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Old September 28th, 2007, 10:43 PM   #1141
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that is totally true
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Old September 29th, 2007, 02:12 AM   #1142
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yup, never heard of it. kinda sad seeing that i live there too.
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:41 PM   #1143
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/ny...l?ref=nyregion
Life’s Necessities Play Catch-Up With Development on the Queens Waterfront

By JOHN ELIGON
Published: October 3, 2007


Richard Perry/The New York Times

The Queens West area of Hunters Point has been transformed from a neighborhood of factories and single-family homes to a skyline of luxury high-rises along the waterfront.


The settlers of a neighborhood called Queens West do not exactly have to plow the earth for their sustenance, but they do have to lug their groceries in from Manhattan or Brooklyn, often on crowded subway cars. Many just buy their groceries online.

There is no supermarket in Queens West, the name used by real estate agents and residents of this luxury community rising in the borough’s Hunters Point section, and the selection at nearby convenience stores is limited and pricey.

So in an oft-repeated daily ritual, a white truck stamped with a FreshDirect logo arrives at the doorstep of a high-rise building. A deliveryman hops out to unload box upon box of veggies, cold cuts, cereal and more. The truck is then off to the next multimillion-dollar high-rise.

This fading industrial sector may be experiencing a renewed vitality because of its perch across the East River from Midtown, but its renaissance is at a quirky phase: The influx of residents is outpacing the goods and services that make a neighborhood. It is a car without an engine, a cup of ramen noodles awaiting a splash of hot water.

FreshDirect, the online grocery delivery company whose headquarters are near Queens West, has therefore become essential since it began service to the community in August 2005. But the community’s point-and-click culture faces a drastic — and for some, welcome — change early next year.

Rockrose Development Corporation, one of the major developers in the area, recently signed an agreement with the Amish Market to open a 21,000-square-foot store on the ground floor of one of its buildings. The supermarket, along with a Duane Reade drugstore, is expected to open early next year, signs that Queens West could be maturing from a settlement to a community.

Reactions among the 3,500 residents to their neighborhood’s first supermarket have varied. “That’s awesome,” said one woman. One man was leery. “People will go and see what they have,” he said. “They got a tough row to hoe.” Another man said he would continue driving to get groceries.

Yet the convenience of a large supermarket within walking distance is undeniable.

“The biggest thing I’ve ever heard anyone wish for is a grocery store,” said Baron Hazen, the general manager of two buildings owned by Avalon Communities, one of which he has lived in for the past 13 months.

Patricia Dunphy, the vice president of Rockrose, said the company’s research indicated that the Amish Market would provide what Queens West residents desire. “Busy working people, they want to be able to buy gourmet foods and prepared foods,” she said.

The neighborhood being promoted as Queens West is bounded by Newtown Creek to the south, the Anable Basin (at 45th Road) to the north, the East River to the west and Fifth Street to the east.

The community’s revival got off to a slow start. In 1997, the first luxury high-rise building, the Citylights, was built amid smokestacks and brush. It was the only building of its kind in the area until 2002, when Avalon built the first of its two buildings. Rockrose has two residential high-rises in the area and plans on erecting five more.

In all, 74 acres have been set aside for development, with construction scheduled for completion in 2012. Developers hope the area can become what is essentially an extension of Manhattan — it is just one stop and about a five-minute ride to Grand Central Station on the No. 7 train. The waterfront, which includes a man-made beach, is another amenity.

For now, some Queens West residents find charm in being part of a quiet community starting almost from scratch.

Sofia Estevez, the senior vice president at Rockrose, said that some people took pride in “not just being a follower and going to all the same neighborhoods. It makes you unique.”

Other developers are also attracting a curious crowd.

“Me and my roommate are really excited about the whole thing,” said Jessica Higgs, a 22-year-old financial analyst who was the first person to move into Avalon’s second building, Riverview North, in July. “It’s going to be cool to see what happens.”

There is already one public elementary school in the neighborhood with plans to build a second. There are also plans for a library. Some say the area still needs community centers, medical facilities, entertainment options and a wider variety of restaurants.

Ms. Higgs said she knew there were no supermarkets when she moved in, but added, “Why turn down a nice place because of a grocery store?”

She is not a FreshDirect fan, so she, like other residents, sometimes buys groceries in Manhattan after work. The evening rush in Queens West consists of crowds of people dressed in business attire, many of them coming home with plastic grocery bags in hand.

Ms. Higgs said she also occasionally visits one of the many convenience stores on Vernon Boulevard, which is also home to several restaurants.

Marlene Dodes-Callahan and her husband, Matthew Callahan, drive to Brooklyn for their groceries.

They are about as close as one can get to being charter residents of Queens West, having bought a 39th-floor condominium in the Citylights building less than a year after it opened. They make weekly trips across the Pulaski Bridge to shop at a Key Food in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Although the Callahans are eager to have a supermarket within walking distance and welcome the evolving neighborhood it represents, they see the changes as bittersweet.

“Before, everybody was on an island in the middle of nothing,” Mr. Callahan said. “Everybody said, ‘Hello,’ because we were part of the same experience.”

Ms. Dodes-Callahan added, “People are less friendly now.”

Joseph Conley, the chairman of Community Board 2, whose district includes Queens West, said he was concerned what the burgeoning neighborhood might do to the true pioneers of the area — the third-generation residents who grew up in a neighborhood of single-family homes that stood alongside factories. Many of those people are not in the same economic bracket as the transplants settling in the luxury residences along the river.

Mr. Conley said that while a supermarket was “sorely needed” in Queens West, an upscale market might not serve the community as a whole.

“It’s great to see the vibrant community it’s developing into,” he said.

“We don’t want it to be a playground for the rich.”
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Old October 3rd, 2007, 11:42 PM   #1144
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/03/ny...l?ref=nyregion
A Skyscraper in Brooklyn Tantalizes With Time

By ANDY NEWMAN
Published: October 3, 2007


Earl Wilson/The New York Times

The clock atop the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, covered for more than a year, was partly unveiled Tuesday.


Brooklyn glimpsed a familiar face yesterday.

Four of them, actually.

They grace the borough’s very own Big Ben: the clock atop the Williamsburgh Savings Bank Building, Brooklyn’s tallest skyscraper.

Unseen beneath black veils for more than a year while undergoing a makeover, the clock was partly revealed. The building’s owners, the Dermot Company, took some of the netting down yesterday.

But not all of it. Like the hidden assets of a chorus girl in fishnet stockings, the rounded bottoms of the dials can be seen only through a scrim of black mesh.

The Dermot Company, which is converting the building, now known as 1 Hanson Place, into condos, said that it was not sure when the clock would work again.

The hands do not appear to be working yet — not that they ever reliably did even before the renovation. Though the clock has been one of the borough’s most visible landmarks since the tower was completed in 1929, its four faces often showed different times. Dermot officials have said that they hope the spiffed-up clock will be better synchronized with itself.

Robert Goldstrom, an artist who has painted the clock’s likeness more than 80 times (15 since the netting went up), said he could already tell that the clock was a lot cleaner. But he was not sure that that was an entirely good thing.

“It’s like the Sistine Chapel,” he said. “Some people got very upset when it was cleaned. You’ve got to get used to it not looking sooty. I’m sure I will miss the subtler, dimmer clock tower.”

Still, Mr. Goldstrom said, “It’s good to have it back.”
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Old October 9th, 2007, 03:26 AM   #1145
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http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/06/ny...ref=realestate
Midtown Bank Is Said to Plan a Move to a Skyscraper Over the West Side Railyards

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: October 6, 2007

Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, the global investment bank, is considering moving its headquarters from the north end of Times Square to a proposed skyscraper complex over the railyards on the Far West Side of Manhattan.

Morgan Stanley has formed a financial partnership with Tishman Speyer Properties, one of five developers that are expected to submit bids next Thursday for the development rights over the yards that straddle 11th Avenue, between 30th and 31st Streets, said banking and real estate executives who have been briefed on the plan. The bank, those executives said, is exploring the possibility of consolidating operations at one site.

At the same time, a rival bid is taking shape in which Condé Nast Publications, the magazine publisher, is considering moving its headquarters from the heart of Times Square to a tower over the railyards. Condé Nast signed an agreement earlier this week with a joint venture of the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust, which plans to bid for the development rights.

“We’re excited about participating in this with the Durst Organization,” said John Bellando, chief operating officer at Condé Nast. “We see this as an opportunity to secure prime space in this development.”

Either proposal could have a transformative effect on the quiet, semi-industrial neighborhood of warehouses, factories, tenements and parking lots that surround the railyards. Given the complexity of the site, it could take 6 to 10 years to happen.

The railyards represent an increasingly rare commodity in Manhattan — 26 acres of waterfront property — and a complicated and expensive challenge: to build platforms and towers while trains operate beneath them.

The Durst Organization and Tishman Speyer are not the only deep-pocketed developers interested in the site. Related Companies, Brookfield Properties and Extell Development Company have also indicated that they intend to make offers.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which owns the property, had hoped to get as much as $1 billion. But real estate executives say the bids are more likely to be half that, at least in part because the builder will have to spend up to $1.5 billion to erect platforms over the yards.

After going through the city’s review process, the winning developer will be allowed to build skyscrapers as tall as 70 stories containing more than 4,600 apartments. The developer will also be required to erect a cultural center and create 12 acres of open space.

Development over the yards is just one element of an ambitious effort by the Bloomberg administration to transform the Far West Side. Two years ago, the city rezoned the area for high-rise development and created a plan for parks and other amenities.

A half dozen residential buildings and hotels are under construction or about to start in the area. A $1.8 billion plan to expand the nearby Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, however, is stalled and losing momentum. A proposal to expand Pennsylvania Station, build a new Madison Square Garden and redevelop that area is also struggling to move forward.

The authority is expected to award a contract later this month to extend the No. 7 line from Times Square to 34th Street and 11th Avenue. It has been negotiating with the sole bidder for the work, a joint venture of Skanska USA, J. F. Shea Company and Schiavone Construction. A critical question is whether the project can stay within its $1.2 billion budget.

The Bloomberg administration has been keen on getting a financial institution to move to the West Side as a way of establishing a new business district. If Morgan Stanley were to move its headquarters to the railyards, real estate executives say, it would make Tishman Speyer a leading contender for the development rights. The bank bought two new but vacant skyscrapers in the late 1980s at the north end of Times Square and only blocks from Rockefeller Center.

But it was Condé Nast that helped revive a then dowdy Times Square in 1999, when it moved its headquarters to a newly completed 48-story tower built by the Durst Organization at the northeast corner of 42nd Street and Broadway. Since then, T-shirt stores and pornography shops have given way to accounting firms, media companies, restaurants, nightclubs and hotels.

Under the Condé Nast agreement, the publisher would move its 27 magazines to a 1.5-million-square-foot skyscraper on a platform on the east side of 11th Avenue. The move would let the company consolidate operations that now spread across several buildings and would bring about 3,500 employees under one roof.

Mr. Bellando of Condé Nast said that if his company moves he has no doubt that he would be replaced by a “Grade A” tenant.

Mr. Durst said, “We’re excited to be working with Condé Nast again in building for the future of New York City on the Hudson Yards, just as we did in Times Square.”
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Old October 9th, 2007, 03:43 AM   #1146
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[IMG]http://i20.************/o02x3r.png[/IMG]


N, Y, and C is #1!!!

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Old October 9th, 2007, 08:12 PM   #1147
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fantastic news
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Old October 10th, 2007, 04:05 AM   #1148
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woot woot
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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:18 AM   #1149
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TOWER POWER


www.wtc.com
Tower Power by Tom Topousis | October, 09 2007
New York Post

The Big Apple is in the midst of a building boom that over the next 25 years will change the face of the city and create so many new office towers that the added space alone will be bigger than downtown San Francisco or Atlanta, a Post analysis shows.

With the World Trade Center reconstruction now underway and several large towers going up in Midtown, the city and state will open bids this week for development of the largest tract of available land in Manhattan: 26 acres over the West Side rail yards. Added together, towers under construction, in the planning stages or proposed for future development add between 65 million and 70 million square feet of office space - about seven times what is being built at the World Trade Center alone.

"And we think over time, taking a couple of decades, we'll need every bit of that," Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff said of the projections for new office space.

Doctoroff also said that soon after Mayor Bloomberg took office in 2002, the administration calculated that the city would need 65 million to 70 million square feet of new office construction if it is to remain competitive as a business center.

"We're not smart enough to be able to predict exactly when all that will be built, but it's a . . . number that we'll need," he said.

While the amount of new office space planned may sound enormous, the phasing of its construction makes the new projects viable, said Mary Ann Tighe, chief executive officer of CB Richard Ellis' New York office.

"It's a very orderly delivery of space compared to the boom and bust cycles we had in the 1970s and '80s," Tighe said.

Tighe said a force behind the demand for new office space is the aging of Manhattan's current buildings. A study by CB Richard Ellis found that 63.9 percent of the city's office towers will be over 50 years old by 2010, compared with a national average of 24 percent.

Unlike most other cities, Tighe said Manhattan's office towers are more likely to be filled with the top tier of corporate officials - the types of executives who are willing to pay a premium for the best and most technologically sophisticated space.

The Real Estate Board of New York calculates that 7.9 million square feet of new office space is now under construction, including the Freedom Tower. Another 6.9 million square feet is in the planning stages, including four additional towers at the World Trade Center site.

REBNY projects that another 12.6 million square feet in 14 potential projects - mostly in Midtown redevelopment - could be on tap as well.

But the biggest chunk of expansion would come on the far West Side in the Hudson Yards, stretching from the rail yards between 30th and 33rd streets all the way north to 42nd Street, where the city is counting on 24 million square feet of new office space.


When it comes to office towers, the true powerhouses, NY leaves everyone in the dust.

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Old October 10th, 2007, 05:27 AM   #1150
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Awesome!
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Old October 10th, 2007, 06:37 AM   #1151
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Wa wa wee Wa
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Old October 10th, 2007, 10:32 PM   #1152
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Old October 11th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #1153
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Great news!
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Old October 11th, 2007, 07:11 AM   #1154
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gee, just walls of words.
mind if you post some pictures of the development of ny?
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Old October 12th, 2007, 02:57 AM   #1155
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They were suppose to submit there proposals for the west side site today.!!! Hopefully someone can get them
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Old October 13th, 2007, 08:50 PM   #1156
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must read

Five Firms Vie for Chance to Build on Far West Side


The railyards, between 30th and 33rd Streets on the Far West Side, belong to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: October 13, 2007
nytimes.com

Five developers submitted separate billion-dollar offers this week for the right to transform the West Side railyards — what the Bloomberg administration once called “a hole in the ground” — into a small city of residential and commercial skyscrapers with 12 acres of parks and open space.

One of the bidders, the Extell Development Company, would use “suspension bridge technology” to span the two 13-acre yards flanking 11th Avenue between 30th and 33rd Streets, while the trains continue to operate, according to real estate executives briefed on the bids.

Extell would erect a dozen towers over the next 15 years, including one more than 1,000 feet tall, at the northern and southern borders of the sites, leaving parkland and open space at the center. The design for this proposal also incorporates a public park on a defunct elevated railway that runs west along 30th Street and north along 12th Avenue.

The four other bidders would build concrete and steel platforms over the railyards and erect a similar array of towers and open space, as well as a home for a yet-to-be-determined cultural institution.

The railyards, which are owned by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, represent both a rare opportunity to acquire 26 acres of waterfront property in Manhattan and a daunting challenge to redevelop an industrial neighborhood and make it into a major commercial district over the coming decade.

Tishman Speyer Properties has formed a joint venture with Morgan Stanley, the global investment bank, whose headquarters are at the north end of Times Square; their plan calls for a major skyscraper on the eastern railyard that would be a new headquarters for the bank and perhaps the start of another financial district in Manhattan.

Another bidder, a joint venture of the Durst Organization and Vornado Realty Trust, has a tentative agreement with Condé Nast Publications, publisher of Vanity Fair, Gourmet, The New Yorker and 24 other magazines, to build a new home for the company in a 1.5 million-square-foot tower on the eastern railyard.

The Related Companies, one of the city’s biggest residential builders, has formed a joint venture with Goldman Sachs, another major investment bank, and hired three architects — Kohn Pedersen Fox, Arquitectonica and Robert A. M. Stern — to design its proposal. And Brookfield Properties, the fifth bidder, used Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Field Operations to develop a master plan, while Skidmore and the architects Thomas Phifer & Partners, SHoP Architects and Diller Scofidio & Renfro designed the towers.

“This is a massive development opportunity that we may never see again,” said Anna Levin, a member of Community Board 4, whose district includes the yards. “It’ll be the biggest public-private partnership you’ve ever seen. But planning for development that we’ll need for generations to come is a complex process. It has to take into account a multitude of public and private considerations.”

The transportation authority, which had hoped to reap $1 billion from the sale of the development rights to the yards, confirmed that it had received five offers, but declined to provide any details. The authority said it expected to select the winning bidder, or combination of bidders, by February or March, after conducting a design review that would include an opportunity for public comment.

The Bloomberg administration is keenly interested in the outcome because it views the railyards as a key element in a plan to transform the Far West Side. It hopes to begin work soon on an extension of the No. 7 subway from Times Square to the railyards.

The bidders were loath to comment publicly on their proposals for fear of alienating the transportation authority. But real estate executives who saw the offers said that each developer had made a nominal bid of about $1 billion for the development rights.

Still, it is difficult to determine the true value of the offers because every proposal has a different set of contingencies and involves a series of payments over years. City and state officials will also evaluate how quickly each developer would start construction.

Ms. Levin said she hoped the transportation authority would release the proposals submitted by all the developers, in their entirety, because they might include some good ideas that do not fall within the city and the authority’s design guidelines.

Big project proposals in New York can take a torturous and lengthy path to construction, or collapse. A succession of mayors and governors sought futilely to build a baseball stadium for the Yankees or a football stadium for the Jets over the railyards. But in 2005, the city rezoned the Far West Side for high-rise development and the transportation authority sought to sell the development rights over the railyards to raise $1 billion for its capital budget.

Assemblyman Richard L. Brodsky, who heads a legislative committee that oversees the authority, said the railyards should be viewed alongside plans for the subway extension, the expansion of the nearby convention center and proposals for Pennsylvania Station. He questioned whether there had been adequate planning for the related projects. “The receipt of the bids raises the curtain on a chaotic set of issues that have to be resolved,” Mr. Brodsky said.

The city and the transportation authority created a conceptual plan for the railyards detailing what could be built there and the general location of the buildings, which could vary between 60 and 70 stories. The yard on the eastern side of 11th Avenue has been zoned for development, but plans for the western yard would have to go through the city’s public review process, presumably with the support of the Bloomberg administration and the City Council president, Christine C. Quinn.

Before they build the first tower, however, developers must erect platforms or spans over the railyards while trains continue running. Douglas Durst of the Durst Organization, which has hired the architects FXFowle and Rafael Pelli, has estimated that the platforms would cost about $1.5 billion. But Extell hopes to save money by using bridge-building technology instead.
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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:20 AM   #1157
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Herzog & de Meuron reported commissioned by Alexico


09-OCT-07

Alexico has commissioned Herzog & de Meuron, the architects of 40 Bond Street, to design its planned 58-story, 140-unit apartment tower at 56 Leonard Street on a site it acquired from the New York Law School, according to a report today at Curbed.com.

Attempts by CityRealty to confirm the story with Izak Senbahar, one of the principals of Alexico, and its marketing director, Louise Sunshine, were unsuccessful this afternoon.

The latest plans, filed in June, with the city indicated that the tower's architect was Costas Kondylis.

The Alexico residential tower will be on the 12,500-square-foot site of the Mendik Law Library building on the northeast corner of the block bounded by Church, Leonard and Worth Streets and West Broadway. The area was rezoned in 1995 but the school's property was not included in the new zoning.

Alexico is headed by Ivan Senbahar and Simon Elias, who are converting part of the Mark Hotel on the northwest corner of Madison Avenue and 77th Street to residential condominiums and who were the developers of 165 Charles Street, a Richard Meier-designed apartment building on West Street, and the Grand Beekman and Laurel apartment buildings on First Avenue.

The New York Law School was established in 1891 by some faculty, students and alumni of the Columbia College School of Law who were protesting that school's attempts to dictate teaching methods.

Herzog & de Meuron's design for 40 Bond Street includes huge green glass cylindrical elements and a graffiti-inspired gate. Recently, the firm showed a flamboyant design for a major new philharmonic hall in Hamburg.

The Curbed.com article stated that "Alexico is also developing the Remy in Chelsea, which also happens to be made of stacked glass cubes in a design by - wouldn't you know it - Costas Kondylis." The Remy is the name of a apartment tower planned by Adellco LLC at 101 West 28th Street on the northwest corner at the Avenue of the Americas.

"...our source," the Curbed.com article continued, "has seen the model for 56 Leonard Street, and it bares only 'a very small likeness' to the Remy, and 'looks nothing like' Santiago Calatrava's glass boxes at 80 South Street. Oh, did we mention this tower is going up completely as-of-right?"

The design for the 80 South Street project south of the South Street Seaport called for a stack of ten 4-story townhouses, but the famous project has yet to break ground.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:24 AM   #1158
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St. Vincent's shows plans for hospital and residential complex





11-OCT-07

St. Vincent's Hospital held a public meeting last night to unveil its plans for a new hospital building to rise on the site of its O'Toole Building on the northwest corner of Seventh Avenue and 12th Street and the plans of Rudin Family Holdings to redevelop 8 of the hospital's buildings on the western portion of the block bounded by 11th and 12th Streets and Sixth and Seventh Avenues.

The proposed 21-story hospital building, which has been designed by Ian Bader of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, would have a 4-story base and a setback curved tower. The tower would be about 300 feet tall.

Across the avenue, the residential development would consist of a 21-story building on the avenue that would be about 260 feet high including roof-top mechanical spaces and townhouses with stoops on the two side-streets. Dan Kaplan of FXFowle is the architect for the Rudin project.

In addition to these two sites, the hospital owns the triangular block that used to be occupied by the Loew's Sheridan movie theater just south of the O'Toole Building. That block is now used by the hospital mostly as a "loading dock."

The planned buildings are in the Greenwich Village Historic District, but the hospital has not yet submitted a formal application for a certificate of appropriateness from the Landmarks Preservation Commission. The proposed projects will also require numerous other public approvals relating to zoning.

At the meeting in the hospital's auditorium, Bill Rudin, the CEO of the Rudin organization, said that his company has agreed to pay the hospital about $500 a buildable square feet for its residential development, or about $300 million, under the current building plans. The hospital's building is anticipated to cost about $700 million. It will contain 365 beds, one to a room, a substantial reduction from its present size of about 635 beds.

The plan calls for the demolition of the four-story O'Toole Building, which was erected in 1961 and was designed by Albert Ledner and is notable for its white-ceramic-tile facades and its nautical motif. Once the new hospital is built and opened on this site, eight of the hospital's 9 buildings across the avenue will be demolished to make way for the Rudin's residential development.

Mr. Rudin said that although his company's residential projects have always been rental, the more than 400 apartments will be built as condominiums. In addition to the 21-story building on the avenue and 19 townhouses, the Rudin project includes a mid-rise, mid-block building, 15,000-square feet of retail space, 22,500 square feet of medical office space and a garage.

The design of the new hospital building's tower, shown at the left in the illustration at the right, resembles in its elliptical lenticular shape with "cutting edges" the famous "Boat Building" designed by Max Abramovitz in 1963 for the Phoenix Mutual Life Insurance Company in Hartford, Conn. Mr. Bader indicated that the new building would be masonry- rather than glass-clad and probably of a reddish color.

Mr. Kaplan also indicated that a similar palette was likely to be employed in the residential buildings, emphasizing that the new townhouses will be set-back about 10 feet from the building line to permit owners to have front-yard gardens that will add to the "green" component of project.

In answer to a question from the audience about past promises from the hospital to create an attractive open space on the triangle block, Mr. Bader also emphasized that plans call for landscaping improvements to the "triangle" block. No one in the audience asked why the new hospital could not be erected on the triangle block and the very unusual, interesting and idiosyncratic O'Toole Building saved, or used as a base for a new tower similar to what the Hearst Corporation did recently on the southwest corner of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:27 AM   #1159
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Robert A. M. Stern to design tower at 99 Church Street





15-OCT-07

Silverstein Properties announced today that it has selected Robert A. M. Stern to design its planned mixed-use tower at 99 Church Street between Barclay Street and Park Place just to the west of the Woolworth Building.
Silverstein Properties acquired the 11-story office building at 99 Church Street last November with California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) from Moody's Corporation for $170 million and Moody's plans to relocate its corporate headquarters to Silverstein Properties' 7 World Trade Center nearby.

The new building will include residential condominiums and a "five-star" hotel and occupancy is anticipated for early 2011.

Larry A. Silverstein, the president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, said that he was "delighted to welcome Robert A. M. Stern Architects to the roster of world-class architects - David Childs, Lord Norman Foster, Fumihiko Maki and Lord Richard Rogers - who are working with us to transform the landscape downtown while at the same time honoring its rich architecture heritage." Mr. Silverstein is building major skyscrapers nearby at Ground Zero.

"Lower Manhattan is one of the world's great places, and I am thrilled by the invitation of Larry Silverstein and his organization to be part of its rebirth with the design of a first-rate hotel and residences on a key site," Mr. Stern said, adding that for him "this is a dream project, a chance to help Lower Manhattan realize its potential as a great place to live."

Mr. Stern is the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, the co-author of a monumental five-volume series on the history of New York City architecture and the architect of numerous luxury residential high-rise buildings in Manhattan including the limestone-clad 15 Central Park West.

An article by Bradley Hope in today's edition of The New York Sun quoted Mr. Stern as saying that there will be a public plaza between the new building and the Woolworth Building.

No renderings or details of Mr. Stern's design have been released yet.

Last August, a rendering by Costas Kondylis appeared on the WiredNewYork and Curbed websites of a skyscraper with a flared top at the Silverstein site, which is on the same block as the great Woolworth Building. At the time, Silverstein Properties issued a statement in response to a query from CityRealty.com that it was "committed to excellence in design for all its properties," the statement continued, without any reference to specific architectural firms.

The Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway is widely considered the third greatest New York City skyscraper after the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings and its visual isolation on the skyline has been recently encroached upon by the new, 56-story apartment tower at 10 Barclay Street developed by Glenwood Management of which Leonard Litwin is a principal.

The Moody's building was erected in 1951 and contained about 300,000 square feet of office space.

Last March, a spokesperson for the developer at Howard J. Rubenstein Associates confirmed for CityRealty.com a report by Lauren Elkies in The Real Deal that the project will include a "boutique" hotel on the lower 20 floors below condominium apartments.

Silverstein Properties is planning to erect a 60-story mixed-use tower at 99 Church Street just to the west of the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway.

Steve Witkoff and Cammeby's International had planned a residential conversion of the upper floors of the Woolworth Building, one of New York City's most important landmarks, but last May Randy Gerner of the architectural firm of Gerner Kronick & Valcarcel PC, told CityRealty.com that his firm was working on plans to convert the top floors back to office space.

An article by David Lombino in the December 22, 2006 edition of The New York Sun maintained that "Mr. Silverstein said it was likely the [Moody's building would be razed to make way for a 58-story" building.


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Old October 16th, 2007, 09:31 AM   #1160
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Rezoning Plan May Transform Area of Harlem


By ELIOT BROWN
Special to the Sun
October 15, 2007

The Bloomberg administration is seeking zoning changes that would allow for substantial new development along much of 125th Street, a move that could transform a major Harlem thoroughfare into a dense hub of activity.

After avoiding the area for decades, developers are warming to the corridor as its retail market flourishes and nearby housing prices reach levels that 15 years ago would have seemed almost unfathomable. Aiming to leverage the soaring real estate market, the city wants to convert the historic corridor into a regional destination for business, retail, and the arts, allowing for an estimated 2,300 new apartments and more than 600,000 square feet of office and retail space in coming years. The plan, which goes before the local community boards in coming weeks, has drawn criticism from neighborhood residents, who say the dense development will not fit in with the character of the area. The real estate industry, while it supports the plan, is calling for more density around the Metro-North station on Park Avenue, consistent with the city's goals of transit-oriented development.

The concept of new development is a relatively recent one for the expansive African American and Hispanic area that occupies much of northern Manhattan. Between the 1960s and 1980s, the region was hemorrhaging population as the city's economy faltered, so much so that the city claims in planning documents that due to widespread foreclosures, it owned about 40% of the housing stock at one point.

The seemingly unstoppable real estate market of the past decade has shone a new light on the area, especially 125th Street, allowing for the arrival of national retailers such as Old Navy, and developments such as the planned Harlem Park, a glass 20-story office building just west of Park Avenue being developed by Vornado Realty Trust.

For the past four years, the city has been talking with the community and devising its rezoning plan for the corridor, which stretches between Frederick Douglass Boulevard and Second Avenue and 124th and 126th streets. Now, with the rezoning proposal at the start of the seven-month approval process, the Bloomberg administration is poised to open the area's doors to considerable new development, particularly for office space and arts and entertainment uses.

"Folks want to build higher right now," Assemblyman Keith Wright said. "You have some rather large vacant lots that are being held onto by private developers, and they're just waiting for the proposed rezoning."

The city's plan would allow for more than double the existing density along the central section of 125th Street, with new buildings allowed to rise to 29 stories. With the aim of further enlivening the street life of the corridor, the proposal would restrict the type of retail on the ground level to "active" uses, relegating much of the space for banks and offices to the second floors. New buildings bigger than 60,000 square feet would have to reserve a portion of their space for entertainment or arts uses along much of the street, and the city is considering a density bonus for buildings that incorporate arts uses.

With rising land values of recent years causing a stir within the broader Harlem community — opposition has been stiff to Columbia University's planned 17-acre expansion and housing advocates claim evictions from landlords shedding rent-regulated tenants are at an all time high — the city has had to walk a fine line while crafting the proposal. The area in which the proposed density is greatest tends to be mostly filled with low-rise retail stores, and the city added development restrictions to the sections of the corridor with considerable residential population. Still, the community has expressed concerns, proposing its own alternative that would decrease allowable building heights and expand provisions for arts and entertainment.

"I don't want a 42nd Street — I don't want a lot of tall high rises," Council Member Inez Dickens said, calling for a height limit of about 19 stories.

The real estate industry, mostly content with the city's proposal, is pushing for a greater density along the eastern end of the corridor, as the presence of the Metro-North stop, the nos. 4, 5, and 6 trains, and the proposed Second Avenue subway make the area very attractive for development.

"We thought that they could have given greater density as you got closer to the Metro-North station and the subways," the president of the Real Estate Board of New York, Steven Spinola, said.

Both the City Planning Commission and the City Council must approve the plan.


© 2007 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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