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Old May 17th, 2006, 03:33 AM   #141
krull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalB
http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/16/ny...brief-001.html
Smaller Size Proposed for Atlantic Yards

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: May 16, 2006

Assemblyman James F. Brennan, a Brooklyn Democrat, introduced legislation yesterday that would require the developer Forest City Ratner to reduce the size of its proposed Atlantic Yards real estate development by about three million square feet, or roughly a third. In exchange, the bill would offer up to $15.4 million a year in state money to subsidize below-market-priced housing in the project, a 22-acre residential, commercial and arena development near Downtown Brooklyn. The bill would also relieve Forest City Ratner of about $310 million in costs associated with renovating and buying building rights over the railyards on the site of the project. Five other Brooklyn members of the Assembly are also sponsoring the legislation.

That is F**king great.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 03:34 AM   #142
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Proposed...





785 EIGHTH AVENUE
NEW YORK, NY



In the heart of Manhattan, in the so called “Movie District” of 8th Avenue and close to Times Square section of Manhattan, ILA crafted a beautiful residential glass tower. The featured design responds to the challenge of an oddly shaped site which results in a 40-story building with a still, rigorous geometry, defying the difficulties of the site: irregular shape and very small footprint. The angular nature of the site is exacerbated in the triangular shapes of the penthouse. The volumetric composition is complemented by the addition of cascading balconies with glass railings. The abstract sculptural quality of the whole resonates with the nearby very dynamic theater district. The slick curtain wall will reflect the setting sun and calming waters of the Hudson River.

The tower has 110 condominium units distributed on forty floors above ground level, a cellar and partial sub-cellar. The Ground Floor consists of residential lobby and a commercial space which extends to the outdoor garden in the rear. The building has two entrances with the Main residential lobby being accessible from 48th street and Eighth Avenue providing access to the retail and residential functions. The Ground floor residential entry has a skylight and a waterfall. The cellar also has a fitness center, lounge space, changing rooms and bicycle storage. Each apartment unit features high ceilings, floor to ceiling glass, wood floors and interior finishing in stone and marble. The apartments on second and seventh floor have outdoor terraces and from each of the units from the 8th through 40th floors have balconies. The rooftop has outdoor terraces with hot tubs and is part of 40th floor penthouse and 39th floor apartments. The northern portions of upper floors offer wonderful views of the northern and eastern parts of Manhattan as well as the Hudson River.


New condo tower in Theater District


16-MAY-06

A 40-story, mid-block condominium tower with 110 apartments is planned by Espanade Capital LLC, of which David Scharf is a principal for 785 Eighth Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets.

The very slim, glass-clad tower will have balconies facing the avenue, according to a rendering on the website of Ismael Leyva Architects P.C.

According to the website, the design “responds to the challenge of an oddly shaped site which results in a 40-story building with a still, rigorous geometry, defying the difficulties of the site: irregular shape and very small footprint.”

“The angular nature of the site is exacerbated in the triangular shapes of the penthouses. The volumetric composition is complemented by the addition of cascading balconies with glass railings. The abstract sculptural quality of the whole resonates with the nearby very dynamic theater district,” it continued.

The ground floor will have commercial space that extends to an outdoor garden in the rear and the residential entry will have a skylight and a waterfall. A fitness center, lounge space and bicycle storage with be in the cellar. Apartments on the second and seventh floors have outdoor terraces and apartments on the eighth through the 40th floor have balconies.

The roof will have outdoor terraces with hot tubs. The building will have residential entrances on Eighth Avenue and 46th Street, but the rendering indicates that a low-rise building will remain on the southwest corner at 46th Street.

As rendered, the design would be one of the most dramatic “sliver” buildings in the city and a poster, “krulltime,” on wirednewyork.com likened the design to a "dead" design by Jean Nouvel for a very tall, slim, dramatic and impressive tower along the High Line in Chelsea. Another poster, “Fabrizio,” liked the balcony edge to “the chain-saw aesthetic.”

Calls by CityRealty.com to Mr. Scharf and Mr. Leyva were not returned today so it is unclear if the building is “as-of-right” and what is the size of the units and the exact shape of the building.

Records on file with the city indicate that the project has an air rights easement from Letterbeg Restaurant Inc., and that the project’s site begins 32 feet 4 inches south of 48th Street and extends 23 feet 7 inches south along Eighth Avenue where it extends 100 feet deep into the block and “THENCE Southerly parallel with 8th Avenue 44 feet six inches; THENCE Westerly parallel with 48th Street, 16 feet 8 inches; THENCE Northerly parallel with 8th Avenue, 100 feet 5 inches to the southerly side of West 48th Street, THENCE Easterly along the Southerly side of West 48th Street 16 feet 8 inches; THENCE Southerly parallel with 8th Avenue, 8 feet 4 inches; THENCE Southeasterly along a line forming an interior angle of 256 degrees, 30 minutes, 15 seconds with the previous course, 102 feet 10 1/8 inches to the westerly side of 8th Avenue to the point or place of BEGINNING.”

City documents indicated that Esplanade Condominiums LLC has arranging financing with Morgan Stanley Mortgage Capital Inc.

Recently, planning for two other residential condominium towers on either side of Eighth Avenue at 46th Street has advanced, suggesting that the dramatic transformation of this once tawdry area of West Midtown is accelerating.


Copyright © 1994-2006 CITY REALTY

Last edited by krull; May 17th, 2006 at 04:09 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 04:08 AM   #143
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Quote:
As rendered, the design would be one of the most dramatic “sliver” buildings in the city and a poster, “krulltime,” on wirednewyork.com likened the design to a "dead" design by Jean Nouvel for a very tall, slim, dramatic and impressive tower along the High Line in Chelsea.
That is me Krulltime.


I was comparing it to this dead tower...


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Old May 17th, 2006, 04:19 AM   #144
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Under Construction...


164 Kent Avenue: 30 floors




Quote:
Williamsburg
164 Kent
164 Kent Avenue


The FX Fowle-designed condominium will be the first of three high-rise towers on the waterfront built by a joint venture of Toll Brothers, L & M Equity, and RD Management. The building's 180 units will range from studios to three-bedrooms, the Times reported. No information on the other two towers was available at press time.


Copyright © 2003-2005 The Real Deal.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 04:42 AM   #145
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krull
Under Construction...


164 Kent Avenue: 30 floors

Wow wth, a 30 floorer there? I am surpised as I used to live there, now after the rezoning they changed the whole place around. I might be stopby on the weekend and take a picture of the construction.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:52 AM   #146
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krull
Proposed...


i want to see more of this building
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Old May 17th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #147
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I see alot of people talking about NY getting its skyscraper status back, or being on par with Chicago, HK, Dubai, etc.

I dont understand it. When the hell has NY ever been outta the loop? When did all these cities pass NY? I mustve missed the memo.

Supertall this supertall that, that my friends, is oversaturated im afraid. Its less of an accomplishment because more and more are getting supertalls, and it is far easier than before.

NY has held the worlds tallest for decades, I think its sealed itself as the best architecturally, remember, quality not quantity.

Im sick of seeing these people writing about NY getting back on its feet. One dimensional cities like Dubai seem to get built overnight and it steals the crown from NY? Get real. Skyscrapers in cities doesnt automatically symbolize greatness, contrary to popular belief (aimed at ppl living in 'booming cities'). What city has more architectural history than NYC? Its just like music, the shit out today wouldnt be here without all the old music. Value doesnt come overnight, so to be honest, I dont see whats so special about Dubai. Taipei's got a supertall, I guess that makes it a world class city. I can imagine the skyline, like a toothpick. It just pisses me off how people are writing off NYC. The countries around the world that are growing, more power to you, your cities are building, your economies growing, but America isnt all outta the loop itself, so dont let it get to your heads.

Downtown Manhattan is back on track and ready to take over once again.$20 billion, 6 six years, cant wait to see it all complete. Is there really any other place in the world getting as big a makeover???????

Ok im done bitching. First time viewing this page, job well done krull, its good to see some NYers getting some play on this site. We need more WNYers here so NY has a bigger presence on the intl scale. Educate the world on whats really going on in NYC.

Last edited by Spooky873; May 17th, 2006 at 09:37 AM.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:34 PM   #148
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Wow, New York City is booming with lots of new projects. It's good to see they are demolishing some of the old buildings that are starting to decay.
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Old May 17th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spooky873
I see alot of people talking about NY getting its skyscraper status back, or being on par with Chicago, HK, Dubai, etc.

I dont understand it. When the hell has NY ever been outta the loop? When did all these cities pass NY? I mustve missed the memo.

Supertall this supertall that, that my friends, is oversaturated im afraid. Its less of an accomplishment because more and more are getting supertalls, and it is far easier than before.

NY has held the worlds tallest for decades, I think its sealed itself as the best architecturally, remember, quality not quantity.

Im sick of seeing these people writing about NY getting back on its feet. One dimensional cities like Dubai seem to get built overnight and it steals the crown from NY? Get real. Skyscrapers in cities doesnt automatically symbolize greatness, contrary to popular belief (aimed at ppl living in 'booming cities'). What city has more architectural history than NYC? Its just like music, the shit out today wouldnt be here without all the old music. Value doesnt come overnight, so to be honest, I dont see whats so special about Dubai. Taipei's got a supertall, I guess that makes it a world class city. I can imagine the skyline, like a toothpick. It just pisses me off how people are writing off NYC. The countries around the world that are growing, more power to you, your cities are building, your economies growing, but America isnt all outta the loop itself, so dont let it get to your heads.

Downtown Manhattan is back on track and ready to take over once again.$20 billion, 6 six years, cant wait to see it all complete. Is there really any other place in the world getting as big a makeover???????
well said!
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Old May 18th, 2006, 02:31 AM   #150
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http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/...p-353292c.html
Brooklyn Bridge Park building booed

Private use of public land

BY ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Nearly 18 months after luxury condo towers were added to the upcoming Brooklyn Bridge Park, outraged advocates sued in a bid to stop the private development in a public park.

Charging that housing in the park would set a dangerous precedent, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Legal Defense Fund filed the lawsuit against state planners yesterday in Brooklyn Supreme Court.

"This is a test case for parks," said Defense Fund President Judi Francis, adding it would be the first new park in New York State to have private housing built within its borders.

"This is a scheme to help condo developers and give them public land for development," she charged.

The suit was endorsed by nine nearby community groups, including the Cobble Hill Association, the DUMBO Neighborhood Association and the Fort Greene Association.

The suit is the latest salvo in the ongoing struggle over the park, which community leaders began pushing for two decades ago.

The park has always been slated to be "sustainable," meaning that commercial development inside would help pay its maintenance costs.

A 2000 master plan called for a hotel, restaurant and recreation center to help pay for the 85-acre park's upkeep.

But in December 2004 - after a public hearing had already been held and Gov. Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg had signed off on the proposal - state planners quietly added six high-rise condos with more than 1,200 private apartments, and a luxury marina.

One building at 360 Furman St. - now dubbed "One Brooklyn Bridge Park" - has already started marketing its luxury lofts.

"I deeply believe we have been railroaded into something that we shouldn't be railroaded into, and I hope we can stop it or change it," said Bronson Binger, a former City Parks Department assistant commissioner who has joined the opposition group.

State Economic Development Corp. spokeswoman Deborah Wetzel downplayed the lawsuit.

"Litigation often occurs for such projects. We are reviewing the papers and we will proceed as we usually do with such litigation," said Wetzel.

The lawsuit also charged planners failed to adequately study traffic impacts on the park by excluding other large-scale projects planned for the area, such as Atlantic Yards.

Marianna Koval, co-executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, which supports the current plan, called the plaintiffs "a few irresponsible people who are attempting to manipulate our legal system to prevent or delay this park."

Opponents said the nine groups combined represent 40,000 people.

Originally published on May 17, 2006
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Old May 19th, 2006, 04:34 AM   #151
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There is also this under construction 35 floors tower by Fow and Fowle, across the new Times Building.
Times Square Plaza :

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Montreal's projects - U/C, Proposed, Approved

You just have to look at the first page to see them all. I update it every time there is a news.
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Old May 19th, 2006, 05:32 AM   #152
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^ That is not underconstruction yet. That site has been empty for a long time.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 01:50 AM   #153
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/19/nyregion/19condo.html
80 Tenants Face Eviction for a Teardown in Midtown

By JOSH BARBANEL
Published: May 19, 2006


Marilynn K. Yee/The New York Times

The 20-story building at 220 Central Park South, second from left, would be replaced with a 41-story tower of condominiums.


In a sign that the real estate boom may be far from over, 80 tenants in a postwar high-rise building on Central Park South, many with spectacular park views, were notified yesterday that they could face eviction proceedings so a developer can tear the building down.

The developer intends to replace the 20-story white brick building at 220 Central Park South with a 41-story glass condominium tower.

The announcement set off a wave of anger, defiance and sadness among tenants, many of whom have enjoyed below-market rents for many years under the state's system of rent stabilization and were unaware that they were in jeopardy.

State officials said the demolition plan, if approved, would displace more rent-regulated tenants than any other demolition in recent memory. And real estate executives said the plan to demolish one postwar high-rise for a bigger one was extraordinary, if not unique, in the annals of New York real estate.

"Why should they tear up a beautiful building like this?" said Marjorie Cantor, a retired professor of gerontology at Fordham University, who has lived in a one-bedroom apartment with a terrace at 220 Central Park South for 27 years. When the building, constructed in 1954, was sold last year, she said she assumed that it would be converted into condominiums, but was shocked to learn of the planned demolition. She said she was ready to fight.

But Veronica W. Hackett, the managing partner of the Clarett Group, one of the development partners, said the existing building, just west of Seventh Avenue, was obsolete and had many maintenance problems. She said it would be replaced with a tower that was twice the height and 25 percent larger, with two glass-walled apartments on most floors, almost all with park views. The building was designed by the Pelli Clarke Pelli architectural firm to compete with some of the most expensive condominiums in Manhattan.

"The bigger issue," Ms. Hackett said, "is how to deal with obsolete buildings in the city."

Steven Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, an industry group, said the plans reflected the increases in prices and values that make even large buildings more valuable demolished than standing.

"All over the suburbs people are busy buying a house, demolishing and building another," he said. "This is the same thing on a bigger scale. We have reached a critical point."

William Gibben, a tenant lawyer who is handling several demolition challenges in New York City, said: "This is new territory. It's a scorched-earth policy. If this gets done, it is open season on every building in the city."

Under state law, developers can evict even rent-stabilized tenants when their leases expire from buildings they plan to demolish if they demonstrate that they are acting in "good faith" to carry out their plans, typically by showing that they have approved building plans and financing in place. The eviction of the small number of tenants in the city protected by the older rent-control system is more difficult.

But David Rosenholc, a lawyer who has represented many tenants who have fought eviction over the years, said that tenants can delay projects, sometimes for years, by questioning whether a developer is acting in good faith. He said tenants in one Upper East Side building delayed a project for 10 years before they settled.

But Ms. Hackett said the project owners were committed to acting in good faith with the tenants, and were prepared to offer "six-figure" settlements with the 47 rent-stabilized tenants who occupy a total of 50 apartments. She said the remaining 34 or so market-rate tenants would be asked to leave when their leases expire or possibly to remain on month to month until the plan is completed. No tenants in the building are protected by the stricter rent-control laws. The remainder of the 123 apartments in the building, roughly 40 units, are vacant.

Yesterday the process began, when the state's Division for Housing and Community Renewal received the developer's application for permission not to renew the leases of rent-stabilized tenants, and the developers sent letters to each tenant informing them of the plan.

The application cannot be processed until the building plans are submitted and approved by the city's Buildings Department, and Ms. Hackett said those plans would be filed soon.

Many tenants, however, were skeptical of the notices that went out yesterday, and viewed them as a scare tactic, intended to persuade some tenants to move. Don Glasgall, a semiretired fabric broker who has also lived in the building for 27 years, said the demolition plan was "a way to vacate the people."

"When people move into this building, they don't want to leave," he said.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 01:52 AM   #154
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Balazs's Plans for Hotel on the High Line Draws Fire From Neighborhood

BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
May 18, 2006

Preservationists and neighbors who have seen designs for hotelier Andre Balazs's boutique hotel that will straddle the High Line in the meatpacking district have likened the 25-story glass and white brick tower to something one would find in Miami Beach or Las Vegas.

They are asking Mr. Balazs to scale back the designs - which have been shielded from the public thus far - but the hotelier is saying that it is too late to make changes.

The director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, Andrew Berman, and the local restaurant owner Florent Morellet, met with Mr. Balazs last week. Mr. Berman called the designs "nauseating."

"It basically looks like a Las Vegas casino or an Atlantic City hotel dropped into the meatpacking district," Mr. Berman said."The design is about as far from contextual as you could imagine."

Mr. Balazs, calling from Los Angeles, defended the designs that were drawn up by local architect, Polshek Partners. He said that he has met regularly with Mr. Berman and others about the project, and he was surprised at the attacks.

"We can't alter the design. It's in the ground. It is what it is," he said. "I don't know if there is a political agenda here that I'm not aware of."

"There are no surprises in the design," he said. "What we do is contextual projects."

"The Standard, New York" is a 330-room hotel set to open by 2008, according to Mr. Balazs. The hotelier, a regular on Page Six, owns the Mercer Hotel and recently developed a luxury condominium project in the SoHo historical district called 40 Mercer Street. His boutique hotels in New York, Miami, and Los Angeles are popular celebrity hangouts.

The building site near Washington Street and West 13th Street has long served as a battleground between developers and neighborhood groups.

In 2002, developer Stephen Touhey proposed building a 45-story condominium on the site, designed by the renowned French architect Jean Nouvel. After outrage by neighborhood activists, including Mr. Berman and Mr. Morellet, Mr. Touhey refashioned his plans into a hotel. After more pressure, he sold out to Mr. Balazs in 2004 for $24 million.

In 2003, the city's Landmarks and Preservation Commission designated a large swath of the low-rise, cobblestoned streets as the Gansevoort historic district. Even though that designation would have prevented Mr. Balazs's current design, the site was excluded from the boundaries.

Mr. Balazs is under no obligation to change the designs because the planned building fits within existing city regulations. He said that he is "sad" about the pace of change in the area, much like the way that most boutiques have vacated SoHo because of its high rents. Mr. Balazs said that that he is heartened by the city's decision to subsidize some of the remaining meatpacking businesses in the area.

Despite the city's historic designation, Mr. Berman says that the meatpacking district is still facing a "host of issues" stemming from a rapid transition, skyrocketing rents, and the city's most crowded nightlife scene.

"There are efforts underway to bring the neighborhood back to a balance, an even keel, to keep it from becoming this B&T nightlife Disneyland," Mr. Berman said."We fear this hotel will only add to this problem."

© 2006 The New York Sun, One SL, LLC.
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Old May 20th, 2006, 02:15 AM   #155
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I think it is great that after such a terrible experience all New Yorkers had with the Sep 11 attacks the city is getting back on track hopefully New York may once again hold the title for having the tallest building not only here in America but the world
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Old May 21st, 2006, 06:56 PM   #156
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/21/ny...ty/21witn.html
Side by Side

By JAKE MOONEY
Published: May 21, 2006


Uli Seit for The New York Times

The site of four planned towers, for 1,600 Jehovah's Witnesses, in hip, happening Dumbo.


THERE are fences along both sides of Jay Street on the block that is most visitors' first view of the Dumbo section of Brooklyn. One, backed up against the Manhattan Bridge just outside the F train stop, is ramshackle blue plywood, covered with photocopies of building permits and signs for construction companies. Through peepholes and gates, passers-by in recent weeks have been able to see the frame of the 33-story J Condominium, the neighborhood's newest luxury high-rise, growing taller by the day.

Across Jay Street to the east, toward the Brooklyn Navy Yard, is another fence, 10 feet tall, of gray corrugated metal. It is impenetrable, except for a small metal door tightly locked, and featureless, except for a blue-and-white sign marked with its address: 85 Jay. At the moment the site is a vast, unpaved parking lot owned by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society, more commonly known as the Jehovah's Witnesses; their plan is to build four residential towers ranging from 9 to 20 stories and housing about 1,600 people.

If there is a steel-and-concrete metaphor for the future of Dumbo, the patch of land down under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, it is here, on the stretch of Jay Street between York and Front Streets: headlong private development on one side and the Jehovah's Witnesses on the other.

And what is notable about this and other Witnesses buildings, in the eyes of many local residents, is the extent to which they stand apart from the life around them. A particular sore point has been the Witnesses' refusal, on religious grounds, to include ground-floor retail space in any of the buildings.

"The issue," said Michelle Whetten, president of the Dumbo Neighborhood Association, who has a perfect view of 85 Jay Street when she looks out her living room window, "was just that they weren't willing to share or intersect with us at all within the site. It's really that they don't interact with the community. So to have such a big piece of the heart of Dumbo just for them, that's what's frustrating."

Responding to criticism that shops should have been incorporated into the buildings, a spokesman for the Witnesses, Richard Devine, said: "It's not retail because we're a noncommercial entity. We don't engage in commercial business, so retail on the site we can't do. But the idea of blending it in with the streetscape, making it open, well lighted and comfortable, that's what we're interested in doing."

Whose Dumbo is it, anyway? Twenty years ago, the question was easier to answer. Dumbo belonged to the factories and the handful of loft-dwelling artist pioneers sprinkled among them, with the Jehovah's Witnesses perched warily on the edge.

Today the artists remain — though, given real-estate pressures, their numbers are dwindling — and with 85 Jay Street the Witnesses are poised to establish a beachhead in the heart of the neighborhood. But in place of the working factories, there are new apartment buildings and loft conversions, filled with residents who are prosperous, highly educated and comfortable in well-cut business suits.

This small patch of land hemmed in by bridges, a highway and the water is in demand from several directions. There are grocery stores now, and plenty of places to get a fancy meal, but for the first time there is not enough space to go around.

Mr. Devine, who arrived at a Witnesses residence in Brooklyn Heights from Detroit in 1979 and moved into the group's largest housing complex, 90 Sands, on the edge of Dumbo, in 1993, remembers the old days.

"In the late 80's and early 90's," he said, "it was empty. It was a ghost town."

Now there are shops like Prague Kolektiv, which opened last fall on Front Street near Pearl, around the corner from 85 Jay. It specializes in furniture made in Czechoslovakia from the 1920's to the 1960's. Giovanni Negrisin, an Italian architect who is the store's co-owner, said he and his business partner, Barton Quillen, settled in Dumbo because of the large spaces, the closeness to Manhattan and the neighborhood's reputation as a design-oriented place, a reputation that has spread far and wide. As he put it: "I had people from Europe, from Italy, from Japan even, come in with articles: 'This is Dumbo; we heard this is the new SoHo.' "

Red Wine and Hyper-Realism

On a recent Friday night, it certainly looked like the new SoHo at Jan Larsen Art, a gallery on Pearl Street almost directly under the Manhattan Bridge. Jan Larsen, the owner, was tidying up for his weekly open house. Around the room were pieces by artists whom Mr. Larsen, bald and wearing a crisp white shirt and a tie, described as "some of the most talented in the neighborhood." Toward the front hung sculptures of animals — an eagle, some fish and a piece that was half fish and half machine — that had been bolted together out of metal. On the walls were hyper-realistic close-up paintings of padlocks.

Among those admiring this display was Eric Hoisington, a dancer who has lived in Dumbo on and off for six years.

"There's a lot of dance here," said Mr. Hoisington, who lives downstairs from a dance studio. He held a cigarette and a plastic cup of red wine in one hand while gesturing with the other. "There's a lot of cooking here, a lot of fine restaurants, and a lot of painting, furniture making, a lot of craftsmen. And a lot of fine art."

Not to mention room. The vast living space available in the former factory district is what drew Michael M. Thomas, longtime columnist for The New York Observer, to the neighborhood. Mr. Thomas, also a novelist and a former Lehman Brothers partner and Metropolitan Museum of Art assistant curator who grew up on Park Avenue, was living in Sag Harbor on Long Island in 1999 when he decided to move back to the city. Flipping to the lofts section of the real estate ads, he noticed a place at 66 Water Street, for rent by Two Trees Management, a company owned by his old friend and business associate David Walentas.

Intrigued, Mr. Thomas got out his map of Manhattan and searched, fruitlessly, for the address. He called Mr. Walentas and asked, "Where the hell is this place?"

On his first visit to the building — where Two Trees says a one-bedroom unit with an office would rent for at least $3,400 a month — Mr. Thomas was struck by the noise from the highway and the two bridges. But when he saw the long, spacious apartment, Mr. Thomas fell in love. In April 2000 he moved in, and within months he was comparing Brooklyn to Paris.

"The water's right here, the light is fabulous, the buildings are low — look at this space!" Mr. Thomas said, gesturing to a vast expanse of books and paintings, and a window that looks out over an old warehouse toward the Brooklyn Bridge. "I couldn't get anything like this space in TriBeCa for what I'm paying. I've got a big bedroom!"

The Paris comparison may be apt, because he lives upstairs from the chocolate shop run by Jacques Torres, the former pastry chef at Mr. Thomas's old hangout Le Cirque, and across the street from Almondine, run by Mr. Torres and Herve Poussot, a former pastry chef at Le Bernardin.

Liked or Just Respected?

Long before Michael Thomas or Jacques Torres arrived, the Jehovah's Witnesses were a force in Dumbo, or at least on the edge of the neighborhood. For decades, four tan buildings with green trim west of the Manhattan Bridge and south of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway have been at the heart of the group's mission: translating its version of the Bible into hundreds of languages, and printing it and distributing it worldwide, along with supporting texts such as the magazines Watchtower and Awake!

One of the buildings, 117 Adams, was a printing plant when Tom Combs first arrived from Oregon as a Witnesses volunteer in 1958. Next to the building, in an area ringed by the expressway and the on-ramp to the Brooklyn Bridge, sat an area of chest-deep brush that Mr. Combs helped clear. After a while, he started to cut the grass there in his free time, and now, at age 67, on warm days, he still does.

In the beginning, he said as he gazed from the building's sixth floor, the only people he saw in the neighborhood were day laborers arriving in vans to work at local factories. Mr. Combs, who lives in a Witnesses residence on Livingston Street in Brooklyn Heights, would walk down to the water even then, when the Witnesses had the neighborhood mostly to themselves.

"A lot of us are from out of big cities, so just to get anywhere there's a little quiet is nice," he said. "You can get the same thing in a park, but there wasn't a park then."

There wasn't much of anything but factories, and the streets were littered with trash and industrial debris. In the last few years, things have changed significantly.

"We're seeing a lot more people walking dogs or baby carriages," he said.

Mr. Combs, who has tidy white hair and pale blue eyes smiling behind bifocals, has grown accustomed to seeing people out on the lawn — one man greets him as Papi, and a woman, who knows he is a minister, sometimes asks for advice. Still, he realizes that some people are less eager to approach a Jehovah's Witness. "To say that we're well-liked by everyone. ..." His voice trailed off. "I'd say respected by most, liked by some."

The World of Brooklyn Bethel

In 1909, when Charles Taze Russell, founder of the Jehovah's Witnesses, moved the organization to Brooklyn from Allegheny, Pa., it was the area's hospitality and reputation as a borough of churches, along with its access to shipping lanes, that impressed him. Over the years, the group grew to worldwide prominence as a religious organization and became one of the city's largest landowners. Brooklyn Bethel, as the Witnesses call their headquarters, soon spread across Brooklyn Heights, and in the early 1980's, the group finished its sixth building in the area, the towering residence at 90 Sands, on the southern border of Dumbo, that houses 1,000 residents.

Halcyon, a record store on Pearl Street, is two blocks down from the Witnesses' buildings, and its owner, Shawn Schwartz, sometimes sees groups of the Witnesses' volunteers — recognizable because of their dark suits and short hair — headed to the waterfront. They don't stop in; the store caters mostly to D.J.'s. But Mr. Schwartz, who moved the store to Dumbo two years ago from Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, says he bears the Witnesses no ill will.

"They were here in a large way before any of the others of us were here," he said, "so if anybody's got a claim to the neighborhood, they invested in this neighborhood a long time ago."

Still, the presence of so many Witnesses, coupled with their low profile, strikes some Dumbo residents as odd. "They are silent in the neighborhood," Mr. Schwartz said. "I've told a couple of people that their giant buildings up there are like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory: Nobody ever goes in, nobody ever goes out."

But in the opinion of Robert Warren, 36, a volunteer in the Witnesses' communications department, the group is misunderstood.

"I think one of the misconceptions that people have about us in this area is that because we have our own dining rooms and take care of our own services, that we don't go to places out in the neighborhood," Mr. Warren said the other day over a communal lunch of whitefish scampi, rice and asparagus in the basement of 90 Sands.

"The thing that's important to remember about why we have the functions in here," Mr. Warren said, referring to the regularly scheduled morning and weekend prayers and the group meals, "is that it saves us a lot of time, so we can concentrate on what we're here for, which is our assignments."

A Change of Focus

The Jehovah's Witnesses are in the midst of a large-scale recentering, away from Brooklyn Heights and toward Dumbo and upstate New York. Their last printing press in Brooklyn, in a building on Dumbo's southern edge, came to a stop in April 2004, replaced by printing facilities in Wallkill, in Orange County. Last year, the organization sold its laundry building at 360 Furman Street in Brooklyn Heights and moved those operations into space vacated by some of the old presses. Plans are for the new buildings at 85 Jay Street to house Witnesses currently living in Brooklyn Heights.

Jan Larsen, the gallery owner, wonders if the organization's low-key, professional approach to relations with the neighborhood, particularly during the contentious approval process of 85 Jay Street, was a mistake.

"I was always surprised that they didn't see it as an opportunity to have interaction with a vibrant community," he said.

J. R. Brown, the Witnesses' national spokesman, sees an irony in complaints that the group is not outgoing enough, given its weekly door-to-door outings around the city. And he said the Witnesses had a lot to offer as neighbors. "We try to get people to be fair and look at what's being contributed here," Mr. Brown said. "You're going to know for a fact that you're going to have good neighbors who are going to be honest, they're not going to try to break into where you are or start a petition against you. But we're going to pursue our mission."

Mr. Larsen, walking around his studio on a chilly day in late March, thought back to all the time he spent cleaning, painting and putting up walls four years ago. "You're creating your own world," he said, "similar to what the Jehovah's Witnesses have done. They created a world around the way they see the world, and I'm doing the same. The same goes for Prague Kolektiv, and Halcyon. We're all creating our own scenes."

Occasionally the scenes intersect. One evening earlier this spring, in a basement studio across Front Street from Mr. Larsen's gallery, an artist named Jaimie Walker was applying chalk and silver spray paint to a canvas as she sipped from a glass of cabernet. Jamie Jared, a burly plaster restorer and Jehovah's Witness, watched the proceedings with interest.

A native Oregonian who lived and worked at the Witnesses' headquarters for six years in the 1980's before settling in Brooklyn for good, Mr. Jared is building a series of display and work spaces downstairs from the restaurant Superfine, to sublet to local artists like Ms. Walker, who might otherwise be priced out of the neighborhood.

To Mr. Jared, the biggest threat to the neighborhood's current mix is not 85 Jay, but the development of luxury condos. "By the time the Witnesses get down here," he said, "there's already going to have been a cultural shift that's going to have happened, from all the Manhattanites moving in."

One of those Manhattanites is Jill Montaigne, who moved to 70 Washington Street in October with her 7-year-old son, Schuyler. After living on the Upper West Side for 19 years, she looked at 85 places up and down the West Side before buying a 1,400-square-foot apartment in one of Mr. Walentas's buildings. Units that size in the building are being offered for at least $1 million.

Ms. Montaigne, who is a partner at a consulting and design firm in Manhattan, appreciates Dumbo's funkier side. "This is not a sterile neighborhood," she said. "It's very vibrant in terms of the arts community, and the mix of people is so much more citylike than in the city, where the neighborhoods feel so homogeneous."

Her concern about the new construction is outweighed by the positives of her new home. One of those is the view, which includes the Statue of Liberty, just beyond the Witnesses' Brooklyn Heights headquarters. "There's not a day that goes by," Ms. Montaigne said, "that I don't walk into this apartment and thank God I live here."
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:02 PM   #157
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/21/ma...wln.essay.html
The Manhattanville Project

By DAPHNE EVIATAR
Published: May 21, 2006


Brenda Ann Kenneally

One evening in the spring of 2004, the Rev. Earl Kooperkamp attended a presentation at a community board meeting by the celebrated architect Renzo Piano. Unveiling preliminary sketches, Piano laid out his vision for the campus he's designing for Columbia University's president, Lee Bollinger. In contrast to the gated, stone Beaux-Arts-Renaissance campus built more than a century ago in Morningside Heights, the new West Harlem campus would tell a more contemporary story: filling almost 18 acres parallel to the waterfront, it would open Columbia to the surrounding community. Some buildings could reach 25 stories, and the streets would remain publicly accessible. A walkway would extend from 125th to 133rd Streets, cutting through the length of the campus. And in the center of a square of buildings there would be a large, open space. "It is a piazza," Piano said, in his lilting Italian accent. "The people will come, there will be discourse."

Kooperkamp, the Kentucky-born minister of St. Mary's Episcopal Church in West Harlem, was skeptical. "You're talking about being a 21st-century university," he recalls telling Piano. "And this looks like 12th-century Christ Church Oxford. It's a quad. That's not a piazza. That's not open space for a community. If it were, it would be a big lawn on 125th Street or Broadway."

The dispute over Piano's piazza encapsulates a larger conflict Columbia is now having with its neighbors to the north. When Columbia announced its plans to build a much-needed new campus in a corner of Harlem called Manhattanville, it saw a gritty neighborhood of auto-repair shops, tenements and small manufacturers that would probably pose little obstacle to its ambitions. Columbia says that the project will advance a vital public interest and help revitalize parts of Upper Manhattan. Yet the university has met remarkable resistance. One man's urban improvement, it seems, is another man's urban debacle.

The divergent views of the project may arise from the very different situations of its beholders. Since becoming Columbia's president in 2002, Bollinger has committed himself to restoring the international stature the university held half a century ago, when Columbia boasted such luminaries as Daniel Bell and Lionel Trilling and almost half the faculty of its physics department either had won or would win a Nobel Prize. To do that, Bollinger's administration has been recruiting hard, hiring, among others, some 10 star economists and 18 science and engineering professors.

"As knowledge grows and fields grow, we need more faculty, you need a certain scale," Bollinger says. "And we need places to put them. Now, a number of young faculty share offices. Our science departments have lab conditions that don't compare to what other top universities have." As Bollinger often points out, Columbia has 194 square feet per student; Harvard boasts 368.

Certainly Columbia's plans are ambitious: across a large swath of Upper Manhattan, the university wants to create an academic enclave that will both nurture intellectual progress and revitalize an urban area. Piano's design aims to accomplish both. The campus will have wide, open streets that offer a broad view of the waterfront. Along the main thoroughfares, the lower floors of the academic buildings will be mostly glass — "they will be floating," as Piano puts it — filled with shops, restaurants and arts spaces serving the broader public of Harlem and the Upper West Side. The designs are still preliminary, and plans for specific buildings have yet to be developed. But Piano, who also designed The New York Times's new headquarters, now under construction, and a well-received addition to the Morgan Library, is committed to designing the space to promote these integrationist aims. "You will feel part of the community," Piano told me when we met at Columbia's Prentis Hall, a white-tiled former milk-bottling plant on Manhattanville's southern edge. Indeed, Piano's drawings, on display in the sunny ground-floor workshop, depict transparent skyscrapers lining ample boulevards with ethereal-looking pedestrians ambling along them.

But in the eyes of many local residents, Piano's optimistic rendering obscures the fact that to fulfill its vision, the university will have to bulldoze almost everything that's already there. About 1,600 people are currently employed in this part of Manhattanville, and some 400 live there. Many residents are disturbed by the placement of the campus between a park being built at the West Harlem Pier and the community that fought for years to have that park created. Meanwhile, most everyone expects that the university's arrival will accelerate the gentrification that is already transforming the historically black neighborhood of Harlem — to the benefit of some residents and the harm of others.

That places Columbia in an awkward position. "If Columbia were like another private developer, most would say it has no responsibility," says Peter Marcuse, a professor of urban planning at Columbia. "Developers are private-sector entities whose purpose is to make money. But Columbia is a nonprofit institution. It gets substantial public benefits and thus has substantial public obligations as a property owner." Of course, those public obligations are hard to define. If a development creates thousands of worthwhile new jobs, mostly for outsiders, while eliminating hundreds of local jobs, has it served the public good?

ollinger came to Columbia with the respect of many in Harlem who had long regarded the university with suspicion. As president of the University of Michigan, he won renown for defending a challenge to its affirmative-action program all the way to the Supreme Court. And from the start, he presented Columbia's plan as promoting the integration of a public-service-oriented university with its diverse surroundings. "There was a time when Columbia really turned its back on where it was located," Bollinger says. "I wanted to take exactly the opposite approach."

That presented Columbia with a complex architectural challenge. "A university is a place where young people take a step back from the world so that when they re-enter, they do so with great intensity, care and responsibility," says Mark Wigley, dean of Columbia's graduate school of architecture. "So the university must be a defined space. The fascinating challenge is how to make that a space of withdrawal and reflection and at the same time integrate that space in the richest way possible in the very heart of vibrant New York City." In Bollinger's view, that sort of space benefits not only the university but also its neighbors. A hallmark of the new campus will be a center featuring Columbia's impressive array of neuroscientists. Bollinger also wants to bring the School of the Arts to Manhattanville, linking the arts with the physical and the social sciences. "We're looking for a new kind of intellectual paradigm," Bollinger told me, seated in his spacious office in Low Memorial Library, an imposing domed edifice in the center of the Morningside Heights campus. "Now we don't have the facilities to really achieve this intellectual ambition."

Columbia has promised to relocate residents directly displaced by its $7 billion plan, which it expects will create nearly 7,000 new jobs over 25 to 30 years — including academic, technical, maintenance and support positions, plus those at any new restaurants and shops. It has reserved space on the campus for a public school specializing in math, science and engineering. And Bollinger says he's willing to negotiate other benefits, like local hiring preferences. But to Bollinger, who describes his approach to development as "somewhere between the Jane Jacobs and Robert Moses views of the world," the interests of Harlem residents are only one concern among many. "We are not a profit-making institution looking out for our own advantage," he said. "We are trying to do things that help the world more broadly. The community is not everything." Above all, he seems unwilling to compromise on one thing: he wants the entire space. Indeed, Piano's design requires it. Much of the campus is to be built into a sort of bathtub that could reach seven stories underground. "The factory," as Piano calls it, would hide the facility's more noxious needs — like parking, loading docks and energy equipment — allowing the campus itself to be serene.

Columbia has already purchased more than half the property it would need. But some owners have refused to sell, and Columbia says that eminent domain remains an option if negotiations fail. It's a dicey option, however. Throughout the country, public opposition to eminent domain has mounted since last summer, when the Supreme Court ruled that private property can be seized by local governments for private development. Virtually every state has considered changing its eminent-domain laws; at least 13 different bills on the subject have been introduced in Congress. As Justice Clarence Thomas noted in his dissent in the recent Kelo case, concerning New London, Conn., an expansive definition of "public use" in the 50's and 60's permitted local governments to eliminate entire minority neighborhoods through eminent domain in the name of "urban renewal" — soon known as "Negro removal" among blacks. Not surprisingly, Columbia's talk of seizing property does not go over well in Harlem. Still, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in strong support of eminent domain — which also figures in the developer Bruce Ratner's controversial efforts to construct a basketball stadium and condos in the Atlantic Yards area of Brooklyn. Without it, "every big city would have all construction come to a screeching halt," Bloomberg said recently.

It doesn't help Columbia's reputation in Harlem that it wants to use part of the space for a lab with a security clearance that would allow research on highly dangerous substances like anthrax. (Columbia says that it has no plans to actually do such research on the new campus.) Since Sept. 11, many people have warned that such labs could become terrorist targets. And given that Harlem has long been a depository for the city's unwanted environmental hazards — including a sewage-treatment plant and three-quarters of Manhattan's bus depots — many residents are immediately suspicious of large government-supported projects. "You never know when an accident can happen," says Sarah Martin, president of the residents' association at a housing development in Manhattanville. "Where do a lot of deadly viruses come from? They're airborne sometimes. I heard something about the AIDS virus being made in a dish. So that's a possibility." Indeed, many are quick to mention an outbreak last year of Legionnaire's disease at the Columbia-affiliated NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital or that Columbia has been fined for mishandling hazardous waste. Local residents also repeatedly reminded me that Columbia scientists participated in the original Manhattan Project — leading some to dub Columbia's campus plan "the Manhattanville Project."

Columbia hopes that the benevolent aims of the institution, and its modern campus featuring open spaces that local residents can enjoy, will eventually assuage local concerns. "This is creating a neighborhood," says Bernard Tschumi, a former dean of Columbia's school of architecture. "Students bring street life, they bring safety. Maybe not when universities built themselves as fortresses, like Columbia did a century ago. But the attitude today is very different. Renzo and Lee have exactly the right idea."

Still, other architecture critics are skeptical. "If it's driving out existing businesses and driving up real estate prices, then the specific character of the architecture has very little impact," says Michael Sorkin, director of the Graduate Urban Design Program at City College. "I don't think that glassy facades have much to do with the loss of low-cost housing." In Sorkin's view, Columbia will have to offer the community more than a pleasing design to address that: "What they do to mitigate that disruption is a measure of the conscience and intelligence of the university."

The greatest fear of West Harlem residents is that they'll eventually be driven out. "The central thing to understand is that Harlem is terrified of gentrification, and rightly so," says Herbert Gans, a Columbia sociologist. Columbia's arrival is only intensifying those fears. "Columbia is an important cog in the wheel that is driving gentrification in Harlem," says Nellie Bailey, executive director of the Harlem Tenants' Council. "This is not just a neighborhood struggle. What will happen to the city's mosaic if the working and middle class can no longer afford to live here?" But many, including Gans, think that if the university handles the project well, Columbia could bring much-needed jobs, affordable housing and other improvements to Manhattanville — an area Gans calls "an industrial slum."

t a packed forum last fall at the Municipal Art Society in Midtown Manhattan, it was clear that Columbia's efforts to win over its neighbors were faring poorly. "We welcome Columbia to our neighborhood, but not to bulldoze us," announced Anne Whitman, owner of a moving and storage business situated in the proposed construction site. It was not possible to know how representative those in attendance were of the Manhattanville community. That said, business owners, planning experts and West Harlem residents alternately described Columbia's plan as "abysmal," "criminal," "greedy" and "heartless." At a city hearing a month later, 70 speakers stood up over a period of six and a half hours to denounce "Hurricane Columbia" for a plan many claimed would force out longtime residents, eliminate skilled manufacturing jobs, drive up Harlem housing costs and segregate the racially diverse neighborhood. Columbia has presented its new campus designs to a range of West Harlem community organizations. So far, though, the plans don't seem to have calmed their concerns. "Columbia is going to be between the community and the park," says Peggy Shepard, executive director of We Act for Environmental Justice. "Will people feel comfortable going over there, or will it be only for Columbia students?"

In part, the problem may be that the general public — and particularly the immediately surrounding neighborhood — doesn't always view architectural designs the way architects do. "In theory, a brilliant design can overcome social reservations on the part of the community," says Alex Krieger, professor of urban planning and design at Harvard. "But such conflicts are as much emotional as they are rational. A neighborhood that feels itself disempowered by comparison to the power of a university is always going to have its guard up."

Given Columbia's history, that guard is particularly high here. In 1968, when much of the world was in turmoil, Columbia University had its own reckoning. Although campus protests were common for the day, the uprising at Columbia was striking for its scale and brutality. And the spark had much to do with a university expansion plan: to construct a gymnasium in Morningside Park in Harlem. In a concession to the community, the university agreed to provide gym facilities for local residents — with a separate entrance on the Harlem side.

The so-called Gym Crow didn't sit well with Harlem neighbors, or with many students on campus. And it fueled tensions over other expansion efforts, as throughout the 60's Columbia had been purchasing apartment buildings all over Morningside Heights, displacing thousands of poor, mostly black and Puerto Rican residents.

In April 1968, students took over five major campus buildings in protest. A week later, the standoff ended in bloodshed: police stormed the buildings, beating and arresting students. Nearly 200 were injured.

"It was a war, and it had devastating consequences," Bollinger told me recently. "Many faculty left because they were bitter that the university had allowed an anti-intellectual group to take down the university; others left because the response was so brutal."

Community Board 9, composed of about 50 people appointed by the borough president who represent a broad cross-section of West Harlem residents, activists and business owners, does not oppose Columbia's expansion to West Harlem per se. But it wants Columbia to conform to a very different West Harlem plan that the board has developed — after community meetings and consultations with urban-planning experts — over the last decade. In Manhattanville, the board's plan would retain some manufacturing, preserve more historic architecture and allow current property owners to remain. The university would have to build around them. The city, now reviewing both proposals, has asked Columbia and the community board to try to reconcile their differences.

That may be difficult. Although Bollinger acknowledges that Columbia has an obligation to its surrounding community, he says he believes that Columbia's nonprofit status also works the other way around: "We're not here to make money, we're here to discover knowledge. So there's a larger public interest here that's extremely important to keep one's eye on."

Columbia has agreed to negotiate with a development corporation and the community board over providing a broad range of benefits. Across the country, such agreements are increasingly encouraging private designs to encompass the concerns of public planning. If successful, the Manhattanville project could become a model for responsible urban development — balancing the university's global ambitions with some of its neighbors' more immediate concerns.

Back when he was championing affirmative action, Bollinger described diversity as "trying to understand what it is like to be in the mind of another person who has a different life experience." The success of his latest endeavor may depend on whether he can generate that kind of empathy now.

Daphne Eviatar has written widely about economic development. Her last article for the magazine was a profile of Jeffrey Sachs.
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:06 PM   #158
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http://www.nytimes.com/2006/05/21/ny...ty/21stre.html
Surprisingly, Silence Reigns in a Hospital Construction Zone

By JENNIFER A. KINGSON
Published: May 21, 2006


Costas Kondylis & Partners, L.L.P

ORDINARILY, if one of the five megalithic medical institutions near the East River in the 60's and 70's planned to rip down low-rise buildings and replace them with a 20-story glass-and-concrete tower, the neighborhood would roll up its collective sleeves in preparation for a scrap.

Not this time. So far there has been no organized opposition to NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital's plan to replace a street front of 10 modest walk-ups with a residential building for its doctors, nurses and staff. In a city where every stone turned seems to provoke a battle, that is indeed news.

The old buildings, on First Avenue between 71st and 72nd Streets, are scheduled to be demolished by August; the new apartment house should be ready for occupancy in early 2008. According to Robert S. Vollard, a senior vice president of the hospital, tenants of the 120 apartments in the walk-ups, which the hospital owned, have been relocated, mostly on the Upper East Side.

Given the all-out brawl over Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center's construction of a 23-story research laboratory on 68th Street between York and First Avenues, one might have expected that a comparable development in a more central location would provoke a revolt.

But community opposition to the NewYork-Presbyterian project has been almost nonexistent. Asked if there had been opposition, David G. Liston, the chairman of Community Board 8, said, "I haven't heard anything" and had to consult the board's land-use committee for details of the project. "So far this is not something that has generated any controversy," he said. "But you never know. It could."

One reason for the silence may be that the hospital did not need any special permits to proceed with construction, although it did get permission from the city to build "a little bigger than we would normally," Mr. Vollard said, in exchange for setting aside 13 of the 253 units for low-income tenants.

Then, too, NewYork-Presbyterian has been bending over backward to be a good neighbor. The hospital has met twice with the community board, and the heads of the co-op boards of buildings adjacent to the project were given the phone number of Martin A. Cohen, the hospital's vice president for real estate, with the suggestion that they call him with questions or concerns.

And during last winter's holiday shopping season, a wall, built to partition the empty buildings from the sidewalk, was made to hug the structures closely, so as not to impede pedestrians. It would have been better for the construction work to have built it wider, Mr. Cohen said, and it has since been widened.

Neighborhood residents can also look forward to seeing some familiar faces when the new building opens. Some of the old retail tenants may return to the stores on the ground level of the new building, Mr. Vollard said.

One tenant who had to vacate was Councilwoman Jessica Lappin. But she, too, had kind words for how she was treated by hospital officials.

"My dealings with them were very pleasant," Ms. Lappin said. "Any kind of big development like this is going to be an inconvenience, but they have tried to be responsive to the community."

Some of the motley low-rises, soon to be leveled, have been wrapped, cocoonlike, in a dark mesh screen and will be reborn as 1330 First Avenue.

Shown as a rendering, the new, light-filled structure was designed by Costas Kondylis & Partners. Its projects have included the 72-story Trump World Tower, across from the United Nations on First Avenue, which Donald Trump has called the tallest residential building in the world.

Providing nice apartments in a good neighborhood, Mr. Vollard says, is an important way for NewYork-Presbyterian to attract and retain skilled people.

"The mission of the hospital is to provide great medical care," he said. "You're not going to recruit many world-renowned medical doctors to go into a four- or six-story walk-up."
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Old May 21st, 2006, 07:36 PM   #159
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Quote:
Certainly Columbia's plans are ambitious: across a large swath of Upper Manhattan, the university wants to create an academic enclave that will both nurture intellectual progress and revitalize an urban area. Piano's design aims to accomplish both. The campus will have wide, open streets that offer a broad view of the waterfront. Along the main thoroughfares, the lower floors of the academic buildings will be mostly glass — "they will be floating," as Piano puts it — filled with shops, restaurants and arts spaces serving the broader public of Harlem and the Upper West Side.

I hope Columbia manages to pull this off. That area needs alot of attention. But without a doubt that NIMBY's will put out a fight.
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Old May 22nd, 2006, 01:20 AM   #160
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NEW YORK CITY IS THE GREATEST CITY IN THE ******* WORLD, BUT I DON`T LIKE THE YELLOW TAXIS.
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