving into its present building at York Avenue and 72nd Street.

The big galleries of the 1949 building were then cut up for individual tenants, and windows were cut into the blank facades, sharply undercutting the dignity of the structure. By that time it had been included in the Upper East Side Historic District, and the alterations were approved as appropriate by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The setback fifth floor was fully built out in 1957.

Earlier this year, Aby Rosen announced plans to restore the Parke-Bernet building to its 1949 appearance, as long as he could add atop it a pair of interlocking oval-shaped apartment towers of glass, designed by Norman Foster. The taller would rise to 30 stories, several floors lower than the Carlyle. It would be an astonishing addition for Madison Avenue, although not much more so than the Carlyle or the Whitney Museum were in their day.

Much of the case before the Landmarks Commission will hinge on whether the restoration of the galleries building is enough of a public benefit to outweigh the negatives of the proposed tower. That depends in part on the critical esteem for Walker & Poor’s design, and to judge from the current record, it is not high.

The 1949 building is usually omitted from architectural guidebooks, although Norval White and Elliot Willensky included it in their A.I.A. Guide to New York City (Crown, 2000) but called it “an insipid box unrelated to any cultural values.”



The Parke-Bernet building today, showing the 14-foot-long aluminum sculpture by Wheeler Williams.


Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company
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Old December 9th, 2006, 12:17 PM   #622
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nice shape, like it
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Old December 9th, 2006, 01:43 PM   #623
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Yeah that is a cool project on a nice location.
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Old December 12th, 2006, 10:21 AM   #624
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The combination looks a little weird.

New York’s Toniest Residents Clash over Foster Design
http://archrecord.construction.com/n...1205foster.asp
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Old December 12th, 2006, 11:27 AM   #625
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Typical New york style :S
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Old December 13th, 2006, 01:43 AM   #626
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Typical Dubai style.

This post was extremly childish and so was the one before this.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 01:58 AM   #627
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:17 AM   #628
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2007 New York City Hotel Openings Preview


Tue Dec 12, 2006

According to the NYC & Company, New York City is adding nearly 5,000 new hotel rooms to its current inventory of 70,723 by the end of 2007. That is a lot of hotel rooms, right?

Regardless, we have way too much fun following all the supposed NYC hotel openings, and once in awhile these places even toss us a bone and sell rooms for half price during their opening phase--yeah, that is still about $250 a night in Manhattan. So it is time to rundown the most buzzworthy 2007 New York City hotel openings--according to us, of course. As always, these are scheduled openings, and scheduled can quickly turn into delayed or even dead projects.

Read more to get our prognostications on six Manhattan hotel openings HotelChatter will be keeping a watchful eye on in 07. We will update the story throughout the year as hoteliers open or delay their NYC openings.





The Standard New York
344 Rooms
West 13th Street between Washington and West Streets
Scheduled Opening :: Late 2007


André Balazs is taking it up a notch. He just opened the Beaver Bar, ahead of the William Beaver House condo project. He is rumored to be thinking about opening his flagship Standard brand hotel in both London and Seattle. However, most impressively, AB is shooting for a late 2007 opening of the Standard NY--an opening that was previously reported for early 2008. AB is hard at work with Polshek Partnership Architects to design his High Line district property and according to the AB website, Standard NY will open soonish. The hotel is also rumored to have a rooftop pool, which is rare for New York but almost compulsory for Meatpacking District hotels. While we still think the start of '08 is a more likely open date for Standard NY, we are not about to doubt Balazs, after all he opened both Standard Miami and QT Hotel on time. That said, we are rooting for a December 2007 opening.

Opening Date Prediction :: December 2007





Sanctuary Hotel New York
132 West 47th Street
Scheduled Opening :: Fall 2007


Major renovations to the Portland Square Hotel are scheduled to turn the property into a "urban lifestyle resort" from hotelier Keith Menin, much like the current Sanctuary resorts in Miami and Arizona. Will its "high style, low service" reputation follow this hotel to NY? If you glance at the reviews of Sanctuary SoBe you will see that the low scoring reviews tend to come from New Yorkers. A foreshadowing? Let's all just give the place a chance first, k? One word of warning to the Sanctuary New York crew: If you institute a "Forbidden City" policy in Manhattan, the i-bankers will buy up the hotel models, er, "work out partners" in no time. Actually, could turn into a regular bidding war.

Opening Date Prediction :: November 2007





The Downtown Hotel
83 rooms
377-383 Greenwich St
Scheduled Opening :: September 2006 Summer 2007



Actor/hotelier Robert DeNiro and partner Ira Drukier have built $43 million, six-story luxury hotel in TriBeCa, now they just need to open the damn thing. What is being called "the most hyped hotel in the country" doesn't even have an officially website, that we can find. Why is it that as soon as Hollywood types get involved in hotel projects things go awry?

Despite that the hotel is yet to open, people have complained about the hotel noise, the hotel architecture, and one website even named it one of the "Top 10 New Best Hotels for Romance for 2006". What? It will have 90 rooms, and a restaurant called Ago when it finally opens.

We are still a little scared of Bobby DeNiro so we are just gonna be positive and encouraging here. We should be talking actual guest reviews on this place sometime before the Ides of March.

Opening Date Prediction :: March 2006





Six Columbus
90 rooms
6 Columbus Circle
Scheduled Opening: 2005 2006 2007


AKA: "Hotel Big Dig", "Six Columbust", "Chinese Democracy Hotel", "666" "Groundhog Day Hotel"

This place should announce that Axel Rose will play at their opening, just to keep the joke going. First scheduled to open before Britney even married K-Fed, getting "six columbused" is now a verb according to Urban Dictionary.

You know the funniest part? This hotel is no longer even visibly mentioned on the Thompson Hotels website.

We are starting to believe 6 Columbus may try to quietly re-flag itself this year, but do you think we will let that happen?

Opening Date Prediction :: September 2007, but not as a Thompson Hotel.






The Lamb's Club Hotel
72 rooms
130 West 44th Street
Scheduled Opening: 2007


Has fatherhood softened Vikram Chatwal? In '06 he stopped hanging out with the Paris Hilton crowd, got married, opened Night Hotel on time, and had a daughter. Here is what Vikram had to say about pregnancy:

Ideally, a pregnant woman puts on weight because she eats for two people. In our case, I look the pregnant one. My appetite has increased, my ankles have swollen and I have put on weight. It's bizarre!

So who was pregnant, Vik or his wife?

As long as he isn't dragged down by a bad case of postpartum depression, the new softer, doughier Vikram should be able to transform the landmark 1904 Sanford White designed Lamb's Club into a luxury hotel on schedule in 2007. Architect Thierry Despont has signed on to design. Who knows, maybe family life will help Vikram focus and actually achieve his dream of becoming the first Sikh billionaire.

Opening Date Prediction :: October 2007





Allen Street Hotel
112 rooms
Allen Street (between Houston and Stanton Streets)
Scheduled Opening: September 2006 Summer 2007


Here is what we said last year:

Ok, this one is kinda laughable. If Jason Pomeranc is able to open his Lower East Side boutique hotel in the year 2006 we will personally rent out one of the suites and have an open bar party for the entire Allen Street hotel staff.

Oh, and Jason, we are going by the Gregorian calendar, just to clarify.

This opening isn't as laughable this year and we will make no such deals with the Allen Street staff (word is they have already made a couple hires). "Allen Street progress" is now Pomeranc's middle name and development is moving along at a decent clip. We still doubt this property will open by the summer, after all, we have been through this before, but we wouldn't be surprised to be checking this place out sometime in late 2007.

The hotel will feature 32 luxury condominiums plus a spa, and swimming pool--when it is finished.

Opening Date Prediction: December 2007



Other Hotel Openings List News


Hotels falling off the list: Loft Hotel Tribeca--changed its name and confused us.

2006 hotels successfully opened: Blue Moon Hotel, The Night Hotel

2006 list hold overs: Six Columbus, The Downtown Hotel

Other noteable 2007 scheduled hotel openings: The Plaza Hotel, Four Points Soho Village, Hotel Mela, Hilton Garden Inn Tribeca


© SFO Media LLC 2004-2006.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:38 AM   #629
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/10/re...ref=realestate
Sensory Overload as a Way of Life

By JEFF VANDAM
Published: December 10, 2006


HIGH DENSITY The intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue typifies a neighborhood made for “experience junkies,” as one fan put it.

FOR all the people who clog the sidewalks, it is at times tough to do much more than crawl through downtown Flushing, the epicenter of the Asian community in Queens. The thoroughfares are crowded with drivers who often seem to honk their horns just for sport. And the sheer number of markets and shops and stands and noodle houses and dumpling stalls can constitute an assault on the senses.

Yet observing the everyday explosion of cultures that is Flushing — the Latina women wearing yellow sandwich boards hawking free electric toothbrushes, the man seated on a plastic ottoman vending sticks of incense and porcelain turtles and Buddha figurines — soon becomes engrossing. The place is a wide-open Chinatown-plus, with streams of Koreans, Indians, Mexicans, Colombians, Middle Easterners and others filling high-rise co-ops and the new condo buildings that at times appear to have bloomed overnight.

“Flushing is a hot place,” said John Liu, the area’s representative on the City Council, who has watched the shuttered storefronts of 1970’s Main Street cede ground to today’s boomtown. “People are knocking on doors to live, to open businesses,” he said.

And even though downtown Flushing, at the end of the No. 7 line just east of Shea Stadium and the Flushing River, has reached what some might call high density, builders are looking to bring even more to the mix. One of the neighborhood’s first true condominium towers, Garden View Terrace, opened a few blocks down Main Street from the central business area in 2004, and another called Victoria Towers is almost ready on Sanford Avenue.

Near Main Street, the Shangri-La #2 on Pople Avenue has five floors of luxury units, said Jason Pang, an agent at Great Team Realty; three-bedrooms with two baths are listed at $579,000 (including appliances); two-bedrooms are $449,000.

New commercial development is part of the package, too; Flushing Town Center on College Point Boulevard and Queens Crossing on Main Street are two of several large projects to bring in more big-box stores. And by 2009, the Town Center complex will add 1,100 residential units as well.

The new will go up alongside quite a collection of the older: thousands of co-op units in a massing of towers with building dates ranging from the 1920s to the 1980s, as well as a few single- and multifamily houses, which from time to time make way for the designs of condo developers.

With all the people and businesses already in place, the coming growth has some worried about crowding and damage to small businesses.

“It’s a real concern,” said Marilyn Bitterman, district manager for Community Board 7, which includes Flushing. “A lot of people don’t like change. There’s concern for congestion, and concern every time a new construction goes up.”

What You’ll Find

The contours of downtown Flushing are somewhat vague. The area includes such a large variety of residential and commercial buildings that it is difficult to tell where the downtown ends and the rest of Flushing begins. But the central bazaar — where people pick up groceries, mei fun noodles, clothing, Vietnamese pho soup, plastic wind-up toys and shabu-shabu — is without question the intersection of Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue. There, one can find the No. 7 subway and the Long Island Rail Road stations, in addition to chain stores like Old Navy.

As the major north-south boulevard, Main Street has traditionally been the line of demarcation between smaller single-family houses and apartment buildings to the west and large apartment towers to the east.

In 1998, however, a zoning change permitted large-scale developments west of Main Street, and since then many of the triangle-roofed houses of the area have disappeared, with condo and rental buildings sprouting up in their place. The change is in clear focus on 41st Road, where an old yellow frame house is flanked by newish balconied apartment buildings.

The local population is primarily Chinese and Korean, both native- and foreign-born, capped by a recent influx of Asian business people who have begun buying pieds-à-terre in the area. Yet the population, too, is in something of a transition.

As Main Street curves south toward Kissena Park, several Indian and Middle Eastern businesses have opened, anchored by Patel Brothers, a branch of the Indian supermarket in Jackson Heights. With more newcomers to the neighborhood have come banks and brokerage firms, with at least one appearing on each block of Main Street.

“It’s a financial district now,” said Alex Lau, a sales associate for Century 21 Milestone Realty, only half-jokingly. “We were walking up Main Street before, and we felt like we were in the middle of Midtown Manhattan at rush hour.”

Rosilyn Overton moved from the East Village to downtown Flushing, into a two-bedroom co-op apartment just a block from the intersection of Main and Roosevelt, in 1986 and has no intention of leaving.

“I’m in the middle of everything,” said Ms. Overton, 64, a financial planner who sits on the board of trustees for the Flushing Council on Culture and the Arts. “It’s really a vital, exciting community. You should not come to Flushing, however, if you’re not adaptable. It is a place for people who like to try new things.”

She and her husband, Mardiros Hatsakorzian, occasionally travel into Manhattan for performances at Lincoln Center, but they have found that Flushing serves their cultural needs just fine, with jazz shows at Flushing Town Hall and the Queens Symphony at nearby Queens College.

And on afternoons spent shopping, Mr. Hatsakorzian, who speaks seven languages, finds that he is able to converse in three or four of them.

“If you’re an experience junkie,” Ms. Overton said, “it’s a fabulous place to live.”

What You’ll Pay

Just as many properties have sold in the downtown Flushing area this year as last, but in general, prices are down 7 to 10 percent, said Judy Markowitz, owner and broker of the Re/Max Millennium Energized Realty Group in Flushing.

“People are getting more for their money,” Ms. Markowitz said. “Depending on the building, you can start to get three-bedroom co-ops for under $300,000, which was not happening last year.”

According to Ms. Markowitz, two-bedroom apartment prices begin in the $180,000 range, with one-bedrooms and studios starting at around $130,000. And according to Kathy Tsao, a broker at Prudential Douglas Elliman, the highest prices for any co-op are in the $300,000s.

As for condos, Ms. Tsao sold a two-bedroom, two-bath prewar apartment in the Yorkshire Gardens building on Kissena Boulevard in the late summer for $603,000, and a two-bedroom, one-bath apartment built in 2000 for $518,000. Prices per square foot in new condominiums range from $400 to the mid-$600s, said Mr. Lau of Century 21 Milestone, explaining that the variations depended on the amenities in the building and its proximity to Main Street shopping and transportation. He said demand remained strong.

As for property tax, Ms. Tsao said, a 2,800-square-foot condo that she now has on the market for $895,000 would cost a buyer $4,992 a year.

Rental studios are typically under $1,000 a month, with one-bedrooms only slightly more. Even two-bedrooms in luxury doorman buildings rent for less than $2,000 a month.

The Schools

Downtown Flushing is part of School District 25, which is well regarded by parents; test scores seem in part to bear this out. At Public School 20, on Barclay Avenue, 81.5 percent of students meet city and state standards on math tests, versus 65.1 percent citywide; in English, 76.4 percent meet standards, versus 60.9 percent citywide. At the nearest middle school, Junior High School 189, 60.7 percent meet standards on math tests versus 40.8 percent citywide; 49.3 percent do so on English tests, versus 43.3 percent citywide. At Flushing High School on Union Street, average SAT scores were 396 on the verbal portion and 464 in math, versus state averages of 493 and 510, respectively.

There is also the Windsor School, a private junior high and high school known for English as a Second Language programs.

The Commute

Few in downtown Flushing complain about getting to and from Manhattan quickly. On express 7 trains in the morning, the trip to Grand Central Terminal from the Main Street station takes 25 minutes; on a local train at rush hour, it is just over 30 minutes. The Long Island Rail Road, which also has a stop on Main Street, is faster, at about 17 minutes to Pennsylvania Station. The X51, a rush-hour express bus, gets to Midtown Manhattan in about 25 minutes.

What to Do

Even without the chain stores set to arrive soon, locals certainly never want for shopping options. A walk down Main Street creates the temptation to pick up a few lychees, say, or maybe some dragon fruit.

One primary component of the downtown area’s renewal is the Flushing branch of the Queens Library, a curving green-glass building built in 1998 at the triangular intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street. And farther south on Main Street, the Queens Botanical Garden is experiencing a $12 million transformation, with several new landscape areas and a new “green” administration building.

There are also the various attractions of Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, including Queens Theater in the Park, which is popular and well attended. Then, of course, there are Mets baseball games one stop away from Main Street and, just down the boardwalk from Shea Stadium, the U.S. Open in late summer.

The History

In 1657, when the Dutch governed Flushing, citizens angered by official persecution of the Quaker minority joined in signing a petition that came to be known as the Flushing Remonstrance. Local historians today see the document as the first organized defense of religious freedom in the New World.

Flushing did not take on significant size until the expansion of the railroads into the area in the late 19th century.

The downtown hit a low point in the 1960s and ’70s, until Asian businesses moved onto Main Street, and Asian residents invested in the community.

What We Like

Flushing’s variety is endless, and not just in its choices of food; it is a not-so-micro microcosm of New York, and for that it is celebrated by locals.

Going Forward

The dense foot traffic on Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue will only increase as Flushing’s new residential and commercial buildings arrive; sidewalks may need widening to accommodate the coming throngs.
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Old December 13th, 2006, 02:46 AM   #630
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Old December 14th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #631
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City in Talks on Future of Big Site For Building in Downtown Brooklyn


BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
December 14, 2006

While the city's master plan for downtown Brooklyn was originally spawned to create soaring commercial towers, the city is now negotiating with two private developers to build a $500 million project that would be predominantly residential and retail.

It would be the first major site developed in the area since the city rezoned downtown Brooklyn for increased commercial development two and a half years ago. The project would contain a cavernous retail base that could accommodate a large big-box store such as Wal-Mart, according to sources familiar with the deal.

If finalized, the large site known as Albee Square at the intersection of Flatbush Avenue and Willoughby Street would contain more than 800 apartments, 20% of which would be "affordable housing"; as much as 100,000 square feet of office space, and 500,000 square feet of retail space designed for an anchor tenant, according to a source familiar with the plans. The lot is currently occupied by the Gallery at Fulton Street, which is a shopping mall, and a large parking garage.

Developer Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities would flip the site he purchased for a reported $25 million in 2001 to a partnership between PA Associates/Acadia Realty Trust and Avalon Properties, according to a source familiar with the deal. The new owners could construct up to 1.5 million square feet of mixeduse space under the recently up-zoned plans. Financial details of the transaction were unavailable, but real estate experts said Mr. Sitt would stand to make a fortune, as real estate values in the area have skyrocketed.

The city owns the land underneath the site and Mr. Sitt controls the development rights. Sources familiar with the negotiations said the city's Economic Development Corp. is unsatisfied with the offer for the land it owns and had hoped to see more office space in the plan.

The president of the Real Estate Board of New York, Steven Spinola, said negotiations between Mr. Sitt and the city and the buyers are entering the final phases.

"The city is encouraging the office space, and the retail needs to be done," Mr. Spinola said. "The residential obviously is the surest thing."

About two years ago, the Bloomberg administration passed an ambitious rezoning plan for downtown Brooklyn, currently the third largest commercial district in the city, that envisioned as much as 5.4 million square feet of new commercial space and about 1,000 new units of housing, mostly along Livingston Street. While the market for new commercial buildings is red hot in Midtown Manhattan, no private developer has ventured into downtown Brooklyn since the rezoning to build a large office building.

Nearby, at the planned $4 billion Atlantic Yards project in Prospect Heights, developer Forest City Ratner drastically cut back on plans to build office space, and increased the number of planned apartments.

A spokesman for the Economic Development Corporation, Andrew Brent, said yesterday that indications from the private sector seem to favor mixed-use development of residential, retail, and commercial space than large stand-alone office buildings with anchor tenants.

"The negotiations for the Albee Square development are very much ongoing, but we're confident that at the end of the day, while the corporate component may be somewhat less than what was envisioned four years ago, the project will catalyze surrounding office development, and its contribution to Downtown Brooklyn's growing vibrancy will be greater than ever," Mr. Brent said.

In 2004, speculation circulated that Wal-Mart was eyeballing the Albee Square site for its first New York City store. Because the site would be as-of-right, the world's largest retailer would not need approval from the City Council, which has been critical of Wal-Mart's treatment of employees.

The executive director of sales for Halstead Brooklyn, William Ross, said the large retail space with room for a lot of parking would be "the least objectionable space in all of Brooklyn for a Wal-Mart."

Pointing to four large apartment buildings going up nearby along Gold and Myrtle Streets, Mr. Ross said the Albee Square development is the latest sign that Flatbush Avenue is undergoing a residential transformation. The city has committed up to $500 million to improve the area's parks, open space, infrastructure, and to pave the way for the Atlantic Yards project.

"Downtown Brooklyn was rezoned two years ago, and nothing happened. Now, everything is happening at once," Mr. Ross said.

Mr. Ross said developers' calculations in downtown Brooklyn are crystal clear.

"You make twice as much selling condos as you do renting office space," he said.

An executive director for Cushman & Wakefield, Glenn Markman, said the demand for commercial space in downtown Brooklyn is growing, despite the loss of the Albee Square site to mostly apartments.

"I don't think that this is a sign of weakness in the marketplace," Mr. Markman said. "It just takes a while for the commercial market to attract the tenants that we're hoping to get. If that transaction is concludes, it is another positive sign for downtown Brooklyn."

A spokesman for Thor Equities, Lee Silberstein, would not comment for this story.

A spokesman for the president of Brooklyn, Marty Markowitz, said negotiations should be concluded quickly so that Brooklynites could begin enjoy the benefits of new development.


© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old December 16th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #632
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_18...altstrump.html
Volume 19 | Issue 33 | December 15 - 21, 2006

City halts Trump project

By Lincoln Anderson

The discovery of human remains at the site of the planned Trump Soho condo-hotel at Spring and Varick Sts. led the Department of Buildings on Tuesday to issue a stop-work order for the project.

Jennifer Givner, a D.O.B. spokesperson, said the remains were removed by the city’s medical examiner for closer inspection. Lisi de Bourbon, Landmarks spokesperson, said Landmarks gave advice to the developers — Trump and Bayrock/Sapir — mainly that they retain their own archaeologist. “Trump’s people have hired an archaeologist and are in the process of figuring out what to do with the remains,” de Bourbon said.

Buildings spokesperson Givner said it was a “unique case.”

Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation — who has been a leading critic of the planned 45-story condo-hotel — found that the site was formerly home to the city’s oldest Presbyterian church, which was razed in the 1960s and became a parking lot. Berman said the remains may have been from a cemetery attached to the church or a burial ground predating the church.

On Wednesday, the developers were quoted in the New York Post as saying that the spot where the remains were found would be an open plaza and not covered by the building.

“Whoever’s bodies they are, they deserve a certain level of respect and care — and I don’t think it should be left to Trump to do that,” said Berman. “He has a vested interest in plowing ahead with his construction.”

Berman and other opponents have been fighting the condo-hotel, charging that people will be living in the condos year-round, in violation of the site’s zoning. The city hasn’t issued a permit for the building yet, but has allowed excavation of the site.

Realtors for Trump were marketing the condos on the Web for use as a “primary residence,” and the city’s tourist agency, NYC & Co., also had a listing that the units were for “year-round” occupancy. Both listings have since been pulled.

Asked if this would affect Buildings’ decision, Givner said they were just “marketing” and that Buildings will make its decision based on the application. But she said D.O.B. won’t approve any residential use at the site. “We’re not ignoring these advertisements. We see them,” Givner said. “That’s not the permitted use for this type of neighborhood and the department’s not going to approve plans for long-term residence.”

Berman said he was “appalled” to hear that D.O.B. hasn’t been more alarmed by the Web listings.

“What more evidence do they need to be presented with? Everyone except the city and D.O.B. gets it that this is going to be used as residences,” he said. “Trump’s realtors get it. Trump gets it.”
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Old December 18th, 2006, 08:08 PM   #633
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Condo tower to be Chelsea's tallest



Chelsea Stratus will rise
40 stories



By Tim Moran
December 18, 2006

Construction is underway in Chelsea on what will be the neighborhood's tallest building.

Workers from Plaza Construction have already erected about ten floors on the west side of Sixth Avenue between 24th and 25th streets of Chelsea Stratus, a condominium tower that will soar to a height of 40 stories in a neighborhood dominated by low- and mid-rise developments.

"This will be Chelsea's tallest building and the only full-service condo of its kind in the Sixth Avenue corridor," said David Sigman, senior vice president of LCOR, the project's developer.

Building amenities at Chelsea Stratus will include 24-hour doorman and concierge service, a ground-level entertainment area with media lounge, billiard area, fitness center and basketball court, along with ground-floor and rooftop terraces designed by landscape architect Thomas Balsley. The rooftop terrace will feature a dog run.

As for the condo units themselves, they'll range in size from 700 to 800 square feet for one-bedrooms up to 2,000 to 2,200 square feet for convertible spaces on the top floors. Most units will have their own balconies or terraces and sport ceiling heights between 9.5 and 11 feet. Sigman said Chelsea Stratus will likely attract attention from Chelsea renters who are looking to upgrade.

"Rental properties in this neighborhood are averaging close to $70 per square foot, so buying won't financially be a big leap," he said, adding that his group expects to get between $1,200 to $1,250 per square foot at the condos.

Sales at Chelsea Stratus will begin in late winter of next year and the building is expected to open in the spring. Sigman said his group is confident that units at their development will sell, despite a slowing condominium market.

"Right now, we have a lot of sales activity at The Charleston on East 34th Street. As long as things are priced right we've seen plenty of velocity," Sigman said. "I would love for it to be 2005 and sell out the same day I open sales, but that's just not going to happen. Still, we have a unique product and as long as the prices are right, we don't expect any problems."


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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:00 PM   #634
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I dont think people realize how many of these buildings are popping up around the city.
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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:04 PM   #635
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found this while reading the post today.




REBUILD YOU MUST
SPITZER'S DUTY: RESTORE ALL GROUND ZERO'S LOST OFFICE SPACE





December 18, 2006 -- DEAR Gov.-elect Spitzer,

No one can confidently predict what the World Trade Center site will look like by the end of your first term in office.

Everyone expects better results from you than than the empty pit left us by Gov. Pataki. But you have yet to spell out a clear vision of your own.

And you've expressed doubts about the most important issue: the need to rebuild all the office space lost on 9/11.

Despite the renderings and models of the Freedom Tower and other buildings displayed last September, nothing's set in stone. Anthony Shorris, your pick to be the Port Authority's new executive director, made that clear on Friday, saying: "We'll be looking at every aspect of it, both the plan and the execution. We'll take a fresh look at the whole thing."

That has ominous echoes of the views you expressed when you met with The Post's editorial board a few months ago.

Back then, you sounded dubious about leasing prospects for the Freedom Tower and dismissive of Larry Silverstein's campaign to find tenants for 7 WTC. Indeed, you seemed skeptical of demand for Downtown office space, and thus unenthusiastic about full commercial reconstruction at Ground Zero.

Since that meeting, of course, leasing at 7 WTC has taken off. And Lower Manhattan's overall vacancy rate is now barely more than 8 percent; despite those who inexplicably continue to claim the Downtown office market is soft, it is again one of the strongest in the country.

Seeing this as an aberration is the biggest mistake you could make. New York needs more office space.

Sure, real estate is a cyclical business - but it behooves you to take the long view. Just look at the nearby chart, which shows how much commercial office space Manhattan has had since 1970.

I humbly offer a few lessons we may glean from this data:

No. 1: Manhattan can never have too much office space.

The irreversible trend since 1970 is an enormous rise in the amount of Manhattan office space. Today, according to the brokers at Cushman & Wakefield, Manhattan boasts 389 million square feet - an astounding 57 percent growth over the 248 million recorded in 1970.

And today's figure is only slightly below the 395 million square feet just prior to 9/11. In other words, despite governmental bumbling, more than half of the roughly 14 million square feet destroyed in the terrorist attack have already been replaced by new construction beyond Ground Zero.

A different major brokerage, CB Richard Ellis, claims Manhattan today actually has slightly more office space than it did pre-9/11 - 354.5 million today versus 353.7 million pre-9/11.

Either way, the message is the same: The city's remarkable regenerative powers have helped offset the damage.

Your job is to stoke that energy - and the place to do it is at Ground Zero.

No. 2: New York's economy is perpetually healthy enough to fill Manhattan's office inventory no matter how large it grows - and would be permanently stunted if it didn't grow.

Virtually all of Manhattan's office space is full. Companies continue to gobble up every available square foot despite warnings of a "glut" and dumb predictions that the city would never recover from 9/11.

Demand is so great that landlords are achieving record-high rents even after adjustment for inflation - $100-plus per square foot is now common.

Even so, certain landlords and developers will surely try to persuade you that swift reconstruction at Ground Zero will flood the market. Since you come from a real-estate family, they'll appeal to you as if you share a common understanding of the business.

At various points in time since 1970, temporary surpluses in office space drove some landlords and brokers nuts. But their short-term interests are not the long-term interests of the city or state.

None of the spurts in new construction since 1970 had a lasting negative impact on the real-estate market or the economy. Quite the reverse: Without the 142 million square feet of new office space built in Manhattan since 1970, the city would be an also-ran to London, Tokyo and other global capitals..

Not only would New York not have had the capacity to accommodate successive booms, it would have been without the new, state-of-the-art buildings that are the only solution for many firms.

Despite the skyrocketing cost of building or renting new towers, some of our greatest companies prefer the new projects to existing inventory. See who's moved into new towers or planning to since 9/11:

Uptown - Time Warner, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Bank of America, New York Times Co., Hearst Corp., CIT and Bloomberg L.P.

Downtown - Goldman Sachs, Moody's Investor Services and (soon) Amro ABR.

No. 3: New office space belongs at Ground Zero - not in some remote backwater the mayor hopes to magically transform.

It isn't simply that we have an obligation to put back what terrorists took away. The WTC site is the only place in Manhattan where large-scale, staged construction is feasible.

The Midtown sites often touted as large-scale development opportunities all require years of private negotiations and public approvals. Tenants require predictable time frames. How long might it take at Madison Square Garden?

Ever since City Hall turned its back on Downtown commercial redevelopment in favor of the Far West Side, Mayor Bloomberg and Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff have tried wooing every company in town on the idea. Not one has shown any zeal for the West 30s.

Big companies want to be with other big companies, in areas well served by mass transit, stores and services. Although Downtown can't yet match Midtown's amenities, it is immeasurably superior to anywhere else and improving rapidly.

As governor, your priority must be clear: to rebuild a great commercial nexus the city urgently needs. The memorial, the new PATH terminal and other necessary site elements will take care of themselves.

But if a new World Trade Center is not well underway by the end of your first term, you'll wind up looking every bit as ineffectual as your predecessor.

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Old December 18th, 2006, 10:06 PM   #636
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Adding the WTC could put Office Space in Manhattan over 400 million sqft.
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Old December 19th, 2006, 04:48 AM   #637
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Renew, Rebuild

New York can fill the space. I feel that the fear about rebuilding the WTC has left the minds of public. We should rebuild something grand at this great site. The designs now are wonderful, but I agree that there should meet or exceed the levels of the twin towers.

And yes Madison Square Garden and Penn Station is taking forever to be redone. Compared to Grand Central, Penn Stations blows. It would be nice to have an actual station rather than a basement. Like Calatrava's breath taking PATH Hub.
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Old December 21st, 2006, 04:48 AM   #638
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The J Condo is nearing completion according to this pic from Flickr, but I find it to be killing the identity of Fulton Ferry.

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Old December 22nd, 2006, 02:15 AM   #639
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Nets' Brooklyn project moves forward
Updated: Dec.8, 2006, 6:44 pm EST


NEW YORK (AP) -- New Jersey Nets owner Bruce Ratner's much-debated Atlantic Yards development project was approved Friday by the Empire State Development Corp., a major step forward in his bid to move the team to Brooklyn.

planned Brooklyn basketball arenaGehry Partners/APThis is a computer-generated architectural rendering of the proposed arena project that would reshape part of Brooklyn.
The $4 billion project -- which would reshape Brooklyn with a basketball arena, office towers and thousands of apartments -- was approved by EDC in a decision that was hailed by Gov. George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg. The next step is a final review by the state Public Authorities Control Board.

The project, designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, would rise above a downtown Brooklyn railyard. It would include a new sports arena for the New Jersey Nets, and 16 surrounding towers with housing, a hotel and office and retail space.

The tallest building would rise 58 stories above the railyard. The project would also bring a major league sports franchise back to the borough for the first time since the Dodgers bolted for Los Angeles in 1957.

"This project is vital to the resurgence of downtown Brooklyn and is unique in its ambition, blending residential, retail, commercial and entertainment on a grand scale," said Dan Doctoroff, the city's deputy mayor for economic development.

Empire's chairman, Charles A. Gargano, announced approval of the project after a Friday afternoon vote by the corporation board. He said the board voted on three aspects of Atlantic Yards, approving the general plan, an environmental impact statement and the use of eminent domain for the property.

Jim Stuckey, an executive vice president with Forest City Ratner Companies and the president of the Atlantic Yards Development Group, hailed the vote.

"We have worked very hard over the last three-plus years to ensure that a large and diverse group of community groups and leaders were included from the start in this exciting project," Stuckey said.

The project is expected to go before the Public Authorities Board for final approval before the end of the year. It was that powerful board that undermined the proposed West Side stadium.

The development, which has spawned contentious public hearings and endless debate, also faces a federal lawsuit from Brooklyn property owners and tenants who charged that the seizure of their property under eminent domain was unconstitutional.

The project is expected to create almost 22,000 jobs during the 10-year construction period. Once finished, it is expected to create more than 5,000 more jobs, while generating $944 million in state tax revenues.

But opponents of the plan said the project's scale and striking design -- with undulating glass towers of varying size and angles -- would transform the image of predominantly low-rise and brownstone Brooklyn neighborhoods while creating a traffic nightmare.

A great deal of the opposition has emerged from neighborhoods bordering on the project -- and if it proceeds, underneath it.

Supporters suggest the opposition is distinctly local and fueled by transplanted Manhattanites. Developers have the backing of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Pataki and the vast majority of the City Council, state Assembly and Senate.

They also have a key partner -- the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now -- a national advocate for low- and middle-income urban families that focuses on such issues as lowering crime, improving schools and creating affordable housing.
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Old December 22nd, 2006, 05:20 AM   #640
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I wouldn't celebrate just yet on the Atlantic Yds, b/c the lawsuits by DDDB along with many of the local politicians could derail it along with the NBA Board of Governors voting against it.
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