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View Full Version : The Helena - 601 West 57th Street - Rental - by FX Fowle



ASchwarz
November 15th, 2002, 09:43 PM
This from the Times. *The entire block is owned by the Dursts and is zoned to allow a second large tower. *Though the article doesn't mention it, I would guess we will soon have two new skyscrapers on the block.


580 Rentals at 57th and 11th

Two prominent New York City real estate families, the Dursts and the Roses, have joined to develop a 37-story apartment building on the northwest corner of 57th Street and 11th Avenue — a block owned by a less well-known real estate family since the 1860's, when it was a Hudson River inlet.

The Durst Organization, with Douglas and Jody Durst as co-presidents, is primarily a commercial development firm with an office-building portfolio of 7.5 million square feet.

Rose Associates, headed by Adam R. Rose, is primarily a residential development and management company.

The rental building, to be called the Helena (after one of Douglas Durst's daughters), "is the Dursts', 100 percent," insisted Mr. Rose. "And I'm very proud they selected us to develop it — the official title is owner's representative — manage construction, set the rents and ultimately manage the property."

The glass and metal building, designed by the Fox & Fowle architectural firm, will have 580 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, with balconies in those units facing the Hudson.

It will also have a health club, swimming pool, residents' lounge and children's playroom. Site preparation for the $160 million building is complete, and occupancy is expected in the fall of 2004. Rents have not yet been set.

In 1998, the Durst Organization signed a 99-year lease with the Four Plus Corporation, owners of the entire block, allowing it to demolish several one- and two-story commercial buildings. Among the relocated businesses were a recent incarnation of the Copacabana night club and the Artkraft Strauss Company, the signage designers.

The Dursts planned to build a data processing center, NYCyberCenter, with its own power generating plant, in the middle of the block. "Unfortunately, since 9/11, it's on hold," Douglas Durst said.

The president of the Four Plus Corporation, Jonathan Lang, said his company was founded in 1935 by John Hutchins, a descendant of "a very aggressive 19th-century real estate guy," Charles Appleby.

In the 1860's, Mr. Lang said, the 160,000-square-foot strip that now constitutes the block where the Helena will be built was one of two "coves of the Hudson" mapped by the city for its street grid.

"About 1868," he said, "Appleby made a deal with the city that if he filled in the cove where the convention center now is, and this one at 57th Street, they would give him the land for free" DENNIS HEVESI

Rich Battista
November 16th, 2002, 12:01 AM
wow, this is somewhat good news, does anyone know what the buildings will look like yet

Fabb
November 16th, 2002, 06:45 AM
The glass and metal building, designed by the Fox & Fowle architectural firm, will have 580 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, with balconies in those units facing the Hudson.


Good. I usually like their work.

NoyokA
November 16th, 2002, 08:38 AM
I think Marshall has a height for this one. Over 500 feet.

Derek2k3
November 16th, 2002, 09:59 AM
Are you getting this building confused with 235 West 51st also by Fox & Fowle and is suppose to be 585ft.? This building might have been a 500 footer if they didnt change it to a residential but it's not going to be now.

http://images.fotki.com/v13/free/1bbb/3/39399/162597/NYCyberCenter1-vi.jpg?1037457293
The Helena is on the right, the 6 story NYCyberCenter in the middle, and the last tower is on the left.

(Edited by Derek2k3 at 10:00 am on Nov. 16, 2002)

NoyokA
November 16th, 2002, 10:12 AM
yes I did. The Helena isnt bad looking for a residential building, just nothing special.

Rich Battista
November 22nd, 2002, 08:15 PM
if it will be a total residential building, for that height i would have to say around 450 to 500 feet tall.

Edward
May 26th, 2003, 08:19 PM
The Helena
57th Street and Eleventh Avenue
37 stories
580 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments
Fox & Fowle Architects
Under Construction from 2002 to Fall of 2004


The 37-story Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm) under construction. 26 May 2003.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_durst_57th_26may03.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

Derek2k3
June 12th, 2003, 10:22 PM
From Fox & Fowle's website
\http://foxfowle.com/foxfowle.htm

The Helena Apartment Building

The Helena, a 37-story residential building with 580 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments, is the first phase of Fox & Fowle's mixed-use master plan for the riverfront block at the western end of West 57th Street. The tower's form is enriched through a composition of interlocking elements—building mass, fenestration, balconies—resulting in interesting and varied views of the building. The design represents a reinvention of the conventional New York City residential building typology; floor to ceiling glass, wrap-around windows and sleek metal panels. High performance technologies such as gray water, central heating and cooling systems and green roofing are integrated.

http://foxfowle.com/images/helena1.jpghttp://foxfowle.com/images/helena2.jpg
Though slightly bland, it will be the best looking residential building West of Eighth Avenue in recent years IMO.





(Edited by Derek2k3 at 10:36 pm on June 12, 2003)

Ptarmigan
June 12th, 2003, 10:25 PM
Looks like a cool building to me. That will make the skyline certainly interesting. :)

Agglomeration
June 12th, 2003, 10:40 PM
One question I must ask- Where are the low-rise fanatical NIMBY's? :biggrin:

DominicanoNYC
June 12th, 2003, 10:42 PM
THis isn't to far from my school. I should go down over there and see the site to check for any more renderings. Well if there are any billboards.

(Edited by DominicanoNYC at 10:44 pm on June 12, 2003)

JACKinNYC
June 12th, 2003, 11:04 PM
That's not really a NIMBY neighborhood. It's pretty industrial, so the locals will welcome it as something that's better than what's currently there. They won't jump for joy, but they'll probably want to live in it.

JerzDevl2000
June 13th, 2003, 01:08 AM
Besides the skyline-altering element, I don't think it's anything special. Isn't John Jay College near this site?

DominicanoNYC
June 13th, 2003, 08:19 AM
Yeah. I think that it's a block from the site. Then again I'm not sure.

billyblancoNYC
June 13th, 2003, 10:16 AM
" is the first phase of Fox & Fowle's mixed-use master plan for the riverfront block at the western end of West 57th Street. "

Any info on this? *Not sure what this means.

DominicanoNYC
November 10th, 2003, 08:43 PM
I passed by the site on Saturday and here's alink to a pic I took:
http://www.pbase.com/image/23188372/medium

Gulcrapek
November 10th, 2003, 09:53 PM
Gracias.

DominicanoNYC
November 11th, 2003, 08:11 PM
De nada.

Edward
February 14th, 2004, 10:31 PM
http://newyork.construction.com/features/archive/0401_Cover2.asp

The Helena
Silver and Green Are the Colors In Question

By Amy S. Choi

The Helena, a 38-floor, 600-unit rental residential property owned and being developed by New York City-based Durst Organization Inc., will be "green."

Durst is aiming for a silver ranking in the Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design certification process through the U.S. Green Building Council. That means the developer should incorporate both construction and design strategies that balance environmental responsibility, resource efficiency, occupant comfort and well-being, and community sensitivity.

"It's a very unusual scenario here," said Joan Ulbrich, the project manager in charge of LEED for Kreisler Borg Florman General Construction Co., the general contractor for the building at West 57th Street and 11th Avenue. "It's the first residential green building Durst has done and we really do believe it is the wave of the future. In the long term, the property will save money and save the environment."

The development team began planning for The Helena 18 months ago, and broke ground on the $160 million project in July. It is currently at grade level on the site and should be completed by October. At this stage of the construction process, the three most critical aspects of the project are waste management, erosion and sedimentation control, and indoor air quality before occupancy.

LEED requires that all of the construction debris on the site is segregated so paper, plastic, wood, metal and other materials can all be recycled. Rather than doing this on the site, KBFG contracted a waste management company to do it remotely, earning LEED points for preventing that waste from going into the landfill.

In terms of erosion and sedimentation control, KBFG has gravel pit systems in place to prevent soil from leaving the site and going into the rivers and the sewers, ensuring that whatever goes into the city's systems is clear. Indoor air quality during construction is maintained by covered ductwork on the site, so contaminants cannot enter the building or the apartments.

"Housekeeping is a tremendous part of this whole procedure," Ulbrich said. "During the construction and installation of the mechanical aspects of this site, everything was monitored closely to make sure that we conform to the plans that were submitted to accumulate LEED credits for the silver certification."

The building itself will incorporate dozens of environmentally responsible design elements. The individual apartment units, for example, will be constructed with renewable materials. The floors will be made of bamboo while the kitchen cabinets will be made of wheatboard, both of which are more environmentally safe than pine or oak.

The structure as a whole is using furnace slag-a waste product of steel manufacturing-in the poured concrete foundation, which strengthens the concrete and also prevents the slag from going into the landfill.

The nonrecycled materials in the building are still environmentally aware. For example, high-performance glass was utilized throughout the building, which provides for little heat penetration or loss through transparent glass.

"The glass isn't visually obtrusive like it used to be," said Bruce Fowle, senior and founding principal of Fox & Fowle Architects P.C. "We ended up with a mirror finish on the glass, which highlights the different angles and exposures of the façade and adds interest to the building."

The mechanical systems to be put in place are all also designed to be environmentally safe. For example, on many of the surfaces of the property the architects designed solar collection panels that will take energy from the sun and convert it to electric energy, which will be used alongside an electrical energy manufacturing plant within the building.

From this combined heat and energy facility, the by-product of hot water can also be used in another system, such as a chilling or refrigerant system in the building.

Green roofs will not only serve as an amenity to the residents of the property, but also help keep the building cooler and retain rainwater, which aids in preventing extraneous water runoff into the street. At the same time, a black water purification plant will collect the water used in the building and recycle it within the building. The goal is to reduce water consumption of the building by 50 percent.

"So much more engineering has to go into a green building in order to utilize all of the natural resources and track their course," said Jonathan Durst, co-president of the Durst Organization. "Engineering undoubtedly is getting better in every aspect. We just have to keep our fingers crossed that the market is going to be strong when we complete the project."

Edward
February 14th, 2004, 10:33 PM
Now that the Department of Sanitation Building is gone, there is a nice view of the Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm) construction. 14 February 2004.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_durst_14feb04.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

Gulcrapek
February 14th, 2004, 11:59 PM
Wow, I didn't even realize it was above grade...

muziqgod
February 17th, 2004, 08:10 PM
It's nice that none of the information on The Helena mentions that the building is literally next to a nice big smoke stack and that most apartments with a northern view will be directly looking at it.

krulltime
February 17th, 2004, 08:27 PM
:? That is true I noticed alot of smoke coming out from there....Are they doing something to that plant? What is it anyway?

muziqgod
February 17th, 2004, 08:40 PM
I don't remember what it was, but I went to check it out yesterday and it was definitely very ugly and so is the whole street. I'll go back and check and take a picture with a very "nice view" of it!

BrooklynRider
February 18th, 2004, 12:43 PM
I seem to recall it being some sort of plant for the IRT.

Edward
February 18th, 2004, 12:52 PM
I think it's a ConEd power plant.

ZippyTheChimp
February 27th, 2004, 06:45 PM
You are both correct. It's the original Interborough Rapid Transit Power House. In 1940 NYC took control of the transit companies, and in 1959, operation of the plant was transferred to Con Ed.

Ugly is not a term I would use to describe the building. The granite base, brickwork, and terra cotta detailing are of high workmanship. Except for the smokestack (there were once six), it doesn't look like a power station at all.

http://www.nycsubway.org/irt/irtbook/images/irt22-sm.jpg
The original power house as designed by McKim, Mead & White, who I think did some other stuff in New York.

Some recent photos of the Helena:

11th Ave. One section of facade is installed.
http://www.pbase.com/image/26435437.jpg

57th St near 12th ave.\http://www.pbase.com/image/26435445.jpg

View from Hudson River Park.
http://www.pbase.com/image/26435452.jpg

There was a question last year about what was going to be done with the 2 block long Dept of Sanition garage site. I asked a construction worker what they were building, and he said a bigger garage.

Edward
April 12th, 2004, 10:11 PM
The view along Eleventh Avenue. 10 April 2004.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_eleventh_10apr04.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

Edward
April 19th, 2004, 10:56 PM
Hudson River Park (http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/hudson_river_park/default.htm)'s bike path around 42nd Street, with the Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm) in the background. 18 April 2004.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/hudson_river_park/images/hudson_helena_18apr04.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

RandySavage
June 3rd, 2004, 10:48 AM
They've topped off and are adding facade. You can't tell from the photo but the faced looks quite striking. This will be a nice mid-sized building.

http://img22.photobucket.com/albums/v65/RandySavage/100_0091.jpg

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 10:52 AM
Yeah is looking nice. thanks!

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 11:07 AM
They've topped off and are adding facade. You can't tell from the photo but the faced looks quite striking. This will be a nice mid-sized building.

Yeah it will be a mid-sized building but it will sure look bigger there since is surronded by a bunch of low rises. It is a good thing. :P

billyblancoNYC
June 3rd, 2004, 11:21 AM
Excellent, more height and glass for the west side. This side of the skyline should be more impressive than the east side.

BrooklynRider
June 3rd, 2004, 01:20 PM
From the south, it has succeeded in pretty much obliterating that smokestack from view - thankfully. It looks great!

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 01:25 PM
I wonder how they will bring new residents if there is nothing in that area. It is just lonely. surrounded by parking garages and car dealerships.

I wish Trump will hurry up and built more towers in its vicinity.

RandySavage
June 3rd, 2004, 03:45 PM
The Helena is closer than any other residential building to the next segment of the Hudson River Park to open (under construction now). Other than that not much is around.

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 04:10 PM
What is that dark building in the background anyway? Isn't that an office building?

NoyokA
June 4th, 2004, 07:53 AM
What is that dark building in the background anyway? Isn't that an office building?

It's an office building for BMW whose glassy, sloping, base recently underwent a renovation.

ZippyTheChimp
June 29th, 2004, 11:56 PM
The Helena from Hudson River Park, June 29, 2004
http://www.pbase.com/image/30760516.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/image/30760543.jpg

krulltime
June 30th, 2004, 12:06 AM
The Helena:

http://www.pbase.com/image/30760733.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/30760846.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/30760914.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/30760919.jpg
http://www.pbase.com/image/30760929.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
September 10th, 2004, 10:39 PM
Sept 10, 2004
http://www.pbase.com/image/33665557.jpg

krulltime
September 11th, 2004, 09:41 PM
I guess about 8 floors of glass to go.

I do want to see more new residentil development to happen around the Helena. It is ashame this the only building going up around there. It will feel so lonely been there all alone at nightime. 8)

ZippyTheChimp
March 15th, 2005, 09:28 PM
1. From Intrepid pedestrian bridge.
2. From 12th Ave

Derek2k3
March 16th, 2005, 12:28 PM
Nice.

NewYorkYankee
March 16th, 2005, 02:11 PM
I really like the blue!

Kolbster
March 16th, 2005, 02:52 PM
I was there just this weekend coming back from the Doctors office...nice building, i must say

randomviolins
March 29th, 2005, 11:33 PM
Is that smokestack still active? I used to live a couple of blocks over about 4 years ago. The smokestack would spew fumes that you could smell from neighboring buildings. If it is still active, how are they going to keep those windows clean?

Edward
May 7th, 2005, 10:11 PM
Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/) on 7 May 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

NoyokA
May 7th, 2005, 10:38 PM
Very nice. Classic.

macreator
May 8th, 2005, 01:36 AM
Is anything going up on the empty lot to the West of the Helena?

Gulcrapek
May 29th, 2005, 07:50 PM
Ya, I forgot what...


5/29/05

http://img173.echo.cx/img173/5441/helena7kl.th.jpg (http://img173.echo.cx/my.php?image=helena7kl.jpg)

sfenn1117
May 30th, 2005, 05:53 PM
It's okay in my book, I dunno. but anything that replaces nothing is a good thing for our city.

Fabrizio
May 30th, 2005, 06:05 PM
At least it looks well made and expensive... from a distance anyway.

bigjdtemp
June 9th, 2005, 05:42 PM
I am from Connecticut and will be moving to the city on August 1st. I am very interested in The Helena, and am planning on visiting the building in the next week or so. However, I have some concerns that might not be resolved just by a visit, and was hoping someone on the forum could give me some advice...

What is this neighborhood really like, especially at night? It looks very unimpressive (if not desolate) from some of the photos I've seen. It is populated, lively, and safe? Also, does anyone know if the smokestack (which looks like it is right next to the building in pictures) is still visibly active?

Thanks to anyone with any advice...you might spare me a visit to the building if you confirm my fears...

ASchwarz
June 9th, 2005, 07:12 PM
I am from Connecticut and will be moving to the city on August 1st. I am very interested in The Helena, and am planning on visiting the building in the next week or so. However, I have some concerns that might not be resolved just by a visit, and was hoping someone on the forum could give me some advice...

What is this neighborhood really like, especially at night? It looks very unimpressive (if not desolate) from some of the photos I've seen. It is populated, lively, and safe? Also, does anyone know if the smokestack (which looks like it is right next to the building in pictures) is still visibly active?

Thanks to anyone with any advice...you might spare me a visit to the building if you confirm my fears...

The neighborhood is extremely safe and you will have no problems.

It is not the most active or exciting neighborhood at night. If you want a busy, noisy neighborhood, you should also consider options in nightlife and restaurant-oriented neighborhoods like the East Village. That said, the Helena is a short walk to 9th Avenue which has a long strip of great restaurants beginning at 57th Street and extending to about 34th Street. 57th Street itself has some good amenities and there are some late-night options on Columbus and Amsterdam.

NYCResident
June 9th, 2005, 10:46 PM
It is not the most active or exciting neighborhood at night.

That would be an understatement. I rent a storage unit at the Manhattan Mini Storage right behind the Helena and my brother-in-law lives on 59th and 9th, so I've been in that area plently of times at night - and it is dead.

But who knows, the way things are going in Manhattan, the area will probably be developed in a few years. bigjdtemp, I encourage you to check the area out yourself (especially at night), so you can make your own decision, but if you are looking for "populated and lively", this isn't it. If on the other hand, if you don't mind walking a few blocks to get to conviences and things to do, you might be ok with it.

bigjdtemp
June 9th, 2005, 11:12 PM
Thanks for your replies! I appreciate your insights.

It sounds like the building is at least worth a visit...

Edward
July 27th, 2005, 12:06 AM
The Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/) with Clinton Cove Park. 24 July 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_hudson.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

Fabrizio
July 27th, 2005, 03:35 AM
Wow... it looks like a real building.... puts most of the other apt. buildings in this photo to shame. Can anything be tackier than the condo to the left.... the balconied 80´s apartment tower with the mansard roof?

Edward
August 18th, 2005, 10:58 PM
The Helena (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/) rental with Manhattan skyscrapers in August of 2005.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_57th.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/default.htm)

Edward
August 18th, 2005, 11:34 PM
Last time.

BrooklynRider
August 18th, 2005, 11:58 PM
It looks so insignificant from this perspective.

sfenn1117
August 19th, 2005, 10:38 AM
Impressive you can see Bloomberg all the way from NJ. Why don't they make some kind of parapet to mask the ugliness of the antenna, and at the same time, add to the structural height. Without the antenna it's a perfect tower.

The Helena is like GE.........wide and massive on one side and slender and elegant on the other.

Joseph Mama
August 19th, 2005, 11:50 AM
I am from Connecticut and will be moving to the city on August 1st. I am very interested in The Helena, and am planning on visiting the building in the next week or so. However, I have some concerns that might not be resolved just by a visit, and was hoping someone on the forum could give me some advice...

What is this neighborhood really like, especially at night? It looks very unimpressive (if not desolate) from some of the photos I've seen. It is populated, lively, and safe? Also, does anyone know if the smokestack (which looks like it is right next to the building in pictures) is still visibly active?

Thanks to anyone with any advice...you might spare me a visit to the building if you confirm my fears...

I live right by the Helena, and I'll give you my opinion.


I really like the area. It's not hip. It's not a tight residential neighborhood like other more established ones. The restaurants aren't as good as many other established areas...but it's within walking distance of a lot (Lincoln Center, Columbus Circle/Time Warner, Times Square Area, Central Park etc.)


I do feel safe in the area...but then I (perhaps foolishly) have felt safe just about everywhere. I have had women visiting me tell me they've felt it is a bit sketchy at night.


In the immediate area, you have a nice park along the water (right behind the building to the south).


Right to the south, you have one (or maybe two) annoying clubs with a bunch of guys with their pants around their theighs. Lucky for you, when the club closes (or is forcibly closed by the cops), they seem to walk right under my window to yell and/or fight. Naturally, the cops like to follow along yelling through their bullhorns. What this means is that they don't walk past the Helena on the way to the subway...they head East, not North. But the club is still there.


There is a lack of decent supermarkets and bars in the immediate area, that most developed residential neighborhoods enjoy. I think there is one up the street (north) up about 5 blocks...there is a smaller market within a couple. Then there is a Whole Foods in the Time Warner Center (3 long blocks away).


The subway is a bit far (14 min walk). The crosstown bus stops right there, and can take you to the subway stop.


Since the surrounding area is mostly zoned for Industrial, you have a lot large ugly structures around. Retail is mostly in the form of auto-dealerships.

Okay, enough for now. That all said, I also like the Helena. I toured it and was impressed that they were doing so well. A modern, tall, green (i.e., environmentally friendly) residential tower overlooking the river. Nice.

Hope that helped.

sstrudeau
September 26th, 2005, 12:01 PM
In case anyone is curious, I just called and they currently have 1 bds available at $2800+ ... Out of my league...

Grandpinaple
January 3rd, 2006, 09:34 PM
Can anyone tell me if the helena is wired with Cat V cable or fiber optic cable? As of now only TWC seems to give service even though RCN and DSL are available 2 blocks down the road. Also what is this data center I would like to know more about the project.

Derek2k3
January 3rd, 2006, 10:01 PM
http://www.fourplusco.com/properties.html

"Technological features will include CAT 5 wiring, satellite TV and various DSL, cable and wireless options."

Grandpinaple
January 3rd, 2006, 10:11 PM
http://www.fourplusco.com/properties.html

"Technological features will include CAT 5 wiring, satellite TV and various DSL, cable and wireless options." Thanks have been looking for this information for quite a while. Except where do you see the tech features part.

Edward
January 9th, 2006, 11:16 PM
The Helena rental - 601 W 57th St (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/) on 9 January of 2006.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/helena_601w57th.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/helena/)

lofter1
January 10th, 2006, 12:01 AM
This building is sure far away from public transportation (aside from an occasional bus) ...

Derek2k3
July 25th, 2006, 10:24 PM
http://static.flickr.com/77/198493815_1b5982505b.jpg

To think Durst named this building after his daughter. Hopefully she's not as boring and bloated.

alibrot
July 26th, 2006, 12:21 AM
this is a very nice building, inside and out. adds some much needed color to the area.

lofter1
July 26th, 2006, 12:40 AM
hmmm ... the clouds are really great ....

Love a fantastic NYC sunset :D

BrooklynRider
July 26th, 2006, 10:38 AM
To think Durst named this building after his daughter. Hopefully she's not as boring and bloated.

And hopefully, she doesn't have people going in and out of her at all hours of the day. :D

Derek2k3
August 8th, 2006, 02:19 AM
lol, hopefully. She's quite attractive when not looking head on.
http://static.flickr.com/73/208670628_ced61c5b6c_b.jpg

http://static.flickr.com/75/208670492_b3c1809b45_b.jpg
loungeflyDE's photostream
August 6, 2005 (http://www.flickr.com/photos/loungefly/)

lofter1
October 2nd, 2006, 10:53 PM
Last Saturday night after the sun went down you could see lots of apartments lit up here -- especially on the upper floors.

Any renters at the Helena checking in at wny?

What's the scoop on life there???

ld876
October 4th, 2006, 05:16 PM
To think Durst named this building after his daughter. Hopefully she's not as boring and bloated.

Yes, it is named after his daughter. Actually she was very friendly. I had to write a paper for an urban planning class about fads and/or trends within the NYC real estate market, so I included the Helena...thus, I submitted a request online to see if I could speak with a pr person about decisions, etc. To my surprise, I got a response from two Dursts, Helena and I forget the other. They answered questions and made sure I had all I needed -- definitely a surprise.

Tectonic
October 30th, 2007, 12:16 PM
Anyone knows about plans to build the Helena's sister, The Rose, on the empty land just to the west?

antinimby
February 20th, 2008, 09:56 PM
^ Here's some news on Durst's plans to build a school between those two sites...


Durst to Build Private School on 11th Avenue



by Eliot Brown | February 19, 2008

Joining forces with the onetime owner of Esquire, developer Douglas Durst is getting into the education business, building a large private school on a West Side lot a block from the Hudson River.

If a zoning change goes through as planned, a $200 million-plus, six-story competitive primary and secondary school will rise on Mr. Durst’s property at 623 West 57th Street, the start of what its backers say will be a global network of the internationally focused institutions.

Called the Nations Academy, the venture is being led by Christopher Whittle, the founder of education management company Edison Schools and the owner of Esquire magazine in the 1980’s. Mr. Whittle, who is partnered with former Yale president Benno Schmidt in creating the schools, said the goal for the Durst site is to create a school for more than 1,700 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, one that ultimately would seek to compete with the city’s top private schools.

The focus of the curriculum, however, is more global than that of a Dalton or a Brearley, Mr. Whittle said, and about 20 percent of the students are expected to be from outside the city, many the children of expatriates.

“It would be competitive with the finest schools in the city,” Mr. Whittle said. “Obviously, that takes time to establish, and we know that, but we plan to be a great school on opening day.”

Along with a school in Washington, D.C., the Manhattan school is scheduled to be finished by 2010, marking the first and second completed schools in what Mr. Whittle imagines as a 12-school global network by 2012.

Before Edison, Mr. Whittle owned Esquire. He sold itto the Hearst Corporation, and founded Channel One, a free educational television network for students. “Most of my activity in media was related to schools,” Mr. Whittle said.

Nations Academy will have a long-term lease on the West Side building, which will be about 240,000 square feet and will be built by the Durst Organization. Durst, which has a long-term lease on the entire block, will also build and own a parking garage underneath and about 20,000 square feet of retail at the school’s base.

The development firm built a 600-unit rental building on the east end of the block in 2005, the Helena, and plans have not yet been finalized for the western-most section, according to Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz.

Nations Academy is also seeking a considerable sum—more than $200 million in tax-exempt bonds—from the Industrial Development Authority, a city-administered agency that issues the bonds.

Copyright ©, The New York Observer, L.P.

Tectonic
February 21st, 2008, 09:01 AM
The article I read didn't mention the western-most section of the block, so I was (as bad as this sounds) afraid the school was going to take up the rest of the block.

I think this was the proposal for the other end of the block:
http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/6412/therosefn7.th.jpg (http://img511.imageshack.us/my.php?image=therosefn7.jpg)

antinimby
February 21st, 2008, 04:44 PM
Don't worry, I almost had the same concern myself until I read that.

The other issue I think Durst should take into consideration is the usual complaints of construction noise that will arise if they should put off the construction of the residential tower after the school is put up.

Ideally, he should put both up at the same time. This way, when the school is up and running, the residential tower would be built already as well.

antinimby
September 9th, 2008, 11:26 PM
Plans Nixed for West 57th Street Private School



by Eliot Brown | September 8, 2008 (http://www.observer.com/2008/real-estate/whittle-durst-school-goes-way-edsel)

The ambitious plans for a new, high-end private school proposed by former Esquire owner Christopher Whittle and developer Douglas Durst are no more.

Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz confirmed that the developer is no longer involved in the project.

"There were a number of issues on which we could not reach agreement," he said. The Durst Organization controls the land on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, and was to build the school. It was to be owned and run by Nations Academy, a new, international venture run by Mr. Whittle.

We've reached out to Mr. Whittle and are waiting to hear back, though part of the scheme relied on a large chunk of tax-exempt financing through the city's Industrial Development Authority.

Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the area, said the financing was of concern. "I thought the school's fine, but I don't think they should get public money," she said.

© 2008 Observer Media Group