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Old April 8th, 2004, 11:24 PM   #1
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75 Story Beekman Tower by Gehry Proposed Near Pace

Looks like the old thread got pruned, I don't know how many remember this one, but here's an update...

50-Story Tower Will Go Up On Parking Lot Next to Hospital

By Etta Sanders

A 50-story residential tower, to be designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, is planned for the parking lot of NYU Downtown Hospital. The lower floors are expected to house retail stores and a 10,000-square-foot outpatient center for the hospital. Other floors may be the new home for Pace University's business school and student dorms.

The plans were disclosed by community representatives who met with the developer, Bruce Ratner.

Forest City Ratner acquired the rights to develop the site from the hospital in December 2003. A spokesman for Ratner said it was too soon to comment on specific plans of the site, including the choice the architect.

Pace University confirmed that they are in discussions with Ratner, but would not give details of any pending arrangement. "Conversations are taking place, but it is premature to say anything more at this time," said Christopher Cory, a Pace spokesman.

Gehry would be the second high-profile architect tapped to design a building in the area. Last month an apartment building of transparent cubes, designed by Santiago Calatrava, was announced for a location on South Street. Calatrava is the architect of the bird-shaped PATH terminal to be built at the World Trade Center site.

Members of Community Board 1, who had hoped the plans for the site would include a community facility, said they were surprised that Pace, a private university, would be part of the development.

One board member, Marc Donnenfeld, who lives in a 15-story building on Nassau Street adjacent to the parking lot, said he was also disturbed by the size of the proposed building.

"It's going to be huge," he said. "It's going to be like Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians."

Suzanne Fass, a 22-year resident of 140 Nassau St., whose windows overlook the parking lot, agreed that 50 stories would be out of scale with the surrounding buildings.

"My main concern and the concern of people in this building is that he not occupy the lot in such a way that he cuts off the air," she said. "All we're asking is that he be a good neighbor."

But the community possesses little leverage to affect the plans.

"We can oppose a tower, but as a community board we technically don't have any capacity to do anything about it," said Madelyn Wils, chair of Community Board 1.

Tower's site drawn out by NYguy:

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Old April 9th, 2004, 12:41 PM   #2
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Hopefully, it will be a good-looking tower!
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Old April 9th, 2004, 01:21 PM   #3
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when do u think construction will start?
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Old April 10th, 2004, 05:02 AM   #4
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Renderings/models/specs havent been released so I dont think we know yet when construction begins. I hope soon!
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Old April 10th, 2004, 10:30 AM   #5
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It'd better not suck, or there shall be much Hell to pay.
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Old April 11th, 2004, 02:35 AM   #6
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Sounds awsome. I want a rendering!
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Old April 11th, 2004, 07:41 AM   #7
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Me too, I hate waiting for renderings!!
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Old April 20th, 2004, 01:03 AM   #8
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Make it 55 stories!

NY POST

GEHRY LUXURY TOWER

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

April 19, 2004 -- Developer Bruce Ratner plans to use high-wattage architect Frank Gehry to design a 55-story, $210 million luxury apartment tower in lower Manhattan, after signing a deal to buy the site from NYU Downtown Hospital.

Ratner recently tapped Gehry for a proposed Nets basketball stadium with an adjoining office and residential complex in Downtown Brooklyn - but while approval for that deal is still far off, the lower Manhattan project may be closer to becoming a reality.

Sources familiar with the deal said Ratner has signed a contract with the hospital to pay in excess of $85 million for a parking lot between Spruce and Beekman streets, across the street from Pace University.

The deal also includes some 40,000 square feet of rent-free office or clinic space for the hospital and 400,000 square feet of dorms and classrooms for Pace.

Last February, the developer's Forest City Ratner Cos. received a preliminary authorization from the city's Housing Development Corp. for $131.4 million in tax-free Liberty Bonds to cover the land purchase and part of the construction costs, according to agency spokeswoman Tracy Paurowski.

Gehry is listed as the architect in HDC documents, which estimate the total cost of the project at $210 million.

The sale is expected to be finalized by summer.

In a recent meeting with members of Community Board 1, Ratner said he will use Gehry as the architect, and he has also committed to use Gehry in talks with hospital and city officials.

A Ratner representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Gehry will design the building.


FRANK GEHRY
To design $210M bldg.
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Old April 22nd, 2004, 06:34 AM   #9
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man, that's tall, and so close to the city hall. i think they should cut down on the height, or build it farther south, but i also can't wait to see the rendering. hopefully it'll be good, way better than that chileno architect design for 80 south street
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Old April 23rd, 2004, 04:54 AM   #10
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Did you say cut down the height?? Theres nothing by the BK bridge ramps...worth looking at. I think this and Calatravas new thang will add ultra modern flare to the classic deco skyline.
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Old May 6th, 2004, 05:38 AM   #11
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A good project with only one bad thing going for it; its designed by Gehry.
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Old May 19th, 2004, 10:23 PM   #12
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NY Times

Big Project Moves Forward on One-Acre Site

By DAVID W. DUNLAP
Published: May 19, 2004

State and city officials are putting together more than $370 million in tax-exempt financing for a project in Lower Manhattan that is remarkable for the mix of uses on a single acre: an apartment tower, a business school, a dormitory, an art gallery, a hospital, a parking garage and a good-size store.

The one-million-square-foot building, designed by Frank Gehry for Forest City Ratner Companies, would include 330,000 square feet of space for Pace University, whose main building is across Spruce Street, and a 25,000-square-foot ambulatory care unit for NYU Downtown Hospital, which stands next door on Beekman Street.

The developers are hoping to get up to $243 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bond financing for the commercial part of the project, up to $130 million in Liberty Bond financing for the residential tower and about $10 million in tax savings for Pace, which will lease its space with an option to buy it after eight years.

The state Liberty Development Corporation is expected today to formally declare its intent to issue the bonds for the commercial portion of the project.

Cobbling together such a complex financing package for such diverse users has involved tough negotiations.

"We clearly used the carrot and the stick in order to get this done," Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said yesterday in a telephone interview.

"It's a very complicated deal," Mr. Doctoroff said, "but it seemed to us to make such sense to have Pace and Forest City Ratner and NYU Downtown Hospital as partners. Everybody compromised."

A key stumbling block was a kind of paradox involving Pace and NYU Downtown. On one hand, to ensure its economic health, the hospital needed to get a good price for the parking lot on which the new tower is to be built. (One bond application form put the acquisition cost at $42 million.) But the higher the development cost, the harder it became for Pace, a nonprofit institution, to afford to be a part of the project.

"While the developer was open to discussions with Pace about its tenancy, it also has an alternative, high-value development strategy involving a fully residential building," according to a memorandum from Charles A. Gargano, the chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, to the directors of the Liberty Development Corporation.

"After protracted negotiations," the memo continued, "both sides had essentially walked away from the table and the developer was prepared to proceed with a residential deal. It was only significant pressure from the city that got the sides talking again."

What justified the effort, said Andrew M. Alper, the president of the City Economic Development Corporation, was that "you have, in one project, an awful lot of elements that all add to the recovery of Lower Manhattan." That includes 600 students in the Pace dormitory, who will "provide traffic for retailers downtown and enliven the streets."

Officials said the project would provide the equivalent of 1,546 full-time jobs in construction and development. They emphasized that no final actions had been taken yet on any of the applications. A similar point was made by David A. Caputo, the president of Pace, who said the deal awaited the approval of the university board.

In addition to the dormitory, Pace would use its space to house the Lubin School of Business, other classrooms, an art gallery, the admissions office and dining areas.

"We see this as a major reaffirmation of our investment and commitment to Lower Manhattan and also to the business and corporate community," Dr. Caputo said. "It gives a sense of an urban campus."

Forest City Ratner, which is the development partner of The New York Times Company in its new headquarters on Eighth Avenue, between 40th and 41st Streets, has kept quiet about its downtown project during the negotiations and preliminary design work.

James P. Stuckey, the executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, said yesterday that it is still too early even to say how tall the structure will be, since much depends on the layout of the apartment tower (estimated at 45 stories all by itself), the dormitory, the business school, the hospital unit and the plaza at the base of the building.

The expected action by the Liberty Development Corporation today would allow the developer to begin spending money that would eventually be reimbursable from the bond financing.

Given the involvement of Mr. Gehry, who is working for Forest City Ratner on the proposed Brooklyn arena for the Nets basketball team, Mr. Stuckey said, "We have a lot of confidence that this building will become a postcard for Lower Manhattan."

He added, "We love to do complicated projects."
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Old May 20th, 2004, 12:31 AM   #13
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ahh..nice to hear from this project again and yes, I cant wait for a rendering
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Old August 13th, 2004, 02:19 AM   #14
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Finally some sort of news about the project, this paragraph is from Downtown Express which was included in an article about more than just this project...

Downtown Express

Suggestions for Gehry

In a July 27 resolution, Community Board 1 suggested ways to mitigate the impact of the 53-story tower planned for the N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital parking lot at the base of the Brooklyn Bridge.

The mixed use tower, to be designed by Frank Gehry, will house 25,000 square feet of outpatient hospital offices, 125,000 square feet for Pace University’s Lubin Business School and an art gallery, a 600-bed dormitory for Pace, up to 550 rental and condominium apartments, ground floor retail and underground parking for 350 to 400 cars.

The resolution said that shifting the building’s footprint east would create a needed buffer between the tower and the residential buildings at 140 and 150 Nassau St. Another recommendation included building two towers with a view corridor in between, to allow for more light and air for Nassau St. residents.

The area around the lot, bordered by Spruce, Beekman, Nassau and Gold Sts., is already too congested, the resolution stated. One way to ease the traffic in an area that includes a hospital and a firehouse would be to increase the amount of green time at the traffic light at Beekman and Park Row for traffic heading west on Beekman, the resolution said. Another way would be to reverse Spruce St., it said.

Some action must be taken to ease the burden on the surrounding community, board members and local residents said.

“You can’t have as a result a building that alienates the community from the hospital and Pace,” said Madelyn Wils, chairperson of C.B. 1.

From: http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_65/downtownlocal.html
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Old August 13th, 2004, 02:50 AM   #15
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Sweet! Wasn't there a 69 story tower planned around there too?
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Old September 5th, 2004, 07:44 PM   #16
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AMAZING NEWS, it's going to be 75 stories!

Excerpt on the tower from the NY Times article the "New New York Skyline..."

Quote:
Several blocks west of the Calatrava tower, Frank Gehry is working on a luxury high-rise for the Ratner Development Company, the same developer he is teamed with to design the proposed Nets stadium in Brooklyn.

Whatever the interiors are like, the public will most likely get the best view. Mr. Gehry's 75-story tower — which could not be shown here, because it is still in the earliest stages of design — is conceived as a series of undulating glass panels that hang down over the building's structural frame like flowing drapery. The curtain-like surfaces split apart at various points, then peel open at the top to create an almost classical crown. In its way, the tower is as elaborate as the nearby Woolworth Building, whose soaring neo-gothic stone facades set a standard of aesthetic excess and visual splendor nearly a century ago.

Even the building's location reflects the increasing value of such architectural status symbols. Historically, the reason the bulk of Manhattan's towers were concentrated near Wall Street and in Midtown was because the bedrock there is especially solid. Both Mr. Gehry's and Mr. Calatrava's towers would be built in an area just north of Wall Street, where the bedrock is less firm. To support them, engineers will have to drive pylons more than 150 feet into the earth, adding millions to construction costs.
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Old September 5th, 2004, 08:11 PM   #17
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sounds good. i was worried that the gehry tower would wind up becoming a boring glass box or a building with a crappy facade like many of nyc's newer residential towers.

but i think it'll be better if gehry's tower and calatrava's tower switch places. gehry's tower sounds like it can integrate with downtown's skyline quite well, but calatrava's tower can get its best effects if it's more isolated.
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Old September 25th, 2004, 06:23 PM   #18
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Of course here comes the opposition...

Downtown Express

20 more stories for Beekman building

SEPTEMBER 24 - 30, 2004

By Ronda Kaysen

Real estate developer Bruce Ratner announced plans last week to increase the size of his Beekman St. tower from 55 stories to 75 stories, making it the second tallest proposed building in the Downtown skyline after the Freedom Tower, and inciting outrage from local residents and a potential lawsuit from the city council.

The announcement of a 20-story addition to the one-million-square-foot tower on the lot bordered by Spruce, Beekman, Nassau and Gold Sts. was proposed as a solution to concerns from residents of the neighboring Southbridge Towers that the development would block their windows. Ratner’s alternative — to build a taller, slimmer building with an open plaza — is not what the residents had in mind.

“When you negotiate something in a community that the community doesn’t like, it usually goes down in scale, not up,” Paul Viggiano, president of Southbridge Towers co-op board, said at Community Board 1’s meeting, Sept. 21. “We’re going to get all of our political muscle together to do what we can to get this building down [in size].”

Dan Slippen, director of community relations for Pace University, one of the building’s potential tenants, defended the increase in size. “We’ve been trying to make good will with the community,” he told the board. “We went to 75 stories because of an agreement with members of the community who did not want the bulk of the building against their building, which caused the building to rise.”

No official agreement was reached between Ratner and the community, according to Paul Epstein, a resident of 140 Nassau St. “Nobody has reached any agreement with anybody,” he told the Downtown Express, although he and other residents of his building have met with Ratner’s office. Nevertheless, residents of 140 and 150 Nassau Sts. thought the slimmer alternative was an improvement, Epstein said.

Relieved there will be space between his apartment and the tower — Epstein’s bedroom windows look out on the site — Epstein argues that the building needs to be smaller in more ways than height. “The height is what gets some people excited, but the bulk is what counts,” he said. “If it’s going to be in this size range, it’s going to be a massive building [no matter what].”

Frank Gehry will be the architect, but no renderings of the building have been released.

The building’s staggering height and its bulk are not the community’s only concern. With no clear plans for amenities for the neighborhood — aside from the open plaza — C.B. 1 leaders and local politicians have stepped in to negotiate a development that is more appealing to the densely populated neighborhood.

“We have lots of people in this neighborhood that need services and we haven’t been able to create anything for them, no schools, no parks, nothing,” said Paul Goldstein, C.B. 1’s district manager. Goldstein is hoping to set aside 50,000 square feet of space in the new building for a community center for the neighborhood, one with a gym and swimming pool.

In the current plan, Pace University will occupy 330,000 square feet, or about one-third of the tower. In its portion of the building, Pace will house dormitories, a business school and offices, an art gallery and community space for the public. The rest of the building will be devoted to a 25,000-square-foot outpatient facility for N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital, and rental and condo apartments.

The building’s height, he said, is of less concern than its lack of community services. “This huge building is going to go up without anything for the community,” Goldstein said. “It’s a big pill to swallow.”


The city acquired the site under eminent domain in 1964, and then sold it to what is now NYU Downtown Hospital in 1967, with strict height and land use restrictions. When the statue of limitations on the parcel expired in April, Forest City Enterprises began negotiations to purchase the property from the money-strapped hospital.

The project will be partially financed by $243 million in commercial Liberty Bonds for the construction of the lower 24 floors of the tower for Pace University and NYU Downtown Hospital.

“Public funds were used to condemn a property for public use, at least a piece of it needs to go back to public use,” said C.B. 1 chairperson Madelyn Wils at the board meeting.

City Councilmember Alan Gerson may file a lawsuit against Forest City Enterprises on behalf of the City Council to insure the community’s needs are met. “You’re talking about building the largest building in Lower Manhattan and that requires a thorough review,” Gerson told Downtown Express. “We can’t just have such a mammoth development without getting it right.”

The deadline for filing a lawsuit is Oct. 4, although Gerson is not convinced that a resolution will require legal action. “A lawsuit is always the last resort,” he said. “I hope over the next week or so we’ll be able to come up with an arrangement that meets the needs of the community.”

Forest City Enterprises did not comment.

At its Sept. 21 meeting, C. B. 1 passed a resolution supporting Gerson’s suit. “This 75-story building benefits Ratner,” said Wils. “Now Ratner needs to step up to the plate and see how he wants to deal with the community.”

Ronda@DowntownExpress.com
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Old September 25th, 2004, 09:42 PM   #19
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I think I'm gonna like this tower.
Altough I didn't like what the comments were on the design with the ondulating glass, I'm sure it's going to turn alright.
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Old September 26th, 2004, 12:05 AM   #20
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What the hell are the nimby's complaining about? No public amnities? It's a freakin' hospital! And college! They aren't gonna win this one though... that makes me smile.

Last edited by Vlad the Great; September 26th, 2004 at 12:05 AM. Reason: spelling
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