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Old May 12th, 2008, 02:28 PM   #1421
CybaSumo
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i like the saya tower! its nice!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 05:07 AM   #1422
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Quote:
Originally Posted by centreoftheuniverse View Post
Oh really? What does the article you just posted said? Here let me spoon feed you.


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.
Most projects that end up on life support that aren't already built end up getting cancelled. That happened with the West Side Stadium and 80 South St. The best solution now that St Vincent's Hospital got landmarked is to just simply rennovate it, which will probably be a lot cheaper than just demolishing it. BTW, it is very likely going to be same for MSG if that doesn't get demolished either for the Moynihan Station. If you asked me, the rennovation sounds like a better option.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #1423
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/05132008...irm_110637.htm
TROUBLED QNS. COLL. DORM FIRM

By YOAV GONEN, Education Reporter

May 13, 2008 -- University of Connecticut dormitories built by the contractor tapped to erect a $72 million residence hall at Queens College have been plagued with costly fire and safety violations, The Post has learned.

Seven years after two of its dorms were built by the contractor, Alabama-based Capstone Development Corp., UConn is still bringing the buildings up to code, a university spokeswoman said.

She would not further discuss the trouble-plagued dorms, which were built in 2001 at a cost of nearly $55 million.

UConn was paid at least $1 million under the agreement.

Published records show that engineering consultants hired by UConn in 2004 identified dozens of building and safety-code violations at the dorms.

Queens College officials insisted yesterday that they operated with "due diligence" in selecting Capstone for the 506-bed residence, which is slated to open in August 2009.

Additional reporting by Angela Montefinise and Post Wire Services
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Old May 14th, 2008, 04:40 AM   #1424
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i really dont understand the LPC...

if someone owns property and the LPC decides to landmark it, does the owner not have to consent? if i was a building owner and the LPC landmarked my property and said i couldn't develop it, i would be so pissed.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 07:25 AM   #1425
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB View Post
Most projects that end up on life support that aren't already built end up getting cancelled. That happened with the West Side Stadium and 80 South St.
This project is not on life support. St. Vincents is committed to developing a new hospital one way or another. Do I need to repeat it slowly just so you'll understand? St....Vincents...will...develop....new....facilities...and...that...means....something...will...get...demolished....in...order....to....build....something....new. As usual you don't know what the hell you're talking about.

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Originally Posted by TalB View Post
BTW, it is very likely going to be same for MSG if that doesn't get demolished either for the Moynihan Station. If you asked me, the rennovation sounds like a better option.
Renovating MSG which is ugly as hell and sits over Penn Station is the better option? Talb only someone as hateful of new development as you would be idiotic enough to say something like that. Even nimby preservation groups are for getting rid of MSG. Your idiocy knows no boundaries.
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Old May 15th, 2008, 05:01 PM   #1426
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ohh dear.. i almost forgot what is that another building named again!?
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:54 AM   #1427
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/14/ar...tml?ref=design
Redesigning a Building to Preserve Peace in the Neighborhood

By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF
Published: May 14, 2008


FOSTER & PARTNERS

The original plan.



FOSTER & PARTNERS

Above, Norman Foster’s new design for expanding the Parke-Bernet Gallery building.


You have to pity any architect who appears before the landmarks committee of the Upper East Side’s community board. Packed with amateur preservationists, it is notoriously adverse to anything new.

Two years ago, an effort to preserve two nondescript brownstone facades forced the Whitney Museum of American Art to drastically revise a plan to expand its Madison Avenue home; ultimately that project was scuttled. The group seems as open to the notion that cities can change as some biblical fundamentalists are to evolution.

The recent battle over the Parke-Bernet Gallery building, an austere 1950s-era limestone structure on Madison Avenue between 76th and 77th Streets, is a case in point. When the British architect Norman Foster first presented his proposal to erect a 30-story glass tower atop the existing building, many neighborhood residents were outraged. “A glass dagger plunged into the heart of the Upper East Side,” one said.

The project’s developer, Aby Rosen, sent Mr. Foster back to the drawing board, and he has returned with a plan, one that both hope will be more palatable to neighborhood preservationists. Clad in elegant bronze bands, its low blocky form would rest directly on the existing structure, echoing its exact proportions. More important, perhaps, it would be far less visible from the multimillion-dollar penthouse apartments just across the street.

Should the plan be approved, it would only underscore the bizarre thinking behind decisions governing historic landmark cases today. Both proposals would have significantly changed the building; both are thoughtful attempts to fuse old and new without compromising either.

But the new design is more polite and less original, hewing to the reactionary view that most contemporary architecture is best when it is invisible. Little wonder that this neighborhood has not gained a significant new work of architecture in more than a quarter-century.

Planting modern appendages on top of old buildings is an unnerving trend these days in Manhattan real estate, where soaring prices can make any empty space look like a money-making opportunity. Just two years ago Mr. Foster completed a faceted glass-and-steel tower that pierces the core of the 1928 Hearst Building, a low limestone structure that looked a bit like a mausoleum, anyway. And plans are in the works for a 40-story office tower atop the Port Authority bus terminal and a 140-room hotel on the Battery Maritime Building in Lower Manhattan.

But the Parke-Bernet building has neither the charm nor the civic stature of the Beaux-Arts Maritime Building. With five floors of commercial offices and art galleries, its austere form, punctured by a single row of windows at the sixth floor, is a subdued interpretation of the hard-edged architecture of Rockefeller Center — minus the glamour. As architecture, it does have a subtle impact on its surroundings, offering a pleasing contrast to the early-19th-century brick structures on either side.

In his original proposal Mr. Foster sought to strengthen those contrasts rather than smooth them over. Only the elevator core would have penetrated the existing building; the rest of the tower would have seemed to float just above the building’s northern end, barely touching it. Its oval floors would have housed luxury apartments with 360-degree views. The building’s old roof, meanwhile, would have been transformed into a luxurious roof garden.

By comparison with the Hearst Tower’s faceted exterior, the Parke-Bernet project’s oval form seemed rather slick and subdued. Still, the idea — held by most serious architects today — was that the best way to respect the past is not to mimic it, but to weave a contemporary vision into the historic fabric with sensitivity.

The delicate bronze bands are in strong contrast to the building’s heavy stone base. A six-foot gap separates the two; just below it, the parapet of the old building hides a series of narrow terraces that wrap around the building on three sides. It’s a wonderful sectional detail, with the two forms literally interlocking in a double-height living space.

The new version suggests an excessive desire not to offend. The taut bronze bands immediately bring to mind Herzog & de Meuron’s haunting 1994 railway Signal Box in Basel, Switzerland, a classic of contemporary architecture. Yet that work, flanked by rows of rail tracks, radiates a terrifying energy, as if it were charged with electricity. Foster’s design, by contrast, radiates luxury, not mystery. The bands, modeled on an earlier Foster design for an apartment complex in an Alpine resort, are conceived as delicate movable screens, reflecting the good taste of the inhabitants while protecting them from the unwanted gaze of outsiders.

The real question here is not so much which of Foster’s designs is better; it’s why he has to strain for a more palatable alternative to the first. Both significantly alter the existing structure; both add roughly the same amount of space. What separates the two is not a newfound sensitivity to the preservationist’s perspective, but a calculated response to the bottom-line politics of building on the Upper East Side. The building’s low profile and bronzed exterior, while no more contextual than a glass tower, seem well mannered if complacent. By lowering the height of his building, Mr. Rosen is no longer required to get a zoning variance; as long as the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission signs off, there is no legal impediment to construction.

Perhaps more important, however, the new design would not affect the views of the handful of wealthy and potentially litigious apartment owners across the street. Nowadays that seems to be a more critical issue for the Landmarks Preservation Commission than what the rest of us will experience on the street.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 02:58 AM   #1428
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http://nysun.com/real-estate/no-headline-2
Stood Up, Jilted, and Abandoned, 100 Church St. Begins Renovations

By CANDACE TAYLOR, Staff Reporter of the Sun | May 15, 2008



Renovations are set to begin on the fašade at 100 Church St. in the next two weeks, a face-lift the landlord aims to use to attract tenants to a 21-story office building that has sat almost half-empty since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

After losing a widely publicized lease 10 days ago when Newsweek magazine balked, choosing to move to SoHo instead, the landlord, the Sapir Organization, is sitting on some 400,000 square feet of space that has been vacant for almost seven years.

Situated between Park Place and Barclay Street near ground zero, 100 Church is being transformed with a new black granite exterior, mechanical upgrades, and double-paned windows.

The renovations will bring the 50-year-old building “to 2008 levels,” the president of the Sapir Organization, Alex Sapir, said in an interview.

Designed by architects Emory Roth & Sons in 1958, 100 Church previously housed investment firms such as the Bank of New York and Merrill Lynch, both of which moved following the September 11 attacks. The New York City Law Department was also displaced after the attacks, but returned in 2002 and recently re-signed its lease.

The Sapir Organization has been unable to find a tenant to fill the remainder of the space, with several deals falling through. Three years ago, the Toy Industry Association pulled out of an agreement to lease 300,000 square feet at the Class B building, and in November, Omnicom Group, which had looked seriously at 100 Church, signed a lease at 195 Broadway instead.

In February, Newsweek announced it had leased nearly 200,000 square feet, a deal that was touted as a turnaround for the building. The real turnaround was yet to come: In a decision that took many in the industry by surprise, the news giant instead leased 165,000 square feet at 375 Hudson St.

The Newsweek deal’s unraveling “is a setback” for 100 Church, a principal of Brentler Realty, Paul Bostick, said. “The big-tenant market is slowing,” and it could be several more months before a tenant of Newsweek’s quality is found, he said.

Part of the building’s problem, Mr. Bostick said, is its location. “It’s a little north of what people consider the downtown market, but it’s not where you get the oomph of TriBeCa. The area is very difficult to get excited about — it lacks an identity,” he said.

Also making the marketing of the space difficult, experts say, is the reputation of the landlord. The Sapir Organization has been plagued by legal difficulties, settling a cluster of suits and countersuits with the Metropolitan Transportation Authority in 2003. The company also has been sued by Newmark Knight Frank and other real estate firms over allegedly unpaid commissions.

Mr. Sapir downplayed the allegations. “We have a very good reputation with everybody that’s done right by us,” he said.

Now, the Sapir Organization is counting on its strategy of revamping the building to make it a success. The renovations, slated for completion this fall, include a new security system, an elevator upgrade, a fire system, and a refurbished diesel generator, as well as a messenger center and concierge services.

An earlier renovation added flat-panel LCD televisions and granite floors to the lobby, which displays a collection of Swarovski crystal chandeliers and a fountain specially designed by Mr. Sapir’s father, Tamir, a former taxi driver who is a self-made billionaire.

“A lot of what is dated about the building will go away,” the leasing agent for the property, Stephen Siegel, a chairman at CB Richard Ellis, said.

The asking rents at 100 Church St. range between $45 and $55 a square foot, depending on the floor. This is about on par with the $50 a square foot average asking rent for downtown in the first quarter, according to a Cushman & Wakefield market report.

Since taking over as broker for the building a little more than a year ago, CB Richard Ellis has signed one new tenant. In September, Hamptons Magazine publisher Niche Media signed a lease for 45,000 square feet.

Mr. Sapir, who took over the reins of the company from his father in 2006, said he is attempting to breathe new life into the building as the area around it develops.

“The neighborhood was damaged and bruised” following the terrorist attacks, he said. “Now is really the best timing. We believe that we’re in a prime location in a great building.”
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:32 PM   #1429
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/17/th...l?ref=nyregion
Revised Plan by N.Y.U. Would Preserve Walls of Provincetown Playhouse

By FELICIA R. LEE
Published: May 17, 2008

The walls of the historic Provincetown Playhouse in Greenwich Village will be preserved under a plan released by New York University on Friday, a move that Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president, hailed as “tremendous progress” in the talks between the university and community leaders about the site. Plans had included a proposal to demolish the building.

The university’s earlier proposal for the site at 133-139 Macdougal Street featured a new six-story building that would be used by N.Y.U.’s School of Law and a new theater for use by both the university and the community.

That building will still go up, but the plan released on Friday at a meeting of a community task force led by Mr. Stringer calls for the protection of “the four structural walls of the theater, including the facade,” said Alicia D. Hurley, vice president for government affairs and community engagement at N.Y.U.

“The rest of that building will be brought down,” Ms. Hurley said. The plan articulated on Friday also calls for “the internal ‘house’ or ‘auditorium’ ” to be rebuilt.

“Historians said they care about the volume and size of the theater,” Ms. Hurley said, adding that the plan evolved with input from many sources. “Keeping it at the same site was also important.”

Just how N.Y.U. plans to meet its need for more space and preserve the playhouse — considered the birthplace of Off Broadway and alternative theater — was one of the many questions that the university has begun to answer, Mr. Stringer said on Friday. “It is clear now that Provincetown Playhouse will not be demolished,” he said. “Getting commitments like this goes a long way toward the relationship between the university and the community.”

Brad Hoylman, chairman of Community Board 2, which includes Greenwich Village, SoHo and Little Italy, said: “It represents that N.Y.U. is listening to the community, frankly. The theater will be restored and will be an active theater.” He called the plan a “brilliant compromise.”

But Andrew Berman, the executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, a group that gathered signatures asking for preservation of the building, said that questions remain.

“This is clearly a step in the right direction and a victory for our efforts to prevent N.Y.U. from erasing New York’s history, but on the other hand it leaves many unanswered questions and many issues not addressed,” Mr. Berman said.

He said he wondered how the university would keep the original theater intact and voiced concern about the rest of the building. Originally four town houses dating back to the 19th century, the playhouse was the site of first productions of plays by Eugene O’Neill and was where Bette Davis made her New York stage debut. The theater now is used for various arts events, including the annual O’Neill Festival, which features the playwright’s work and work inspired by him.

Tina Kelley provided additional reporting.
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Old May 17th, 2008, 10:36 PM   #1430
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/05142008...830.htm?page=2
While Sam Chang is selling sites here and there, we just learned that he bought 6 Water St. and 32-38 Pearl St. on Valentine's Day.

The $56 million deal, signed last November, came in at a downtown record of $448 a developable foot.

The building that goes from 6-12 Water St. is a five-story structure on the corner of Moore St., now occupied by McDonald's.

Behind it is 32-38 Pearl St., a seven-story loft building with an Italian restaurant.

The sellers were a long-time partnership of Richard Breton of Breton Properties, Stephen Meringoff and Jay Shidler.

The three-block-front site is about 8,400 feet and can be built to 125,000 feet of commercial or mixed-use space - such as one of Chang's McSam hotels.

"Hotel developers have been outbidding residential developers in the financial district, Times Square and even in the East 40s for the past couple of years," said Alan Miller of Eastern Consolidated, who represented the sellers along with colleagues Peter Hauspurg, David Johnson, Jeff Troy and Ronda Rogovin.
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Old May 18th, 2008, 09:17 PM   #1431
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/18/ny...l?ref=nyregion
State Development Agency Buffeted by Slowing Economy and Internal Rifts

By CHARLES V. BAGLI
Published: May 18, 2008

For more than a year, the state’s main economic development agency, the Empire State Development Corporation, has been in disarray, plagued by turf battles, poor management and the political collapse of Gov. Eliot Spitzer, business leaders and state officials say.

Its three top officials had virtually stopped talking, officials say. There were disputes over upstate versus downstate developments. And the agency was blamed for the collapse of two of the largest projects in the city: the expansion of the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center and the renovation of the Pennsylvania Station area.

Now with the economy slowing, credit markets tightening and tax revenues shrinking, the agency must make some hard decisions about its priorities. But at this important juncture, it remains rudderless.

A co-chairman of the development corporation, Patrick J. Foye, was one of the first officials to lose his job when Gov. David A. Paterson took over in March. Mr. Paterson has yet to nominate someone to run the agency.

Moreover, the governor has sent conflicting messages, preaching fiscal austerity while suggesting that the state can move forward on a host of costly projects, including the Second Avenue subway, the extension of the No. 7 line, the $14 billion redevelopment of the West Side railyards, the $14 billion Penn Station project and the $4 billion Atlantic Yards basketball arena and residential complex in Brooklyn.

A senior adviser to Mr. Paterson rejected the idea that the administration had sent mixed messages, saying the governor would not commit to projects that the state cannot afford. The official, who was not authorized to be quoted by name, also said the administration planned to release plans for revamping the agency. As part of that overhaul, Mr. Paterson will eliminate one of Mr. Spitzer’s more contentious innovations: dividing the corporation’s leadership into downstate and upstate leaders.

“There is a strong recognition on the part of the governor that this system has not worked, one hand did not always know what the other hand was doing,” the administration official said. “Right now, we’re engaged in making sure there’s leadership that serves the entire state. At the same time, there’s an intense understanding that upstate needs an empowered leadership in a new structure.”

The governor and a blue-ribbon panel he appointed have also been interviewing candidates, business and real estate executives said. The candidates include Alan H. Fishman, the former chief executive of Independence Community Bank; John Kanas, the former chief executive of North Fork Bank; Mark A. Willis, an executive vice president at JPMorgan Chase; and Sharon L. Greenberger, president of the School Construction Authority. A nomination is expected by early June.

There is a growing consensus that whoever takes over will have to confront a difficult set of problems, including an economy tipping into recession, job losses on Wall Street, a lack of private financing because of the credit crisis, and sharply declining tax revenues.

Instead of unveiling sweeping, transformative projects, executives and economists say the governor and the state’s top economic development official will have to make decisions about the ones that have been announced: which will survive and which will have to wait, possibly forever.

“Tax revenues are plummeting, and the state doesn’t expect a recovery until the first quarter of 2009, and that may be optimistic,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, the president of the Partnership for New York City, a business group.

“And the capital budgets for economic development, transportation and other infrastructure projects favored by the state and the city are grossly under-funded,” she continued. “Yet the state’s ability to invest in important capital projects and carry additional debt service is virtually nonexistent.”

This gloomy picture is a far cry from the days when Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki were issuing seemingly daily news releases on rebuilding of Lower Manhattan, developing the city’s newest business district on the West Side and expanding the city’s convention center, and creating a rail link from downtown to Long Island, as well as erecting a couple of stadiums and arenas.

“They were piling up projects as if there were no bounds to what New York could do,” said James A. Parrott, chief economist for the Fiscal Policy Institute, a research group. “Under the best of circumstances, not all of them would have happened. But then the chickens came home to roost with the bursting of the real estate and housing bubble.”

A slowing economy, the credit crisis and the escalating cost of construction have already taken a toll. In February, Mr. Spitzer abandoned the long-awaited $1.8 billion expansion of the Javits Center. Plans to demolish Madison Square Garden and build a half-dozen skyscrapers around a new Penn Station collapsed a month later. And Tishman Speyer Properties, one of the city’s biggest developers, pulled out of a project to build 13 million square feet of office towers, apartment buildings and parks over the West Side railyards only six weeks after it was selected.

The state’s new economic development chief will have to contend with trying to revive those projects, as well as with the political friction between the governor and the mayor. Last week, Senator Charles E. Schumer called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to take over the state’s project at Penn Station because it had the financing and the expertise to do it. Mayor Bloomberg blasted the notion, saying it was a “terrible idea.” But Governor Paterson has endorsed it.

Then there is the upstate-downstate schism. Traditionally, the development corporation has focused on the state’s economic engine, New York City, and given less attention to the upstate economy, which has suffered from a decline in manufacturing jobs and population.

To address the problem, Mr. Spitzer appointed dual chairmen for the corporation, Mr. Foye for downstate projects and Daniel Gunderson, who was based in Buffalo, for upstate projects. Local economic development officials liked Mr. Gunderson’s approach, but the structure proved unwieldy.

The development corporation was hobbled by disputes between Mr. Foye, Mr. Gunderson and the corporation’s president, Avi Schick, who oversees work at the World Trade Center site. Mr. Schick was named acting chief executive after Mr. Foye resigned.

Governor Paterson said this month that he favored a return to a single chairman because the bifurcated approach “wasn’t working.” With tax revenues falling sharply, Mr. Paterson also cut an upstate revitalization fund to $700 million from $1 billion.

Business executives said that the governor had planned on naming the chairman as soon as this week, until he met on Monday in Buffalo with local economic development officials and business leaders who feared that the upstate region would be ignored.

They have written letters in support of Mr. Gunderson and criticized the composition of Mr. Paterson’s advisory panel, high-powered executives who, they say, have no understanding of the upstate economy or employers.

“We don’t care what you call the person responsible for upstate,” said Andrew J. Rudnick, president of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, which represents employers. “But that person needs the authority to hire and fire personnel, allocate resources and make deals. Anything less than that is not only window dressing, but it adds a layer of nondecision-making authority.”

The Paterson administration is also looking to appoint deputy-level officials to oversee New York City and the upstate region. Mr. Gunderson has interviewed to become the lone chairman, though he might also be considered for the upstate deputy.

“This is a critical time in the city’s economic development,” Senator Schumer said. “The good news for New Yorkers is Governor Paterson takes the appointment to this position very seriously, as he knows how important new jobs and growth are both in the city and upstate.”
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:50 AM   #1432
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http://www.nytimes.com/2008/05/20/ny...l?ref=nyregion
Initially Rebuffed, a Greenwich Village Hospital Scales Down Its Redesign Plans

By GLENN COLLINS
Published: May 20, 2008

St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan returned from the drawing board on Monday with a more modest redesign of its $1.6 billion development proposal that was rejected this month by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

In the revised plan, a proposed hospital tower on the west side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets would be 30 feet lower and 40 feet narrower, and a planned luxury condominium on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets would be 32 feet lower and 60 feet narrower.

In the redesign, five buildings within the Greenwich Village Historic District would be demolished to complete the project. Four other buildings would be adapted and reused.

The previous plan would have demolished all nine of those buildings to permit the construction of a 329-foot-tall medical building and a 265-foot-tall luxury condominium in conjunction with the Rudin Management Company.

Although there was no vote by the commission on May 6, all 10 of the commissioners present at a public hearing opposed the project, and Robert B. Tierney, the chairman, said it was time for the hospital and the developer to be “doing some rethinking.”

The new proposal addresses “concern about the configuration of our original project,” said Henry Amoroso, president of Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, which includes the hospital. The commission will discuss the new plan at a hearing in June.

In the original plan, the Rudin Company would have built 19 residential town houses on West 11th and West 12th Streets. The new plan proposes only five town houses on West 11th Street.

A previously proposed nine-story residential building on West 12th Street, however, remains part of the new configuration.

To build the new medical tower, the hospital must win a hardship approval from the landmarks commission to demolish the O’Toole Building, the sawtooth-sided monument on Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets that is owned by the hospital. It must prove that O’Toole either financially or physically interferes with its medical mission.

Some preservationists who opposed the original proposal were pleased by aspects of the redesign. “On the east side of Seventh Avenue, they have clearly paid attention to the commission,” said Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy. “This is smaller and more thoughtfully designed.”

Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said that “the fact that the residential tower is shorter is good news, but whether or not it’s short enough remains to be seen.”

He added, “The demolition of O’Toole depends on whether the hospital can prove its hardship case, and there is a very high standard for that.”
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Old May 21st, 2008, 05:52 AM   #1433
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http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_263/silvercity.html
Volume 21, Number 1 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | May 16 - 22, 2008

Silver: City puts new Fiterman building in doubt

By Julie Shapiro


Downtown Express photo by Jefferson Siege

Students wait on line to use the computer lab at B.M.C.C. There is not enough money to rebuild the college’s Fiterman Hall, which was damaged on 9/11.


The city is not putting up its fair share to rebuild the damaged Fiterman Hall, local politicians say.

The $340 million project is nearly $80 million short, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who represents Lower Manhattan, says the city owes the remaining money. Part of the reason for the shortfall is that the city spent some money slated for Fiterman on other projects, Silver said.

Fiterman Hall, a classroom building owned by the City University of New York, was rendered unusable on 9/11 when debris from the collapsing 7 W.T.C. deluged the building. CUNY is now decontaminating Fiterman before demolishing it. CUNY then plans to rebuild Fiterman Hall for the Borough of Manhattan Community College — but only if the funds come through.

“This is an eyesore,” Silver told Downtown Express. “The building has to come down and [the new] building has to go up if we’re going to make any progress.”

CUNY already has plenty of money to cover the $16.3 million decontamination and demolition of the building, which should be complete early next year. But as for rebuilding the tower, no one is certain what will happen.

“In order to go forward, [Fiterman] needs the city buy-in,” said Michael Arena, a CUNY spokesperson.

The main reason for the funding shortfall is that the city spent $60 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency funding, which was supposed to go to Fiterman Hall, on other 9/11-related projects.

“They shouldn’t have spent the FEMA money on other projects,” Silver said. “[It] was for this project.”

The city is replacing the money, but the city is counting that replacement toward its overall contribution to the project, rather than providing the replacement separately. That means that the city is ultimately providing less money than it was supposed to under a previous agreement with the state.

“It was supposed to be a city-state joint project,” City Councilmember Alan Gerson said. “The city should fulfill its promise.”

In 2005, the state and city agreed to split any cost overruns on the project. At that point, counting the expected FEMA money, the project needed an extra $40 million, so the state and city each allocated $20 million. Since then, the state allocated an additional $78.6 million, bringing its total contribution to $98.6 million, but the city has not provided a match. By Silver’s calculation, that means that the city owes CUNY $78.6 million.

Now the city is saying that the $60 million that was supposed to come from FEMA is part of the city’s match of state funds.

Silver said last week that he was surprised to hear the city claim the $60 million as a match, and that it does not count.

A city official speaking on the condition of anonymity said they have no intention of providing further match money, since the project’s price tag rose by $100 million in the last year. A CUNY spokesperson confirmed the increase and gave two reasons for it. First, when CUNY estimated the cost last summer, the design work was not complete, so it makes sense that the estimate changed, he said. Second, the original plan was that CUNY would not build out the 14-story building’s top three floors, as a way to save money. But because of enrollment increases, CUNY decided it needed the space sooner rather than later and should include the build-out in the current project, raising the cost, the spokesperson said. Silver said the price change does not get the city off the hook.

After 9/11, FEMA decided to give a lump sum of money to New York City, rather than fielding claims from businesses and institutions individually. CUNY applied for the FEMA funding and was slated to receive $60 million, channeled through the city.

But the city received more requests for funding than they were able to handle and decided to give the $60 million to other 9/11 recovery projects. The city provided funds from its own budget to replace the $60 million in FEMA funds, and that is the money that the city now wants to count as a match of state funds.

FEMA funding is unusual in that the money can only reimburse people for costs they have already incurred. That means the city could not have given the $60 million to CUNY until CUNY spent that amount to build the new Fiterman Hall, the city official said.

In addition to the disputed city funds and the money from the state, CUNY also received $62.7 million in insurance, $15 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and $5 million from the 911 Fund. If the city sticks with its current decision to not give any more money, the project would have a total of about $260 million in the bank, leaving CUNY with a nearly $80 million shortfall.

The project’s $340 million overall cost is broken into $16.3 million for decontamination and demolition, $202 million for construction and about $120 million for “soft costs,” like architects, planners and consultants.

The decontamination and deconstruction will move forward on schedule, Arena said, “But as we get closer to the construction phase, we have to analyze exactly what funding is to pay for that.”

Gerson may hold a City Council hearing on the funding to get more specific answers on how much money CUNY needs and when they need it.

“The bottom line is that the money should be available so reconstruction can continue seamlessly [after demolition],” Gerson said. “The city has the responsibility to shoulder its part of the project to assure this is rebuilt and rebuilt without delay.”

Decontamination on Fiterman Hall was most recently delayed after heightened safety concerns following the Deutsche Bank fire, which killed two firefighters last August during decontamination of that building. Workers started decontaminating Fiterman Hall six weeks ago and expect to finish in another three to five months, said Marc Violette, spokesperson for the State Dormitory Authority, which is managing the project.

After the building is clean, workers will demolish it, which will take another four to six months. That means it will be seven to 11 months until anything could be built on the site, Violette said.

When 7 W.T.C. collapsed into Fiterman Hall on 9/11, CUNY was nearly finished renovating the former office building to convert it into classroom space for the Borough of Manhattan Community College. Fiterman Hall would have opened in fall 2001 with much-needed classrooms, offices, lounges and computer labs.

At B.M.C.C.’s main building on Chambers St., the school is feeling the crunch.

Dozens of computer labs fill every crevice of the building, lining hallways and even the cafeteria. Students stand outside of the labs, waiting for a seat to open up so they can do their work. Many students do not have computers at home and have to type all their papers at B.M.C.C., said Barry Rosen, the school’s spokesperson.

To keep class sizes small, the school has extended class times from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week. The administration also converted faculty offices into classrooms, which means that three, four or even five professors crowd into shared offices.

“It’s very difficult,” said Mahmoud Ardebili, a professor of engineering who shares a small office with two other professors. “We are pressured with space — we’re working bone to bone.”

The lack of space and privacy makes it hard to conduct research, and Ardebili has to go elsewhere for private conversations with students, he said.

Before 9/11, B.M.C.C. was cramming approximately 16,000 students into a building meant for 8,000, Rosen said. Since 9/11, the undergraduate enrollment has risen to 20,000, and roughly 28,000 students use the Chambers St. building each week. Rented space near Fiterman Hall is helping ease the crunch, but B.M.C.C.’s main building is still short on space, he said.

“We need this building up as soon as possible,” Rosen said of Fiterman. “We are just bursting at the seams. It’s organized, but you feel as if you’re in the subway at rush hour.”

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Old May 23rd, 2008, 04:26 PM   #1434
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Very nice website will all the works (mostly)that are finding place in manhatten http://www.lowermanhattan.info/flash...p?layer=alerts .
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Old May 24th, 2008, 06:11 PM   #1435
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Port Authority steps up planning for 2 new terminals at JFK
By DAVID B. CARUSO | Associated Press Writer
May 22, 2008

NEW YORK - The days may be numbered for the two oldest passenger terminals at John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey took a first step Thursday in planning the replacement of Terminals 2 and 3, which were state-of-the-art buildings when they opened in the early 1960s but are now overcrowded and obsolete.

The authority, which operates JFK, said it would spend $20 million planning for a new mega-terminal that would have modern security features, space for new amenities and many more gates.

Both existing terminals are now operated by Delta Air Lines Inc., which is part way through a major expansion at JFK.

The airline, which would be a partner in the construction of the replacement terminal, has projected that it will be flying 18 million passengers through JFK by 2017, about double the number it served last year and well more than triple the 5 million it handled in 2002, Port Authority officials said.

Port Authority Aviation Director William DeCota said the reconstruction would be a "huge undertaking," but a necessary one if the airport is to accommodate planned growth in air travel.

"They were built in a different era," he said of the aging structures.

Terminal 2 opened in 1962 and was initially used by Northeast Airlines, Northwest Airlines and Braniff.

Terminal 3, built for Pan American, was slightly more storied. When it opened in 1960, the circular building's most striking design was its huge, flying-saucer-like roof. The building had a 114-foot overhang intended to shelter passengers from rain as they boarded parked aircraft _ a feature rendered obsolete by the development of the jetway.

The terminal was renamed the "Worldport" when it expanded in the early 1970s to accommodate the Boeing 747.

The plans for demolishing and rebuilding the terminals are being made at a time when JFK is undergoing several major operational changes as a result of its growth spurt.

After near-record flight delays last year, federal authorities capped the number of hourly flights allowed at the airport, saying the airlines had scheduled too many takeoffs and landings.

The FAA followed that up with an announcement that it intended to ration those flight slots by auctioning them to the highest bidder _ a procedure that could, potentially, make it somewhat risky for an airline to invest in new terminal facilities.

Though the specifics of the auction plan have yet to be worked out, airlines have complained that they could spend millions of dollars building gates and lounges, only to see their flight slots auctioned off to some other airline.

"The reality is, this creates a great deal of uncertainty," DeCota said. The Port Authority has opposed both the flight caps and the auction plan, saying the airport can accommodate many more flights than the FAA currently allows.

DeCota added, though, that concerns over flight rationing aren't yet severe enough to stall the plans for the terminals, which would be the final stage in a $9 billion-plus overhaul of the airport's facilities that began in the 1990s.

Delta spokeswoman Betsy Talton said the renovations will help the airline lower costs, reduce taxi times and streamline its baggage handling system.

There is no estimated cost of the new terminal yet, she said. Coming up with a price tag and construction timeline will be part of the planning study.
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Old May 25th, 2008, 02:38 AM   #1436
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http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/...ts_review.html
Rezoning of Dutch Kills gets review

BY JOHN LAUINGER

Tuesday, May 20th 2008, 4:00 AM

Relief could be near for a western Queens community that has been under siege from a spate of high-rise hotel construction.

Public review kicked off Monday for a highly anticipated rezoning for Dutch Kills, a low-rise haven where 11 hotels are in various stages of construction.

The rezoning could take anywhere from three to seven months to pass through the city's Byzantine zoning and land-use approval process, officials said.

But final approval can't come fast enough to suit many Dutch Kills residents, particularly since developers have applied for permits to build five more hotels.

"It has taken a long time," said Gerald Walsh, president of the Dutch Kills Civic Association, which has spent four years clamoring for city planners to halt the hotel onslaught.

The proposed rezoning, in the works since June 2005, would put a cap on how high hotels can be built in commercial areas, said Queens Planning Commissioner John Young.

"Under our proposal, in some of those same areas where 16-story hotels would be allowed today, we are putting height limits of 40 feet - and that would apply for all residential and community-facility developments," Young said.

The proposal also removes current restrictions on residential development and directs higher-density development along Northern Blvd. and 31st St., where transit stations are nearby.

The rezone is opposed by a group of more than 20 business owners, who don't want redevelopment options for their properties to be limited.

But residents eager for an end to the hotel siege fumed last September when planners began a painstaking environmental review, prolonging the approval of the rezoning.

"Our community is very upset that they delayed it," said longtime resident Barbara Lorinz. "It's going to take another six months before everyone gets around to signing it, which means that the builders and the construction workers still have time to pour the concrete."

Buildings whose foundations are complete before the rezoning is approved would be grandfathered in under the old rules, according to Buildings Department officials.

Young said an initial environmental assessment of the project showed that a more thorough environmental impact study was necessary to gauge how population growth would affect the area.

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Old May 25th, 2008, 09:08 PM   #1437
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For a city the size of New York, there's sure not a lot happening in terms of construction.
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Old May 30th, 2008, 05:23 PM   #1438
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OMG! :o
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Old May 30th, 2008, 07:07 PM   #1439
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hed_Kandi View Post
For a city the size of New York, there's sure not a lot happening in terms of construction.
, NY has a big skyscraperboom at the moment!
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Old June 2nd, 2008, 08:06 PM   #1440
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