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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:15 PM   #1401
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/ny...ml?ref=thecity
For a Raft of New Hotels, the Sound of Grumbling

By SAKI KNAFO
Published: April 27, 2008

RESIDENTS of Dutch Kills, a postage stamp of a neighborhood near Queens Plaza in the western part of the borough, love its abundant light and low-rise charm. So with construction under way on a 16-story hotel with a curving glass facade at the corner of 39th Avenue and 29th Street, the local reception is not universally warm.

“I hate it,” said Tracey Florio, a bookkeeper who lives nearby. “It looks like a spaceship.”

The tale of a small neighborhood transformed by a mass of shimmering glass is hardly unusual. What is unusual in Dutch Kills is the magnitude of the changes.

In the past two years, developers have applied for permits to build hotels on at least 14 local sites, most of them in an eight-block area. The permits indicate that many of these structures would rise at least nine stories high. Construction is under way at several sites.

Steven Bahar, one of the developers, said critics should consider the alternative to such construction. “If we don’t build in New York and the areas that are close to mass transit,” he said, “where are the city planners supposed to put development? In the suburbs, where people use cars and destroy the environment?”

That Dutch Kills, just 15 minutes from Manhattan by subway, is attractive to developers is not surprising. But, paradoxically, the local boom appears to have been prompted in part by an effort to prevent just that sort of growth.

In 2005, the Department of City Planning proposed a rezoning of the neighborhood, an idea that many local residents liked. The plan was to loosen the limits on residential construction and clamp down on commercial construction, even prohibiting it on most blocks. In announcing its plans, however, the city inadvertently motivated developers to rush in to build tall commercial structures while they could.

Three years later, the rezoning plan remains just that: a plan. The city’s planners are now conducting an extensive environmental review of the impact of their proposal; once completed, perhaps in a month, that study will be subject to scrutiny by the community board, the borough president and the City Planning Commission, and then to a vote by the City Council.

Many Dutch Kills residents, who also fret that some of the hotel rooms will be converted into condominium units, say the city is acting too slowly. “With all the delays, by the time we get our zoning, we most probably will have lost our neighborhood,” said Megan Friedman, who lives in a converted firehouse on 28th Street.

But John Young, director of the Queens office of the City Planning Department, insists that a lengthy study was unavoidable for the complex project. “The timeline that we have adhered to here,” Mr. Young said, “is one that is very reasonable and at times very aggressive.”

Meanwhile, local residents worry.

“The entire neighborhood helped raise me,” said Richard Madrid, a veterinary hospital administrator who lives with his wife and 2-year-old daughter, Jasminda, down the street from Ms. Friedman. It upsets him to think that his daughter may have to grow up among strangers: “I’ll have to tell Jasminda: ‘I really don’t know who’s next door. They come in and out.’ “
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Old April 27th, 2008, 10:16 PM   #1402
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/27/ny...ml?ref=thecity
For Humble Bungalows, a Plan to Save the Sunshine

By JAMES ANGELOS
Published: April 27, 2008

SUSAN ANDERSON lives on Beach 26th Street in Far Rockaway, on one of the area’s remaining bungalow-lined blocks. Ms. Anderson, who is an artist, bought two bungalows on the street in 2004, and she hopes to turn the one that still has its original cedar shingles into her studio. But over the past few years she has watched in dismay the construction of a 15-story oceanfront condominium just a few yards away.

“I call it the shadow caster,” Ms. Anderson said the other day, sitting on a wooden folding chair in her kitchen, where the ceiling also has the original cedar. Shadows from such buildings irk many New Yorkers, but when they appear along the beach, and when the structures they obscure are beloved bungalows, the shade can seem especially gloomy.

To address this issue, the Department of City Planning announced on Monday a rezoning plan to stop the construction of such high-rise apartment buildings on many blocks in five neighborhoods on the Rockaway Peninsula: Far Rockaway, Somerville, Edgemere, Rockaway Park and Rockaway Beach.

The proposal seeks to ensure that new buildings are developed on a scale suitable for the neighborhoods, dotted as they are by modest working-class homes with screened-in porches. Over the last few decades, many of the bungalows, which once covered the Rockaways, have been replaced by their architectural opposites, tall apartment buildings and condos.

If adopted, the plan will be the first full-scale rezoning of the Rockaways since 1961.

Jerzy Szymczyk, an owner of the building under construction next to Ms. Anderson’s, said that the proposal would hurt property values and that with one-story housing, “only one person can see the view,” as opposed to the many who can do so from a multi-unit residence.

But many residents support the plan, and some say the damage has already been done. In Rockaway Beach, just an arm’s length away from Thomas Cawley’s three-floor, white-sided home off Shore Front Parkway, a six-story condominium is nearing completion.

“I had a great view,” Mr. Cawley, who could once see the Atlantic Ocean from his windows, said as he stood in his front yard and gazed at the new building. “Now I look at a 60-foot wall.”

New condos are an increasingly common sight in the area. A few blocks away, where the Belle Shores Condominium is under construction, tiny flakes of white Styrofoam floated on the ocean breeze one recent sunny afternoon, thinly coating the neighborhood’s lawns and its cats.

Across the street from the new condo complex, which is just four stories but has 78 units, Tommy Ormsby, 52, stood on the front lawn next to his white, ivy-covered bungalow.

As the synthetic snowfall fell around him, Mr. Ormsby said he didn’t mind the local changes all that much, but he considered the traffic and crowding brought on by the development a nuisance. As he put it, “It takes the summer out of being here.”
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Old April 30th, 2008, 03:12 AM   #1403
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/04292008...ver_108628.htm
FLAGSHIP MAKEOVER

SYMS TAKING STEPS TO CREATE HIGH-RISE TOWER

By JAMES COVERT


BIG PLANS: CEO Marcy Syms is looking to build a high-rise tower on the site of the Syms store at 42 Trinity Place.

April 29, 2008 -- Off-price clothing retailer Syms quietly has taken steps to redevelop its flagship store in Manhattan's financial district as a high-rise building, The Post has learned.

The Secaucus, NJ-based chain - which earlier this year was accused by some investors of scheming to take itself private in a bid to seize its own valuable real estate on the cheap - confirmed in city records that it's looking to build a high-rise tower on the site of its four-story, 40,000-square-foot store at 42 Trinity Place.

In its annual 10-K filing late Friday, Syms said it has purchased "air rights" from a building adjacent to 42 Trinity Place for $3.1 million, without elaborating. But city records show that the development rights, purchased from the neighboring building at 44 Trinity, permit a building as big as 188,500 square feet and as high as 16 stories.

The air-rights deal was signed Dec. 28 by Syms' then-chief financial officer and director, Antoine Moreia, records show. That was exactly a week after Syms first announced a controversial plan to delist its shares and "deregister" them, which would allow it to stop publicly reporting its finances to securities regulators. On Feb. 8, Moreia retired, and was replaced as financial chief by Philip Piscopo, Syms said in a securities filing.

"We believe the suspicious timing of the deregistration indicates the company was trying to avoid disclosure to minority shareholders," said Martin Sklar, an attorney for Esopus Creek Advisors, an investment firm that in January had sued to block Syms' effort to delist and deregister its shares. "We believe there's a plan to redevelop that site and possibly several others."

Syms CEO Marcy Syms, who together with her father, founder Sy Syms, owns 57 percent of the company's stock, didn't respond to a request for comment. But in the past she has said that the attempted delisting and deregistration - which spurred a big sell-off in the company's shares - was a bid to cut the costs and hassles of complying with Sarbanes-Oxley. The effort was thwarted in February by a grassroots shareholder-registration campaign.

To further enlarge its plans for 42 Trinity Place, Syms could still purchase air rights from two other neighboring buildings - 46 Trinity and 67 Greenwich St. While Syms has made an "initial approach" to the owners of 46 Trinity, there are no current negotiations, sources said. The owner of 67 Greenwich declined to comment.

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Old April 30th, 2008, 03:16 AM   #1404
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/04292008...own_108627.htm
STRIPPED OF HIS CROWN

PORN KING MAY LOSE SHOW WORLD


SHOW WORLD

Could be closing.


April 29, 2008 -- THE Times Square area's once-raunchiest location is up for lease or sale, possibly spelling an end to what's left of porn king Richard Basciano's Show World Center at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street.

The landowners are seeking development proposals for 303 W. 42nd St. - an L-shaped, 16,700 square-foot site on the west side of the avenue between 42nd and 43rd streets. It includes a 12-story apartment/office building and smaller buildings that are home to stores and the New York Arts Center theaters.

They also house Show World - a shrunken version of the huge porn emporium that once boasted "live girls" before it was reduced to an X-rated video arcade during the Giuliani-era crackdown.

Proposals are due in by tomorrow, although property manager Thomas Simmonds says the deadline "is not set in stone."

The owners are open to a ground-lease arrangement with a developer, a partnership or an outright sale, which he termed "the least interesting scenario."

Simmonds said the linked properties are not owned by Basciano, but by a trust. However, real estate executives familiar with the offering all referred to it as Basciano's.

The land is diagonally across from SJP Properties' 11 Times Square, the spectacular office tower now under construction next door to the New York Times headquarters.

The Show World site wraps around, but does not include, the northwest corner of Eighth and 42nd - home to a Duane Reade on land owned by a partnership led by Jeff Sutton, and not for sale.

Sources said the 303 W. 42nd St. site - with most of its frontage actually on Eighth Avenue and West 43rd Street - can support about 166,000 square feet of floor area, but theater-district air-rights bonuses could bring the total to 238,000 square feet.

Sources valued an outright sale of the land at between $300-$400 a buildable square foot. But Studley's Woody Heller cautioned, "Anybody who claims to know what things are worth in this market is getting ahead of himself."

Basciano, who once owned 17 buildings in the area, launched Show World in the 1970s as a "sex superstore."
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:18 AM   #1405
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/nyregion/30fall.html
Steel Worker Falls 25 Feet From Building

By THOMAS J. LUECK and COLIN MOYNIHAN
Published: April 30, 2008


Patrick Andrade for The New York Times

The construction site on East 29th Street where a worker fell 25 feet to a concrete slab. The building is to be 15 stories high and is part of a complex known as the East River Science Park.


Just one day after thousands of workers gathered to mourn the loss of the 13 people killed in construction accidents in New York City this year, a steel worker was critically injured on Tuesday when he fell 25 feet from a building under construction on East 29th Street in Manhattan.

The authorities said the worker, Christopher Gunn, 28, was trying to maneuver a 20-foot steel I-beam being hoisted into place by a crane about 8:30 a.m. when he slipped and fell from the second story of the building, which is under construction between First Avenue and Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive.

What caused him to fall was unclear, but workers said that an early morning drizzle might have made the steel slippery, and that Mr. Gunn was seen grabbing for the I-beam to steady himself.

Mr. Gunn fell to a concrete slab, fracturing his safety helmet and losing consciousness, according to witnesses.

He underwent three hours of surgery at Bellevue Hospital Center, where he was in critical condition late Tuesday afternoon, said Minerva Joubert, a spokeswoman for the hospital.

The accident occurred during Construction Safety Week and the day after the ceremony at St. Patrick’s Cathedral honoring those killed in construction accidents this year. It is unclear how many were killed at building sites during the first three months of 2007, but the total of 13 so far this year is one more than died in all of 2007.

The city and the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration are looking into the cause of several fatal accidents. The most recent occurred April 14, when Kevin Kelly, a 25-year-old worker who was installing windows at a condominium under construction on East 67th Street, fell to his death from the 23rd floor, apparently because a strap failed.

The series of construction accidents has caused an upheaval at the Department of Buildings, which has oversight over building safety and code violations. Patricia J. Lancaster resigned as buildings commissioner last week amid city and state hearings on construction safety.

Robert D. LiMandri, the acting buildings commissioner, who visited the 29th Street construction site less than an hour after Mr. Gunn was taken to Bellevue, said the department would take a hard line if violations of building codes or work rules were found to be a factor in his fall.

“We are going to get to the bottom of it,” he said. “Development must not take place at the expense of the workers building our city.”

The city issued a stop-work order at the site, temporarily halting the operations of steel workers. It also issued several building code violations against the general contractor, Turner Construction, but none appeared to be directly related to Mr. Gunn’s fall.

Chris McFadden, a spokesman for Turner, said Tuesday evening that Mr. Gunn was “in full compliance with safety regulations” set by the federal government, and that the company was “continuing to cooperate with the New York City Department of Buildings and their ongoing investigation.”

Mr. Gunn was working for a subcontractor, Falcon Steel Company, a unit of Helmark Steel Inc. of Wilmington, Del. Helmark officials did not respond to a telephone inquiry.

City buildings inspectors said that Mr. Gunn was wearing a safety harness, as required under federal safety rules, but that the harness was not tied to a steel girder or any other object that would have stopped him from falling. The Buildings Department said it was investigating whether “this particular step in the steel operation required the worker’s safety harness to be tied off.”

John Chavez, a spokesman for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, said Mr. Gunn would not have been required to be secured by a safety strap if he was working no higher than 30 feet.

Carlos Nazario, 38, another worker, said Mr. Gunn was standing on a sheet of corrugated steel that had been installed as temporary flooring on the second story of the building’s framework. Mr. Gunn “was trying to hold the beam, and he slipped sideways,” Mr. Nazario said.

“They weren’t doing anything wrong,” Mr. Nazario said. He said that since workers moving around the framework of a project in its early stages of construction needed to move frequently, they would be constrained or even tripped up if they were tied to safety straps.

The East 29th Street building is to be 15 stories high and is part of a complex known as the East River Science Park. The project has received financial backing from the Partnership for New York City, a business group, and is intended to attract research operations from the pharmaceutical and medical industries.

In another serious construction accident on Monday, a 48-year-old worker was critically injured when he was run over by a front-end loader as he was working on a sewer pipe project on Staten Island, the authorities said. The man, whose identity was not disclosed, was in critical condition late Tuesday at Richmond University Medical Center.

The project is being carried out by the city’s Department of Design and Construction, and the worker was employed by Halcyon Construction Corporation of Pleasantville, N.Y. Officials of both the city department and Halcyon said the cause remained under investigation and declined to comment further.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:25 AM   #1406
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/th....html?ref=arts
N.Y.U. Plan Threatens Historic Theater

By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: April 30, 2008


Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The Provincetown Playhouse, where Eugene O’Neill first produced his plays.


New York University’s proposal to demolish the historic Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village as part of its planned expansion over the next 25 years is meeting resistance from community leaders and scholars who say the building, where Eugene O’Neill’s plays were first produced, is an important site in American theater history.

“It is a beloved piece of our city’s history and, I would argue, our country’s history,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Its demolition, he added, “is going to create an enormous rift between the university and the surrounding community, preservationists, theater lovers, that I’m not sure how easy it will ever be to repair.”

But the design for the proposed building, which would be used by N.Y.U.’s School of Law and include a new theater, is actually more consistent with how the playhouse originally looked before renovations, a university official and the architect for the project both said on Tuesday. They stressed that the demolition of the theater, at 133-139 Macdougal Street, was only a proposal and that a dialogue with the community would continue.

The exterior of the proposed design is not strikingly different from the current structure. The new building would be three feet higher than the existing one, and six stories rather than five. The canopy would be removed, and the doorway would become more intricate and reminiscent of the building before its 1940s renovation, Morris Adjmi, the architect for the project, said.

Alicia D. Hurley, vice president for government affairs and community engagement at N.Y.U., asked: “What is a sensible solution that allows the historical significance of the building to remain? Our minds are open, our hearts are open.”

The wrangling over the building is part of an often contentious history between the university and the surrounding community. This controversy is the first to arise, though, since an unusual accord between the university and some of its toughest critics. In January the university agreed to planning principles that included pushing some of its expansion farther from its central core, consulting the community when it designs new spaces and developing policies to relocate tenants when they must be moved because of university construction.

A statement released by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday said that the building lacked the “historical and architectural integrity required for individual New York City landmark designation.”

Mr. Berman said on Tuesday that he and others opposed to the demolition were collecting signatures for a letter to the university, adding to the hundreds of letters he said had already been sent. The university’s plans were reported in the most recent issue of The Villager, a weekly newspaper serving Greenwich Village.

A public hearing on the proposed demolition is scheduled for May 28.

“The playhouse represents the start of Off Broadway and has been there forever,” said Margaret Halsey Gardiner, executive director of the Merchant’s House Museum. “It’s considered an icon. It’s a key part of Greenwich Village, an example of a place where the arts flourished.”

The playhouse has a storied history. It takes its name from the Provincetown Players, who turned a former stable and bottling plant into a theater in 1918. The players included Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Djuna Barnes. Paul Robeson performed there, E. E. Cummings had his plays put on there, and Bette Davis made her New York stage debut there, Mr. Berman said.

In the 1940s, the four buildings at the site were turned into one, which the university purchased in 1984. After remaining shuttered for much of the 1990s, the building reopened in 1998 and is used mainly by a theater program for the university’s education students. It has also been used, free, for the past decade by the Playwrights’ Theater, which puts on an O’Neill festival annually.

“While the future remains unclear, without looking at the plans, it’s hard to say what’s being demolished and what’s being preserved,” said Stephen Kennedy Murphy, artistic director of Playwrights’ Theater/O’Neill at Yale, a program that performs O’Neill plays and plays inspired by O’Neill in New York. “We have an active dialogue with the university. They have a lot of good-will equity about O’Neill. They’ve curated O’Neill’s legacy there.”

Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2, which includes Greenwich Village, SoHo and Little Italy, said the university has been gracious in its recent dealings with the community.

“The initial design seems sensitive and in character with the neighborhood,” Mr. Hoylman said, adding that the board would not take a position until it received more information. “We may not get everything out of the project, but we’re at the table.”

Mr. Adjmi, the architect, said the proposed building would be significantly larger — 44,362 square feet instead of the existing 27,245 square feet. The current building houses a 30-unit apartment building for law students and offices, as well as the theater.

“I would not be taking down a building that had any architectural merit,” Mr. Adjmi said. The new design, he added, “looks more similar to what was there than when it was renovated in the 1940s.”

The demolition is part of a bigger plan by the university to acquire six million square feet of space in New York in the next 25 years. University officials have been meeting with a task force led by Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. “New York University Plans 2031” is a detailed report on how the university might acquire land, renovate buildings and create new ones.

According to the report, the university needs half the space for academic uses and half for housing students and faculty. “I never envisioned this to be smooth sailing, with everybody nodding and smiling,” Mr. Stringer said on Tuesday, adding that he had written to the university seeking more information about the project. “This is going to be a back and forth, sometimes butting heads between the community and N.Y.U. The purpose of the task force is that we’re butting heads in an open, transparent way.”
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:29 AM   #1407
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...lans_dorm.html
Queens College plans dorm

By Nicholas Hirshon
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Wednesday, April 30th 2008, 4:00 AM

Queens College has inked a deal with an Alabama developer to build and manage the first dormitory on the Flushing campus, officials said.

Capstone Development Corp. will erect the 506-bed dorm on what are now outdoor tennis courts. Capstone also will create 200 parking spaces on campus to accommodate the students.

Historically a commuter school, Queens College has pitched the dorm as a way to compete with Ivy League schools for high-quality students.

Some civic leaders oppose the $72 million project - funded by tax-exempt bonds from the city Housing Development Corp. - because they fear the students living on campus will create more litter, noise and parking woes.
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Old May 1st, 2008, 06:41 AM   #1408
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i don't even like reading this thread anymore cause it is either A. boring or B. negative
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Old May 1st, 2008, 07:08 AM   #1409
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/04/30/th....html?ref=arts
N.Y.U. Plan Threatens Historic Theater

By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: April 30, 2008


Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

The Provincetown Playhouse, where Eugene O’Neill first produced his plays.


New York University’s proposal to demolish the historic Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village as part of its planned expansion over the next 25 years is meeting resistance from community leaders and scholars who say the building, where Eugene O’Neill’s plays were first produced, is an important site in American theater history.

“It is a beloved piece of our city’s history and, I would argue, our country’s history,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. Its demolition, he added, “is going to create an enormous rift between the university and the surrounding community, preservationists, theater lovers, that I’m not sure how easy it will ever be to repair.”

But the design for the proposed building, which would be used by N.Y.U.’s School of Law and include a new theater, is actually more consistent with how the playhouse originally looked before renovations, a university official and the architect for the project both said on Tuesday. They stressed that the demolition of the theater, at 133-139 Macdougal Street, was only a proposal and that a dialogue with the community would continue.

The exterior of the proposed design is not strikingly different from the current structure. The new building would be three feet higher than the existing one, and six stories rather than five. The canopy would be removed, and the doorway would become more intricate and reminiscent of the building before its 1940s renovation, Morris Adjmi, the architect for the project, said.

Alicia D. Hurley, vice president for government affairs and community engagement at N.Y.U., asked: “What is a sensible solution that allows the historical significance of the building to remain? Our minds are open, our hearts are open.”

The wrangling over the building is part of an often contentious history between the university and the surrounding community. This controversy is the first to arise, though, since an unusual accord between the university and some of its toughest critics. In January the university agreed to planning principles that included pushing some of its expansion farther from its central core, consulting the community when it designs new spaces and developing policies to relocate tenants when they must be moved because of university construction.

A statement released by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday said that the building lacked the “historical and architectural integrity required for individual New York City landmark designation.”

Mr. Berman said on Tuesday that he and others opposed to the demolition were collecting signatures for a letter to the university, adding to the hundreds of letters he said had already been sent. The university’s plans were reported in the most recent issue of The Villager, a weekly newspaper serving Greenwich Village.

A public hearing on the proposed demolition is scheduled for May 28.

“The playhouse represents the start of Off Broadway and has been there forever,” said Margaret Halsey Gardiner, executive director of the Merchant’s House Museum. “It’s considered an icon. It’s a key part of Greenwich Village, an example of a place where the arts flourished.”

The playhouse has a storied history. It takes its name from the Provincetown Players, who turned a former stable and bottling plant into a theater in 1918. The players included Eugene O’Neill, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Djuna Barnes. Paul Robeson performed there, E. E. Cummings had his plays put on there, and Bette Davis made her New York stage debut there, Mr. Berman said.

In the 1940s, the four buildings at the site were turned into one, which the university purchased in 1984. After remaining shuttered for much of the 1990s, the building reopened in 1998 and is used mainly by a theater program for the university’s education students. It has also been used, free, for the past decade by the Playwrights’ Theater, which puts on an O’Neill festival annually.

“While the future remains unclear, without looking at the plans, it’s hard to say what’s being demolished and what’s being preserved,” said Stephen Kennedy Murphy, artistic director of Playwrights’ Theater/O’Neill at Yale, a program that performs O’Neill plays and plays inspired by O’Neill in New York. “We have an active dialogue with the university. They have a lot of good-will equity about O’Neill. They’ve curated O’Neill’s legacy there.”

Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2, which includes Greenwich Village, SoHo and Little Italy, said the university has been gracious in its recent dealings with the community.

“The initial design seems sensitive and in character with the neighborhood,” Mr. Hoylman said, adding that the board would not take a position until it received more information. “We may not get everything out of the project, but we’re at the table.”

Mr. Adjmi, the architect, said the proposed building would be significantly larger — 44,362 square feet instead of the existing 27,245 square feet. The current building houses a 30-unit apartment building for law students and offices, as well as the theater.

“I would not be taking down a building that had any architectural merit,” Mr. Adjmi said. The new design, he added, “looks more similar to what was there than when it was renovated in the 1940s.”

The demolition is part of a bigger plan by the university to acquire six million square feet of space in New York in the next 25 years. University officials have been meeting with a task force led by Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. “New York University Plans 2031” is a detailed report on how the university might acquire land, renovate buildings and create new ones.

According to the report, the university needs half the space for academic uses and half for housing students and faculty. “I never envisioned this to be smooth sailing, with everybody nodding and smiling,” Mr. Stringer said on Tuesday, adding that he had written to the university seeking more information about the project. “This is going to be a back and forth, sometimes butting heads between the community and N.Y.U. The purpose of the task force is that we’re butting heads in an open, transparent way.”
Such a big article but no renders. There needs to be a clear picture of what they're planning to demolish and a clear rendering of what they want to build. Otherwise it's silly to form an opinion about it.
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Old May 2nd, 2008, 04:31 AM   #1410
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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...-stuck-around/
May 1, 2008, 7:28 pm

In the Redesign, the Lollipops Have Stuck Around

By David W. Dunlap



New York may not be able yet to place the name, but the lollipops will certainly be familiar. So will the shape and the pale color of Edward Durell Stone’s Gallery of Modern Art, built at 2 Columbus Circle in 1964 to house Huntington Hartford’s art collection.
Almost everything else has changed, however, with the transformation of the building into the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly known as the American Craft Museum), designed by Brad Cloepfil of Allied Works Architecture.

Stone’s design, initially disparaged, gained admirers in recent years, including Tom Wolfe; the architectural historians Vincent Scully and Robert A. M. Stern; and
Herbert Muschamp, former architecture critic for The New York Times. Their pleas could not move the Landmarks Preservation Commission to hold a hearing on whether to designate the building.

So the transformation went ahead. [See the interactive feature.]

Though the museum is four months from opening, the new facade has now emerged from its construction cocoon. To judge from comments on a City Room post, some viewers have discerned the word “HE” in the facade.

Others, reading from bottom to top, have made out an “EH.” It is the inadvertent result of a design revision that called for a horizontal band of glass near the top of the building, where the restaurant will be.

That created a crossbar between two vertical glass channels, making an H. Once one sees it as a letter form, it is hard to ignore, especially because it creates a recognizable word when joined with the meandering pattern below.

As diplomatically as he could, Mr. Cloepfil said, “The owner directed that change late in construction.” He left little question that it was a difficult direction for him to take.
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Old May 3rd, 2008, 12:32 AM   #1411
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_26...givetheir.html
Volume 20, Number 51 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | MAY 2 - 8, 2008

Planners give their final ideas for N.Y.U.’s growth

By Albert Amateau and Lincoln Anderson


Computer renderings of the “zipper” redevelopment concept for N.Y.U.’s current Coles gym site on Mercer St. between Houston and Bleecker Sts.


Renderings of a fourth, larger tower for the Silver Towers superblock as conceived by N.Y.U.’s outside planning consultants.

At the fifth open house presentation on April 23 of the long-range plans for New York University’s development in the Village and beyond, the reaction of visitors varied from relief to anxiety.

It was a relief for some residents of Washington Square Village that N.Y.U. now favors a plan that would keep the current residential buildings along W. Third and Bleecker Sts., but the proposal to replace the complex’s center courtyard with a one-or-two-story building with a public green space on top provoked concern.

“I’m glad they’re not going to demolish Washington Square Village, but they do plan to take away some of the apartments on the first and second floors facing the courtyard,” said Sandra Schicktman, a Washington Square Village resident. “I live on the first floor facing the courtyard and I what to know what will happen. I want to have the same rooms I have now,” she said.

David Reck, chairperson of Community Board 2’s Zoning and Housing Committee, said that it was “a bad idea” to build in the Washington Square Village courtyard. “I can’t believe they’re thinking about that,” he said. “It’s the last option they should consider.”

But Reck said the presentation last week marked a positive turning point in the university’s engagement with the community.

“Of course it needs more effort. They [N.Y.U.] have a lot to overcome,” he said.

Reck, however, was concerned about the N.Y.U. proposal to transfer development rights from its Morton Williams supermarket site at the corner of LaGuardia Pl. and Bleecker St. to the Silver Towers site to accommodate a fourth high-rise tower in the complex. The plan envisions the eventual demolition of the supermarket and its replacement by a public open space.

“The supermarket is a vital amenity in the neighborhood,” Reck said.

The new open space on the former supermarket site would accommodate uses displaced by N.Y.U.’s redevelopment of the superblocks, such as the Mercer St. dog run and any community gardens affected, according to N.Y.U.

The proposed fourth tower for the Silver Towers complex was also a sore point with Andrew Berman, director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. He pointed out that the Landmarks Preservation Commission is considering the Silver superblock, with its three towers designed by I.M. Pei, for designation as a city landmark.

“The fourth tower is completely inappropriate; it will never be approved,” Berman predicted. “The whole idea of landmarking the I.M. Pei towers is that they’re in a wonderful space,” he added.

N.Y.U. owns the two superblocks on which Washington Square Village and the Silver Towers, along with 505 LaGuardia Pl. — a non-N.Y.U. residence — are located.

Barbara Quart, a Washington Place resident, was incensed about one option in the plan to limit auto traffic on Washington Pl. between Broadway and Washington Square Park.

“We fought against a proposal to pedestrianize the street in 1992 when they tried it for a while and it was a disaster,” Quart said. “The traffic-free idea is really an N.Y.U. idea to take possession of the street and the park,” Quart said.

Martin Tessler, a former Community Board 2 member and a Washington Pl. resident, was worried that greening Washington Pl. would create a public mall with adverse impacts on residents of the three blocks.

“What’s going to happen between now and 2031?” asked Tessler, adding, “N.Y.U. has to come to grips with the issue of phasing all this development.”

The NYU Plans 2031 were developed over the past nine months with a team of planning and architecture consultants, including SMWM of San Francisco, Grimshaw Architects, Toshiko Mori Architect and Olin Partnership.

The plans are based on the assumption the university will need 6 million square feet of new space in the next 23 years. Up to 3.6 million square feet can be fit into the university’s core Village campus area centered on Washington Square Park, the planners concluded. Other potential growth areas include the hospital corridor along First Ave. between 24th and 34th Sts.; Downtown Brooklyn around Polytechnic University campus, which N.Y.U. is in the process of acquiring, and Governors Island.

In addition, the city’s Economic Development Corporation had been “pushing” N.Y.U. to look at expanding in Long Island City, according to Alicia Hurley, N.Y.U. associate vice president for government and community relations. However, she said, the university doesn’t feel Long Island City is developed enough residentially as of now to be a fitting expansion area for N.Y.U.

At the same time, the university and Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer’s Community Task Force on N.Y.U. Development agreed on a set of planning principles for development in the larger area between 18th and Canal Sts. and from between First Ave. on the east and a rough line on the west along West St. and Greenwich Sts. and Eighth Ave., which N.Y.U. terms “the neighborhood.”

The Coles Sports Center between Greene and Mercer Sts. from Houston to Bleecker Sts. also would be the site of new development, with retail space on the now stark Houston St. frontage in a new zigzagging structure with stepped-back heights. The lower floors could be for academic use with residential or office space on the higher-up, smaller floors. The planners refer to the new structure’s facade as being shaped like “a zipper.”

The plan for the fourth tower in the Silver complex just west of Coles would be taller than the existing buildings and would be aligned so that, like the other three, it would not obstruct views from apartments in existing buildings in the complex. About 125,000 square feet of air rights would be transferred from the Morton Williams site — which N.Y.U. purchased several years ago for more than $20 million — and shifted just to the east for the new tower, which would be a total of 200,000 square feet to 300,000 square feet in size. Because of its smaller floor plates, the new building would be more suited to some sort of N.Y.U. residential use, according to university officials.

The Washington Square Village courtyard redevelopment is proposed as a plinth and tower concept, with the new one-or-two-story plinth and underground space in the courtyard for academic use, a three-story pavilion on the LaGuardia Pl. side and a high-rise academic tower on Mercer St. side. The park on top of the plinth would be publicly accessible from ramps from LaGuardia Pl. and Mercer St., according to the plan.

Demolishing the current Washington Square Village complex right now, or even within the 2031 timeframe, doesn’t make sense on several levels, according to N.Y.U. officials. Ideally, the site would be razed to create space for new academic facilities and a large public open green space, but this would require relocating all the complex’s residents. Such a scheme realistically probably could not be undertaken until at least 2051 or 2081, university officials said.

Hurley added that a recent presentation to Washington Square Village tenants about the demolition option “didn’t go over well.”

The Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Silver Towers could be held in June. By the autumn of this year the university expects to make a final decision on the options it intends to pursue.

“The designs are intended to be flexible, to create a framework for future development, but not to be proscriptive about the exact shape or program for that development,” said the statement the university issued with the plans last week. “The needs of N.Y.U. will change over the next 25 years in ways no plan can entirely foresee,” the statement cautioned.

For example, the N.Y.U. officials said, the university doesn’t even know if it wants or needs a new residential tower on the Silver Towers superblock. And financial factors will also govern what N.Y.U. can build.

The plans must go through an approval process that includes Community Board 2, the City Planning Commission, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Parks and Recreation and the City Council, as well as the Landmarks Commission.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:13 AM   #1412
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http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/20...s-st-vincents/
May 6, 2008, 2:41 pm

Think Again, Landmarks Panel Tells St. Vincent’s

By Glenn Collins


The Landmarks Preservation Commission balked at allowing St. Vincent’s to raze its modernistic O’Toole building and replace it with a 329-foot-tall advanced teaching hospital. (Photo: Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times)

Updated, 3:01 p.m. | St. Vincent’s Hospital, which had pushed for a $1.6 billion development proposal within the Greenwich Village Historic District, was sent back to the drawing board today by the Landmarks Preservation Commission.

All 10 commissioners who spoke at a public hearing this morning opposed the plan, which would have demolished nine existing buildings to permit the construction of a towering new hospital and an enormous luxury condominium in conjunction with the Rudin Management Company.

Although they took no vote, the commissioners’ public comments served as a rejection of the hospital’s proposal. Some of the commissioners spoke favorably about parts of the plan, but none supported demolishing nine buildings so that two massive towers could be constructed. “We must proceed extremely cautiously,” said Robert B. Tierney, the commission’s chairman. “The idea of any demolition in a historic district is an enormous step. It is time for everyone to be taking a deep breath and doing some rethinking.”

Preservationists were jubilant after the two-hour hearing. “This is a powerful, stinging rebuke to the St. Vincent’s plan,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “And it’s a forceful defense of the whole meaning of landmarks preservation.”

Henry J. Amoroso, president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the entity that includes the Greenwich Village hospital, said of the commissioners’ comments that “I see it as a call for further dialog,” adding: “we will accept Commissioner Tierney’s invitation to take that deep breath, and see how we want to proceed.”

The developer William C. Rudin, who attended the hearing, said in a statement afterwards, that he hoped to “identify a viable alternative that would address the concerns of the commission and the community.”

The much-anticipated hearing did not draw hundreds of vocal residents as the last two public Landmarks hearings did — about 40 filled the commission’s hearing room on the ninth floor of the Municipal Building — because public testimony wasn’t on the menu. Instead, there was sharp questioning from the commissioners, followed by a round of commentary.

Under the plan proposed by St. Vincent’s, the hospital would move from its current buildings, on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets, to the West Side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, occupying a new $800 million, 329-foot-tall building on the site of its current O’Toole Building, which would be razed.

In a complex deal, eight other historic-district-designated hospital buildings would be sold to the Rudin Management Company for $301 million. St. Vincent’s would use that money to reduce its debt and pay for part of the new hospital.

The Rudin Company would then demolish the old hospital buildings and construct an $800 million complex that would include a 265-foot-high luxury condominium tower on Seventh Avenue, and new town houses and a midsize residential building on 11th and 12th Streets.

Although some neighborhood residents expressed support for the hospital, many who spoke at previous hearings said that the large residential and medical towers would blight their neighborhood. Preservationists feared that the construction of two large towers would change the character of the low-rise neighborhood and undermine landmark district protection throughout the city.

Hospital officials testified, though, that a new building was essential to maintain modern health care for more than a million people who live in, work in or visit the area St. Vincent’s serves on the West Side.

Mr. Amoroso said the hospital had decided to return to the commission with a new application claiming “hardship” status. It will likely argue that St. Vincent’s could not survive unless the development plan were approved. “We will return as soon as possible to the landmarks commission with a hardship application for the demolition of the O’Toole Building,” he said in a statement.

The hospital also has the option of fashioning a new proposal preserving some or all of the existing buildings, and re-submitting it for community-board commentary and another round of hearings at Landmarks. The proposal would then need approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council.
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Old May 7th, 2008, 04:17 AM   #1413
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/05062008..._ba_109639.htm
W. 54TH DEMOLITION DERBY ZUCKERMAN TO BATTLE MOINIAN


JOSEPH MOINIAN
Fighting Zuckerman.


May 6, 2008 -- AN ugly dispute with next-door landlord Joseph Moinian is holding up work on Mort Zuckerman's new Eighth Avenue office tower, threatening its planned completion in January 2010 and frightening apartment tenants caught in the middle.

The residents and Indian eatery Purnima are tenants of 241 W. 54th St., a four- story building owned by Moinian.

Boston Properties, the publicly traded giant headed by Zuckerman, is putting up a 39-story office tower on the block, which is bounded by Broadway and Eighth Avenue and by West 54th and 55th streets.

In a Manhattan Supreme Court affidavit, Zuckerman complains that Moinian is holding up demolition of 247 W. 54th St., the building next to Moinian's, by denying Boston access to No. 241, which must first be reinforced.

Zuckerman claims Moinian's goal in stalling is to coerce Boston into buying both 241 and another small building that Moinian owns on the block.

"This is how the game is played in New York," Moinian allegedly told Zuckerman.

Meanwhile, scared residents of No. 241 are named as "respondents" to Boston's court filing demanding that they and Moinian give Boston permission to stabilize the four-story structure's western wall.

The tenants are upset that Boston's engineers might have to drill holes in their ceilings and are anguished over being dragged into a court battle between two powerful real estate moguls.

"It's like they're trying to intimidate us," said tenant John Byrd, who fears for the safety of his wife and two cats. "But we have nothing to do with this."

Purnima manager Andrew Blackmore said, "The court papers came in Friday and I thought, Oh my God, it's little boys in the sandbox."

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Jacqueline Silbermann has set a hearing for Thursday.

No. 247 is one of several buildings on the block that Boston has either razed or is in the process of razing, to make room for its $910 million tower, which has been pre-leased to law firms Proskauer, Rose, and Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

Boston's court filing says the delay in taking down No. 247 has halted excavation on half of the entire construction site, potentially jeopardizing contracts with contractors and office tenants.

Boston started demolishing No. 247 last winter. But on March 11, after 10 floors had been chopped down to four, the Buildings Dept. posted a stop-work order. Residents say that followed an incident in which Boston's workmen accidentally punched a hole in the wall of tenant Joanne Lockman, who did not return a call.

Now, Zuckerman says Moinian is balking at cooperating in order to persuade Boston to buy from him both 241 and also 233-239 W. 54th, a vacant, five-story building next to it on the east side.

Boston says Moinian is legally required to let it reinforce No. 241, both by state law and under an agreement it signed with Moinian on Feb. 1 in which he agreed to cooperate.

Zuckerman's affidavit claims he reminded Moinian in a March 12 phone call of the need to perform "bracing, shoring and underpinning work" on 241.

But Moinian replied that, as a condition of letting Boston do the work, "He wanted [Boston] to purchase the two buildings for $20 million-$30 million," Zuckerman relates.

When Zuckerman responded he had no need for the buildings, Moinian made his remark about "how the game is played."

Boston Properties Senior Vice President Robert Selsam said of the court filing, "This is an action we've regrettably been forced to take to enforce our contractual and statutory rights to reinforce a neighbor's building."

A rep for Moinian - who developed the Atelier condo tower on West 42nd Street - said he declined comment.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 02:39 AM   #1414
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This project is officially dead.
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/07/ny...ref=realestate
Building Proposal by Greenwich Village Hospital Is Rejected

By GLENN COLLINS
Published: May 7, 2008


Michelle V. Agins/The New York Times

The O’Toole Building, part of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, would disappear in the hospital’s development plan.


The Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday sent St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan, which had pushed for a $1.6 billion development proposal within the Greenwich Village Historic District, back to the drawing board.

The plan would have demolished nine existing buildings to permit the construction of a 329-foot-tall hospital and a 265-foot-tall luxury condominium in conjunction with the Rudin Management Company. All of the 10 commissioners present spoke at a public hearing and all opposed it.

Although there was no vote, the commissioners’ public comments served as a rejection of the hospital’s proposal.

Some of the commissioners spoke favorably about parts of the plan, but none supported demolishing nine buildings so that two massive towers could be constructed.

“We must proceed extremely cautiously,” said Robert B. Tierney, the commission’s chairman. “The idea of any demolition in a historic district is an enormous step. It is time for everyone to be taking a deep breath and doing some rethinking.”

Preservationists were jubilant after the two-hour hearing.

“This is a powerful, stinging rebuke to the St. Vincent’s plan,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation. “And it’s a forceful defense of the whole meaning of landmarks preservation.”

Henry J. Amoroso, president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the entity that includes the hospital, said it would now, as a nonprofit organization, file an application asking for “hardship” status.

“We will return as soon as possible to the landmarks commission with a hardship application for the demolition of the O’Toole Building,” he said in a statement.

Mr. Amoroso referred to the porthole-pierced 1964 structure between West 12th and West 13th Streets, once derided in the neighborhood as the “overbite building” for its serrated setbacks. Originally built for the National Maritime Union of America, it is now admired by many preservationists for its unusual nautical motif.

The developer William C. Rudin, who attended the hearing, said in a statement afterward that he hoped to “identify a viable alternative that would address the concerns of the commission and the community.”

Under the plan proposed by St. Vincent’s, the hospital would have moved from its current buildings, on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets, to the West Side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, into a new $800 million, 329-foot-tall building on the site of the O’Toole Building, which would have been razed.

In a complex deal, eight other hospital buildings in the historic district would have been sold to the Rudin Management Company for $301 million. St. Vincent’s would have used that money to reduce its debt and pay for part of the new hospital.

The Rudin Company would then have demolished the old hospital buildings and constructed a separate $800 million residential complex that would have included a 265-foot-high luxury condominium tower on Seventh Avenue, and new town houses and a midsize residential building on 11th and 12th Streets.

Although some neighborhood residents expressed support for the hospital, many who spoke at previous hearings said that the large residential and medical towers would blight their neighborhood. Preservationists feared that the approval by the landmarks commission would undermine landmark-district protection throughout the city.

Hospital officials testified, though, that a new building was essential to maintain modern health care for more than a million people who live in, work in or visit the area St. Vincent’s serves on the West Side.

Most of the commissioners rejected the height and bulk of both the hospital building and the condominium tower, and found value in many of the existing St. Vincent’s buildings. “The loss of all these landmarks would remove layers of history that cannot be replaced,” said one commissioner, Roberta Brandes Gratz, adding that approval of the plan would threaten other historic districts because it would be “a clear invitation for other institutions.”

Mr. Amoroso said the hospital was ready to amend its landmarks application “in the event the Rudin family decides to modify its plans to develop the current hospital campus for residential use.”

A new proposal could preserve some or all of the buildings across Seventh Avenue from the O’Toole site. The modifications, however, would have to be submitted for public hearings and commentary at Community Board 2, and then would have to undergo another round of hearings at the landmarks commission. The proposal would then need approval from the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

As for the hardship application, “the reality,” Mr. Amoroso said, “is that the O’Toole site is the only location where we can build a fully efficient, state-of-the-art green hospital to serve the people of New York.”

A hardship filing would require the hospital to open its books to the commission. St. Vincent’s, the city’s only remaining Roman Catholic hospital operating as an acute-care facility, came out of two years of bankruptcy protection last August. At previous hearings hospital representatives said that a development plan involving the sale of its land was important to its efforts to emerge from its bankruptcy crisis.

“The granting of hardship exemptions has been very rare,” said Mr. Berman, the preservationist. “Up to this point, the hospital has seemed very resistant to opening its books and having its finances transparent.” A spokesman for the hospital declined to comment.

The commissioners’ opposition to the plan amounted to “a good signal to other institutions and to the community that the commission is hearing this,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which had testified against the proposal. “There must be a way for the hospital to get the facility it needs without damaging the integrity of the historic district.”
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #1415
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
[i]This project is officially dead.
Um no. As usual you couldn't be more wrong. The hospital has other options that they can still do. Of course you would know that if you'd just read the articles that you post.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 07:09 AM   #1416
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:46 PM   #1417
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Quote:
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Um no. As usual you couldn't be more wrong. The hospital has other options that they can still do. Of course you would know that if you'd just read the articles that you post.
Being that LPC knocked out the teeth for the main project that would have involved the demolition of that hospital, it pretty much won't go through just like the planned Moynihan Station to be where MSG is now.

Quote:
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i don't even like reading this thread anymore cause it is either A. boring or B. negative
I am just the messenger to these articles, so take your issues with the writers or news company if you got any beef with their articles, not me.
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:20 PM   #1418
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I bet we lost some interesting gems becuase of that ugly modernist thing...
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Old May 11th, 2008, 05:42 AM   #1419
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/10/ny...0vincents.html
St. Vincent’s Pleads Poverty to Evade Landmark Law

By GLENN COLLINS
Published: May 10, 2008


Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

The hospital seeks to demolish the O’Toole Building, which has long been a subject of both derision and admiration for its unusual appearance.


In the contentious world of New York landmark preservation, it is not always hard to be a hardship case.

What qualifies as a hardship case — when landlords have taken their alms bowls in hand to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, claiming poverty as an excuse to demolish old buildings — is now central to the controversy over the plan of St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan to build a 329-foot-tall medical tower in the Greenwich Village Historic District.

On Tuesday — after the commission rebuffed the hospital’s $1.6 billion development proposal — Henry J. Amoroso, president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the entity that includes the hospital, said it would file an application seeking hardship status.

He sought “the demolition of the O’Toole Building,” he said, referring to the distinctive white monument on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets that the hospital owns.

When it grants hardship status, the commission accepts nonprofit landlords’ arguments that maintenance of buildings they own interferes with their ability — physical or financial — to carry out their charitable purpose.

Such requests are exceedingly rare. Over the last four decades, according to the commission, it has received only 17 hardship applications. The most recent one came 19 years ago, when the commission denied an application to demolish St. Paul and St. Andrew’s Church at 263 West 86th Street in Manhattan.

However, the commission says that since 1967 it has approved 12 of those applications.

“But it is hard to generalize, because all of these are individual cases,” said Kent Barwick, a former commission chairman who is president of the Municipal Art Society of New York.

“Over many years, the commission has shown a real diligence” in scrutinizing such applications, Mr. Barwick said. “And it has been responsive to legitimate examples of hardship.”

For example, in 1981 the owner of the former Mount Neboh Synagogue at 130 West 79th Street sought hardship status, and ultimately the commission approved its destruction to make way for a 19-story apartment building. “The applicant made a convincing case to the commission — and the effort to sell the synagogue, to preserve it, was unsuccessful,” said Mr. Barwick, who was the commission chairman at the time.

But in 1985, the commission twice denied the hardship application of St. Bartholomew’s Church at 109 East 50th Street to demolish its community house and build a 59-story office tower to finance church programs. The commission’s decision was upheld by a federal district court and appeals court.

Hospital officials have testified before the commission that a new building is essential to maintain modern health care for more than a million people who live in, work in or visit the area St. Vincent’s serves on the West Side.

In testimony, the hospital portrayed the O’Toole Building as worthy of demolition because it was outmoded, unsuitable to current needs and out of character with other buildings in the neighborhood. Designed by Albert C. Ledner in 1964 for the National Maritime Union of America, it was purchased by the hospital and renamed the Edward and Theresa O’Toole Medical Services Building.

Yet once derided in the neighborhood as the “overbite building” for its serrated setbacks, O’Toole is now admired by many preservationists for its unusual nautical motifs. “It is an exceptional building, with technical innovations — including the use of glass block — that are valuable to the history of architecture,” said Nina Rappaport, chairwoman of a preservationist group, Docomomo New York-Tristate, that has made saving the building a cause.

At the hearing — implying that they would vote to protect it — a majority of the commissioners praised the O’Toole Building, including Christopher Moore, who said he considered it “one of the most historic buildings in the entire complex.”

All of the 10 commissioners present at the hearing spoke in opposition to the St. Vincent’s plan to demolish nine buildings to permit the construction of the new hospital and a 265-foot-tall luxury condominium in conjunction with the Rudin Management Company.

But echoing some other commissioners, Robert B. Tierney, the commission’s chairman, mentioned the possible removal “of some of the buildings,” adding that the commissioners’ rejection “doesn’t mean that new construction can’t be woven into the historic fabric” of the hospital structures on the east side of Seventh Avenue.

Shelly S. Friedman, a lawyer advising the hospital, said the hardship application is expected to be filed within the next 10 days, adding that “there are plenty of precedents for our application.”

Many of the commissioners rejected the height and bulk of both the proposed $800 million hospital building and the $800 million condominium tower. After studying the commissioners’ comments, “we are committed to try to come up with an alternative solution,” said the developer William C. Rudin, “and we will be back very soon with some ideas.”

In an interview, Mr. Tierney said that if another plan was submitted, “the changes would be of such importance that we would require that it go through the community board.”

Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2, said that “depending on how quickly they revise their plans, I can envision us hearing a new proposal as early as next month.” The board voted overwhelmingly in March to oppose the original two-tower plan; it exerts no veto power but can influence city agencies and elected officials.

“We do believe there is a way to build a modern hospital, and yet preserve the integrity of the historic district,” he added. “But that solution has not been presented to us.”

Ultimately any St. Vincent’s plan would need approval not only from Landmarks but also from the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

“We would welcome a new proposal,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, which testified against the St. Vincent’s proposal. “But they would have to show why the buildings they have now are not suited for adaptive reuse. Institutions have to open their books and prove their case.”

The hospital, she added, “will need to offer a lot of facts and figures.”
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:50 AM   #1420
centreoftheuniverse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
Being that LPC knocked out the teeth for the main project that would have involved the demolition of that hospital, it pretty much won't go through just like the planned Moynihan Station to be where MSG is now.
Oh really? What does the article you just posted said? Here let me spoon feed you.
Quote:
On Tuesday — after the commission rebuffed the hospital’s $1.6 billion development proposal — Henry J. Amoroso, president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the entity that includes the hospital, said it would file an application seeking hardship status. He sought “the demolition of the O’Toole Building,” he said, referring to the distinctive white monument on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets that the hospital owns.


In other words it is not as you said which was that the project was "officially dead." Far from it. St. Vincents is going to get something built one way or another. Eventually even the nimbys will have to agree that some buildings are going to get razed and new taller buildings are going to get built in their precious GV. It is unavoidable. The city will not stand in the way of a hospital getting a much needed modernization and upgrade and it shouldn't.

Last edited by centreoftheuniverse; May 12th, 2008 at 10:59 AM.
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