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Edward
December 11th, 2002, 10:34 PM
NEW YORK TIMES
http://www.nytimes.com/2001/03/05/arts/05NOTE.html

March 5, 2001
Fireworks or Fallbacks for Two Developments on the East River?
By HERBERT MUSCHAMP

Lightning struck the skyline twice last week. Two bright flashes lit up the future of architecture in New York. First came the announcement that Arquitectonica, the Miami-based firm, had been hired to design a set of residential high-rises for Queens West, the mixed-use waterfront development across the East River from the United Nations headquarters. Then came the news that five teams of architects would be competing to create a master plan for the development of the nine-acre Con Edison site, just south of the United Nations.

This opens up an intriguing prospect: two private developers, facing off across the water, competing not just for profits but for architectural distinction. Would anyone else like to join the fray? Let's see who can build not only taller or faster but who can build best. An architectural free-for-all on the East River: that's my idea of fireworks on the Fourth of July.

Arquitectonica's design for Rockrose Development Corporation, developers of the 74-acre site in Queens where Pepsi-Cola was bottled and canned until two years ago, is still in development. But it's not too soon to comment on the promise of this project and the obstacles faced by the architects in fulfilling it. The project, expected to cost $1 billion, will occupy almost 22 acres in the northern area of Queens West. It will include seven apartment towers, for a total of 3,000 new units. There will be 13.5 acres of parks, streets and other public spaces.

Arquitectonica is sui generis. Bernardo Fort-Brescia and Laurinda Spear, the firm's principles, were the first American architects of the baby-boom generation to start building on a large scale.

The Spear House in Coral Gables, Fla., designed by them in collaboration with Rem Koolhaas, was among the most photographed residential designs of the 1970's. Later, Arquitectonica imprinted itself on the public imagination with the high-rises the firm designed for Brickel Avenue in Miami.

As featured backdrops in the 1980's television series "Miami Vice," these towers helped establish the new image of that city as an economic and cultural crossroads between Latin America and the United States. And they defined the specialty for which Arquitectonica has become known: a highly inventive, often colorful manipulation of the tall building type.

Arquitectonica is the Ricky Martin of contemporary architecture. While retaining Latin roots, the firm has built widely around the world. Its cosmopolitan outlook suits Queens West.

There is nothing profound about this firm's work. On the other hand, there is none of the spurious historical depth asserted by the retro buildings at Battery Park City and Riverside South. This brings us to the obstacle Arquitectonica must reckon with in attempting something fresh. Queens West, sponsored by a division of the Empire State Development Corporation, is stuck with a Battery Park City-clone master plan and design guidelines.

For a site where views are paramount, the guidelines restrict the use of glass in favor of masonry walls. Instead of encouraging new approaches to planning, the master plan mandates neo-traditional towers on bases with uniform street lines. Can the bishop's-crook lampposts, world's-fair benches, hexagonal pavers and other theme-park accessories be far behind? Will we have Gene Kelly look-alike doormen dancing to "Singing in the Rain"?

Arquitectonica should be given the widest latitude in responding to the conditions of the site. After all, the context here extends far beyond the neighboring low-rise brick buildings of Long Island City. It also includes the midtown skyline, the river and its bridges, the airports in Queens and, not least, the United Nations headquarters and all it symbolizes for the city and the world beyond.

That is the context, too, for the Con Ed site. These two new projects should be seen as parts of a loosely defined whole: a new river city, with two waterfronts, in which the East River will serve as a unifying public space, an aquatic Central Park. The United Nations would provide this new city's landmark anchor.

The Con Ed site is being developed by FSM East River Associates, a partnership between Fisher Brothers and Sheldon H. Solow. Described by the developers as the largest site of undeveloped land in Manhattan, the property has been dominated for nearly a century by a Con Ed steam plant, which will be demolished.

The developers envision a mixed-use project of office and residential towers, with the precise mix not yet determined. It will also include shops, parks and other recreational spaces.

It could take three to four years to obtain the required approvals, including the city's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure. The developers may also face challenges from environmentalists, public space advocates and other civic groups. Construction costs have not been estimated for the project, which could total five million square feet.

The competition finalists, chosen from a roster of 40 firms, include three winners of the Pritzker Architecture Prize. The five teams of finalists are: David Childs of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman and Hugh Hardy; HOK Architects and Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron; Kohn Pedersen Fox, Rem Koolhaas, Davis Brody Bond and Toyo Ito; Henry Cobb and James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, and Machado & Silvetti Associates; and Christian de Portzamparc, Gary Edward Handel & Associates.

The finalists will present their proposals in sketchbook form late next month and early May, with the winning team to be designated shortly thereafter. The competition is being led by Bill Lacy, executive director of the Pritzker Prize and president of Purchase College of the State University of New York. The composition of the jury has not been announced, though it is expected that the final decision will be made by the developers themselves.

It is exceptional, in New York, for a private developer to go for architecture, much less to adopt the competition system as a way to get there. But there are good reasons to guard our optimism in this case.

One could imagine a more brilliant lineup. To judge from this list, it appears that the developers are trying to weigh economic factors and architectural values in the same scale. It is perilous to mix quantities with qualities. The temptation to confuse one with the other is often too great .

It is safe to say, for example, that the architects at HOK will not be winning Pritzker Prizes any time soon. You do not, for instance, need a competition if a strictly commercial firm like HOK is under serious consideration. You hold a competition to get on the high road. Otherwise, it might be easier to try the Yellow Pages.

The finalists bring a range of experience and aptitude to the competition. Mr. Koolhaas and Mr. Ito represent artistic risk. HOK stands for ultimate fallback. Mr. Portzamparc signifies a continental sophistication that may lie beyond worldly grasp, or at least local reach. The other two teams are the respectable choices. Aren't we tired of respectable choices?

Short competitions allow little time for architects, clients or jurors to educate themselves in subjects that should form the basis for informed judgment. This is a major disadvantage in New York, where standards have been low for a long time. Architectural innovation depends on its relationship to precedent. The Con Ed site has a powerful one in the United Nations headquarters, which itself is now facing the need for expansion and repairs.

The architectural ambition of the developers, the international scope of the competition and its emphasis on team collaboration: these factors were also instrumental in the design of the United Nations. The design process, supervised by Wallace K. Harrison, is documented in George Dudley's fine book "A Workshop for Peace." The process remains an ideal toward which architects and clients should reach.

Another precedent can be found in the fantastic X-City complex, a private, mixed- use development designed by Harrison for William Zeckendorf on what was to become the United Nations site. Commissioned by Zeckendorf, X-City included offices, apartments, waterfront parks and a domed, lozenge-shaped building intended for an opera house and an orchestra hall. But in 1946 the Rockefeller family purchased the property from Zeckendorf and donated it to the United Nations.

Harrison's work is the subject of serious study and appreciation today, to a degree not equaled even in his lifetime. The X-City plans are among his finest. Harrison's fusion of modern rationality and romantic theatricality is still a sound touchstone for envisioning this great waterfront site. It would be ludicrous to replicate Harrison's forms. It's his thinking that bears emulation.

Harrison's optimism about the future is particularly apt. Nothing could be more disastrous than to repeat the Battery Park City formula of ersatz prewar urbanism. We have seen the past, and it doesn't work. Not in contemporary architecture, anyhow. Once you start regressing down those dreary "New York Was Yesterday" skids, you close the door to art.

This is the moment for New York to recast itself creatively for its place in the worldwide information city. Come May, when the Con Ed site's developers select the winning team, the jurors will have their turn to be judged.

Edward
December 11th, 2002, 10:35 PM
NY Post
PFIZER SCOURS MIDTOWN FOR HEADQUARTERS TOWER

By LOIS WEISS

July 26, 2002 -- Pfizer, Viagra's maker and the world's largest drug company, has a prescription for a new city headquarters of around 2 million square feet.

For several months, it has been prowling 42nd Street with Josh Kuriloff of Cushman & Wakefield for a place to expand and consolidate its offices, a deal that originally called for less than 1 million sq. ft.

While Pfizer has had conversations with Douglas Durst for One Bryant Park - Durst's 1.6 million sq. ft. office tower to be at the northwest corner of 42nd Street and the Avenue of the Americas - it could be that a competing parcel gets the drugmaker's nod.

The New Jersey Business Journal reported Pfizer may be close to a deal with FSM Associates - Fisher Bros., SheldonSolow and Morgan Stanley - for a new 2 million sq. ft. skyscraper on land they are buying from Con Edison.

"It's speculation and we will not comment on any rumor," said FSM spokesperson Howard Rubenstein.

Neither Kuriloff nor Durst could be reached before press time while a Pfizer spokesperson declined to comment.

If a deal is eventually sealed, the tower could rise on the southeast corner of 41st Street and First Avenue where the office building at 708 First Avenue has been demolished on the north end of Con Ed's Waterside Plant.

As one option, the draft environmental review plan suggests the construction at 708 First of an 880-foot tall tower of approximately 1.8 million sq. ft.

The parcel could also be developed with an even larger building, and both separately and faster than the actual steam plant, which is not likely to be torn down for several years.

The real estate database CoStar Group shows Pfizer already owns its 670,962 sq. ft. headquarters at 235 East 42nd Street, and the adjacent 300,000 sq. ft. 219 East 42nd Street. It also rents 155,276 sq. ft. next door to the west at 205 East 42nd Street.

Diagonally across Third Avenue it leases 664,638 sq. ft. at the full block Hiro Building at 150 East 42nd Street.

It recently leased yet another 24,664 sq.ft. at 300 East 42nd Street.

"If they are landlocked and looking to expand I see it as a win-win for the pharmaceutical company and the community," said Mark Adams Taylor, chairman of Community Board 6, who added that Pfizer is known as a good neighbor.

Edward
December 11th, 2002, 11:00 PM
The office building at 708 First Avenue is being demolished on the north end of Con Ed's Waterside Plant. 8 June 2002. The Tudor City residential building in the background.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/coned/images/coned_tudor_city_8june02.jpg



The view of East Side of Manhattan from Queens West, with UN Secretariat Building (http://www.wirednewyork.com/un.htm) and the Con Ed site (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/coned/default.htm) to the south. Developers envision a mixed-use project of office and residential towers, with shops, parks and other recreational spaces.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/coned/images/coned_un_chrysler_7dec02.jpg

Fabb
December 12th, 2002, 08:20 AM
the draft environmental review plan suggests the construction at 708 First of an 880-foot tall tower of approximately 1.8 million sq. ft.

The parcel could also be developed with an even larger building

What's the mysterious larger building ?

That development just got more interesting.

Eugenius
December 12th, 2002, 12:58 PM
If the tower was 880 ft tall, that would be terrific, since the UN would now be flanked by two towers of approximately the same height.
Of course, if the Pfizer building is 1000 ft or taller, that would be even better...

yanni111
December 12th, 2002, 02:09 PM
the people who live in that tudor city building, like the Green Goblin, will have their view completely blocked of the East River, haha suckers!! i hope its even more than 880 ft!! So the new UN building will be directly to the right of that spot?

Fabb
December 12th, 2002, 02:15 PM
Most of the windows of Tudor City face Manhattan *because there used to be a slaughterhouse or something near the River.
The best views won't be blocked then.

NYatKNIGHT
December 12th, 2002, 03:10 PM
Yes, that whole area was blocks of slaughterhouses, stockyards and tanneries.

"The developers may also face challenges from environmentalists, public space advocates and other civic groups."

You can bet on that - I actually met some NIMBYs who live in the tall apartment buildings to the left. They are completely against this development for every imaginable reason and will fight it. I asked why they wouldn't prefer the views of nice new skyscrapers to the smokestacks that are there now. They went on about the character of the neighborhood blah blah blah, but I think it's because they will lose their view of the river.

TLOZ Link5
December 12th, 2002, 09:38 PM
Character of the neighborhood. *Right. *Like the apartment buildings they live in, as well as Tudor City, don't interfere with the neighborhood's "character." *Hypocrites, screw them all.

amigo32
December 12th, 2002, 10:34 PM
I wonder how a NIMBY would define the "character" of their neighborhood in order to use as a defense against building anything new? *Probably a lot of broad generalizations and flowery words.

NoyokA
December 13th, 2002, 06:26 PM
From a small NIMBY website:

http://www.eastmidtowncoalition.com/images/2.gif

NoyokA
December 13th, 2002, 06:35 PM
They do however provide the best tid-bit to date.

Even the "lower density"alternative included in the DGEIS has 70-story buildings.

DGEIS is the Draft Generic Environmental Impact Statement, in which 70 storeys is the "lowest density". If they opt for such, 70 storeys isnt so awful, who knows the details that the "highest density" would offer, something taller no doubt.

NoyokA
December 13th, 2002, 06:37 PM
And the best tid-bit.

newspaper accounts report negotiations with a prospective corporate tenant for an 80-story building at 41st Street.

TLOZ Link5
December 13th, 2002, 07:50 PM
Quote: from Stern on 5:37 pm on Dec. 13, 2002
And the best tid-bit.

newspaper accounts report negotiations with a prospective corporate tenant for an 80-story building at 41st Street.

Dude. *That would be completely awesome. *If it's an office building, it would definitely be a 1,000-footer.

For heaven's sake, for once can we just bypass the NIMBYs and build the dang thing?


I wonder how a NIMBY would define the "character" of their neighborhood in order to use as a defense against building anything new? *Probably a lot of broad generalizations and flowery words.


I would think that you'd need to need to find an excuse other than losing your precious views of the river. *It's also funny that a lot of people continue to fall for the old (read: completely anachronistic) "light and air" argument, which became obsolete with the invention of electric lighting and HVAC systems. *And you need to sell the historic character of your neighborhood, if there is any to sell. *But in the case that there is no [good] history, you just make it up.

dbhstockton
December 13th, 2002, 08:17 PM
I wonder where the NIMBY's got that rendering. *The only images of the site that I've seen show a bunch of really slender towers, including one that vaguely resembles a coke bottle. *Maybe they've since been revised. *Anyway, it looks really exagerated to me. *Those buildings have the large floorplates of commercial office buildings (just compare them to the slender residential towers nearby), but I was under the impression that a large portion of the project is housing.

Rich Battista
December 14th, 2002, 01:42 AM
lol, the damn NIMBY's i wish they would all go to their own little island somewhere.

Kill Eye
December 14th, 2002, 08:40 PM
Quote: from Rich Battista on 12:42 am on Dec. 14, 2002
lol, the damn NIMBY's i wish they would all go to their own little island somewhere.

They did, it's called Manhattan. Oh well.

TLOZ Link5
December 15th, 2002, 06:33 PM
Quote: from Kill Eye on 7:40 pm on Dec. 14, 2002

Quote: from Rich Battista on 12:42 am on Dec. 14, 2002
lol, the damn NIMBY's i wish they would all go to their own little island somewhere.

They did, it's called Manhattan. Oh well.

ROFL

chris
December 16th, 2002, 02:24 AM
The NIMBYs kill me, but I also notice people on this board pretty much support any and every development with little or any consideration for anything but another tall building... ussually doesn't even have to be well designed, just tall. I do realise this is a "skyscraper forum" so what do I expect. I personally see no problem with this proposal. Why would anyone want a view of the east river anyway. Have you ever been up high in any towers on the east side and looked out over the East River? It's pretty lame. A dirty little river lined with smoke stacks, unkept factories and warehouses off into the distance on the Queens' side. If someone said, 'I'm going to block your view of that pestilence with a beautiful piece of architecture,' I'd go celebrate. However, I have no idea what they're building, so I cannot vouch for it being good architecture. For me, just the mere fact that it will be tall isn't enough to call it good architecture. Regardless, if I lived there I'd hope that my views faced West, out towards the skyline of midtown.

amigo32
December 16th, 2002, 03:03 AM
In the greatest city in the world! *You have to build tall, you have to build beautiful, sometimes they don't overlap. *:)

(Edited by amigo32 at 2:18 am on Dec. 16, 2002)

Eugenius
December 16th, 2002, 12:14 PM
Nowhere in the New York permitting system are views protected, so NIMBYs have to resort to convoluted arguments like "too dense" or "destroys character of neighborhood."

chris
December 16th, 2002, 02:13 PM
Nowhere in the New York permitting system are views protected, so NIMBYs have to resort to convoluted arguments like "too dense" or "destroys character of neighborhood."

You nailed it on that one.

TLOZ Link5
December 16th, 2002, 05:44 PM
We can only hope that city officials will keep their spines if and when the NIMBYs protest. *Most NIMBY movements that succeed do so because the politicians cave in.

chris
December 16th, 2002, 05:54 PM
It isn't so much that the politicians cave in, it is a gauge on how their constituency will *vote. If they feel that a significant number of likely voters who are part of their existing *voter base support a given cause (I.E. the opinions of voters who wouldn't have voted for them anyway are not worth counting... unless they are confident that supporting an issue of theirs will swing more votes to their side than it will lose from their existing support base.). They don't just arbitrarily cave.

NoyokA
December 16th, 2002, 05:56 PM
They have held meetings with the community....its entertaining. Its just a measure on the developers part to pretend to "listen" to residents demands. They had mentioned possible reuse of existing buildings, the only possible candidate is nearly gone now. In the end though there will be very tall residential buildings, 66 storeys, and a huge commercial development. If it results in a huge return for the developer, and a new skyline for us, the NIMBY's will have little ground. Trump went to the supreme court and won. This is different, there is no case here.

TLOZ Link5
December 16th, 2002, 08:38 PM
When exactly is construction going to start on the Con Ed development?

(Edited by TLOZ Link5 at 7:41 pm on Dec. 16, 2002)

NoyokA
April 10th, 2003, 08:17 PM
Supposendly Rich who used to post here has the in on this project...

First, Pfizer has supposendly signed on and is in the process of drawing designs. Supposendly they are as far along as looking for storefront tenants...As such a large Pfizer symbol will serve as self-advertisement for this building.

Other details include a flat-roof and a light blue fascade.

Now here's where it gets interesting, a mid to late 2005 start date. And as of now I can tell you the working height is nearly 1100 feet, and 86 commercial storeys. Although we are in early stages, the developers are trying to get it past the city board. NIMBIES might pour rain on the festivities in that there was talk of lowering it to 57 storeys...

The original height was 888 feet, Pfizer signed on and the height was upped... as of now 1100 feet, but it is possible now that it will be lowered.

NYguy
April 10th, 2003, 08:37 PM
Nearly 1100 ft. *Flat roofed? *Good. *But why should they lower the height? *The site was supposedly zoned for that size. *I don't understand NIMBYs. *What's the difference between 800 and 1100 ft? *Shadow?

Gulcrapek
April 10th, 2003, 08:55 PM
That would make for some abnormally low floor to floor heights.

I don't trust 'light blue'. Look at AOLTW.

tugrul
April 10th, 2003, 09:00 PM
Quote: from NYguy on 7:37 pm on April 10, 2003
What's the difference between 800 and 1100 ft? *Shadow?


Especially since some of those buildings nearby have nearly no windows facing the East River, IIRC.

My only concern about an 1100fter there is it diminishing Chrysler's impact. Somebody mind whipping up a 1100ft box on some photos? :)

AJphx
April 11th, 2003, 07:04 AM
good info, thx.

So the two steamplants & smokestacks will have to be demolished for this project? *They look kinda cool there, and for their age and appearance, possibly worth preserving. Are they not as great or worthwhile as they appear?

billyblancoNYC
April 11th, 2003, 12:18 PM
That would be amazing. *I hope it's true.

A blue skin might be great with the sun and water, etc.

I guess they need room, with all those Pharmacia folks possibly coming over. *

NICE!!!! *I can't wait.

JD
April 11th, 2003, 11:33 PM
There's no way a 1,000 footer is going into that hole in the ground at 41st and First Avenue. *

You will recall cagey Trump managed to buy up several buildings' worth of air rights and managed to build TWT at 48th and 1st. *Given the amount of opposition to that project, it's amazing it occurred at all.

The loopholes that allowed Trump to pull that off have, I think, been closed, and there's no way the site at 41st and 1st has been zoned for a super-tall skyscraper. *

And...even if zoning were to allow it, it's hard to see how such a monster building makes sense. *There are tens of millions of empty square feet available...the site is very far from Grand Central...and so on.

I would be happy to be corrected --

Gulcrapek
April 11th, 2003, 11:58 PM
Pfizer wants a tower for themselves. That makes sense.

yanni111
April 12th, 2003, 04:30 AM
yeah your right it doesnt make sense that they would even want to have that property as their headquarters since its as far as you can get east from Grand Central and would not be so convenient for their workers, but the same could be said for the UN, their people get there somehow

NYguy
April 13th, 2003, 12:16 PM
Quote: from JD on 10:33 pm on April 11, 2003
There's no way a 1,000 footer is going into that hole in the ground at 41st and First Avenue. *

The loopholes that allowed Trump to pull that off have, I think, been closed, and there's no way the site at 41st and 1st has been zoned for a super-tall skyscraper. *

The site is already zoned for whatever development takes place there, nothing legally can stop it. *But more importantly, its part of the larger overall redevelopment of the Con Ed site, which is inevitable. *The local community board supposedly supports a large tower on that site as well, which is unusual in Manhattan.


http://www.un.org/av/photo/subjects/images/202747.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/image/15411385/original.jpg

NYguy
April 13th, 2003, 12:21 PM
Quote: from yanni111 on 3:30 am on April 12, 2003
yeah your right it doesnt make sense that they would even want to have that property as their headquarters since its as far as you can get east from Grand Central and would not be so convenient for their workers, but the same could be said for the UN, their people get there somehow

And its a lot closer to Grand Central than Jersey City. *Not too many waterfront locations ready for this kind of development in Manhattan.

As far as office space, *the vacancy rate is high, but we are talking about construction that won't even begin for a couple of years. *Its similar to the situation with Bank of America that is also looking for a new tower in Manhattan.

Fabb
April 13th, 2003, 05:57 PM
I don't worry about the high vacancy rate.
Many office buildings are too old and NY needs modern offices. New constructions of that size are inevitable.

billyblancoNYC
April 14th, 2003, 11:43 AM
Plus with the money they'll rake in from selling their other properties (42nd st, Pharmiacia complex in NJ) they'd be set. A lot of companies seem to be selling and then leasing (sometimes even the same office).

NYguy
April 14th, 2003, 05:02 PM
What a potential 1,100 ft tower would look like at the site...(Zerton at skyscraper forum)

http://www.pbase.com/image/15453519/original.jpg

Fabb
April 14th, 2003, 05:08 PM
But of course the impression will be totally different if a cluster rises instead of a single tall tower.

Bk Italian 123
April 14th, 2003, 07:55 PM
If this building(s) are going to be built than that would be a good thing for New York. *When was the last time that *a 1000 footer was built in manhattan? *like 34 yearz? *That is a long time... too long. *And the US must keep its image and fight off the other amazing, beautiful, HUGE developements that are in the making in Asia... especially China... and Dubia. *If they build this tower and the new towers are Ground Zero, and 1 New York PLace, and 10 *Columbus and those other buildings, The image of New York would be rejuvenated as well as the skyline, and that is a main asset for the well being/moral of the people of our ciity. *I am looking forward to this developement, and hopefully i could see this new structure from my house in Brooklyn. *I really hope that the Nimbys (or how ever you spell it) don't get their way, because if they do, then they would spoil a chance that would in turn spoil our reputation internationally and domesticly. *We would be seen as a very conservative city, that limmits the heights of buildings. *I don't remember who said this, but i know it was a member of this forum, "the height of a building reflects and harbors growth, so as the height is increased, then so is the growth of the city, economically, population wise, reputation, and many other things. *I really hope that we get this thing. *It would temperarily replace the empty (vacant) Twin Tower space in the DT area. *Then when the Libenskin proposal is kicked into full gear and steal starts to rise, the city will be "in better condition"
Also NY has been growing so much, that it is inevitable that growth, and construction like this would come about, and it is a good, thing, and should be welcomed, not something that should be opressed.
Im all for this stuff. *Also, i hope Brooklyn can get in on the action too! halla

NYguy
April 14th, 2003, 08:17 PM
Quote: from Fabb on 4:08 pm on April 14, 2003
But of course the impression will be totally different if a cluster rises instead of a single tall tower.


There will be more than one single tower. *But the site of the office development is only large enough for one large tower. *The cluster of residential towers will be to the south.

NYguy
April 16th, 2003, 05:36 PM
Here's another look at the site...


http://www.pbase.com/image/15537567/large.jpg

NYguy
April 17th, 2003, 06:01 PM
Some photos of demolition at the Con Ed site taken last year...


http://www.pbase.com/image/15571879/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/image/15571884/large.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/image/15571895/original.jpg

Simon
May 6th, 2003, 10:01 PM
Looks like Pfizer is out of Con Ed (but in NY):


PFIZER N.Y. MOVE TO YIELD CITY $1B

By LOIS WEISS
NY Post

May 6, 2003 -- In the largest local expansion project announced in the last two years, drug giant Pfizer said yesterday it will pump $1 billion into the city economy by adding thousands of jobs and investing in real estate.
Pfizer will spend $400 million to buy and renovate 685 Third Ave. as well as renovate another 2 million square feet it owns and rents in Manhattan.

It will also drop another $150 million in renovations in the next two years, retain 5,500 workers and add thousands of other jobs to New York City.

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Gov. George Pataki and local Congressman Edolphus Towns were on hand for yesterday's announcement. Pfizer, which makes Viagra, is receiving an incentive package from the city worth up to $46.1 million if 4,300 jobs are added by the end of the 15 years.

Pfizer expects to add 1,000 jobs in the next year, mostly moving workers to New York City from other parts of the country, and another 1,000 within five years.

The company, founded in Williamsburg in 1848, is also applying for up to $1.4 million in grants from New York State.

"It's a tremendous victory for New York City and New York State," said Empire State Development Chairman Charles Gargano. "These jobs are paid an average $150,000 per employee."

In March, the company had agreed to sublease 10 floors, totaling 275,000 square feet, of the 653,806-square-foot building at 685 Third from Aon, which had temporarily relocated there after Sept. 11, 2001. Clarion Partners is advising the California State Teachers Retirement System ownership, which purchased the 685 Third Ave. building in December 2000 for $209.8 million.

CALstrs was hoping to get around $290 million for the building. The group was close to selling it last summer for $245 million before taking it off the market.

The exact price Pfizer will pay is yet to be determined, said a company spokesman.

On April 16, Pfizer formally combined operations with Pharmacia; last week Pfizer announced that its $3.4 billion consumer healthcare business would expand in New Jersey.

Pfizer has also inked a 10-year lease for 47,000 square feet on the second floor of the News Building at 220 East 42nd Street, owned by SL Green Realty Trust.

Rents there start in the mid-$30s, said Gerald Nocera of SL Green. A Cushman & Wakefield team led by Josh Kuriloff and Charles Borrock repped Pfizer in all the real estate transactions.

Evan
May 7th, 2003, 06:12 PM
This article doesn't say anything about a corporate headquarters and consolidation in a new office tower. *Actually the article talks about how it is rennovating its existing properties, not to mention leasing space in other properties around the city. *This doesn't look good for a new tower next to the UN.

chris
May 7th, 2003, 07:38 PM
Yes. Unless we're reading something wrong, that article seemed to be trying really hard to put a happy face on a negative development.

Simon
May 7th, 2003, 10:27 PM
In this market, I'm sure the City sees them not leaving as positive. *And 1000 new jobs too. *They're still digging at the site (carefully, with the Midtown Tunnel right below), so something will happen.

Question: *what's the status of the diagonal parcel, between 39th and 40th, and 1st and Tunnel Approach Road? *It's cleared as well, but nothing happening. *I'm guessing it's also part of the Con Ed site, with a substation at the western edge. *Residential?

billyblancoNYC
May 8th, 2003, 11:56 AM
What's negative about this article?

TLOZ Link5
May 8th, 2003, 06:30 PM
One can infer that since Pfizer is taking space elsewhere, there is a possibility that they may not feel the need to have a share in the Con Ed site.

Just to ask, what does FSM stand for?

NoyokA
May 8th, 2003, 06:36 PM
FSM is stands for the developers ;The Fisher Brothers and Sheldon Solow. Morgan Stanley dropped out of the development, the final letter of the acronym.

NYguy
May 8th, 2003, 06:54 PM
Quote: from Evan on 5:12 pm on May 7, 2003
*This doesn't look good for a new tower next to the UN.

That tower is going to happen regardless. *Pfizer was just a potential tenant in the building. *Its a part of the whole Con Ed site redevelopment.

NoyokA
May 8th, 2003, 07:18 PM
As a private development, the site void would result in millions of lost value. The only realistic possibility in a worst-case scenario would be surface parking, in effect a financial blunder...

Eugenius
May 9th, 2003, 02:19 PM
Given the $640MM price tag paid for the space, I just don't see them putting parking there. *That would be the most expensive parking garage in the history of parking garages (unless they decide to put one over ground zero). *Given the scale of the building they can construct as of right, I think it's only a matter of time before something large goes up there.

Edward
June 28th, 2003, 10:22 PM
The site of the 708 First Avenue office building on the north end of Con Ed's Waterside Plant. On the other side of the East River - Queens West (http://www.wirednewyork.com/queens/queens_west/default.htm). 28 June 2003.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/coned/images/708first_coned_pfizer_28june03.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/real_estate/coned/default.htm)

TLOZ Link5
June 28th, 2003, 11:16 PM
Are there any renderings of a design?

NoyokA
June 29th, 2003, 11:57 AM
From the looks of it foundation work has begun. If I didnt know better, and from what I have heard a foreign company will be the anchor tenant for a 70 storey building.

JerzDevl2000
June 29th, 2003, 03:30 PM
Edward, nice shots. I didn't realize that the work had begun already. I'll have to get over there next time I'm in the city.

It says that your pitcures were taken June 28th, 2002. Shouldn't it be 2003? Unless they started the groundwork last year. I'm just wondering!

Derek2k3
June 29th, 2003, 03:48 PM
The scheme that we just think of as the SOM plan was initially the plan of David Childs of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, and Hugh Hardy. Here's an old article describing this.

June 11, 2001

From Architectural Record

SOM and Pei Cobb Freed to develop master plan for East River site

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) of New York have been selected through an ideas competition [Record, April 2001, page 32] to complete the master plan for a five-million square foot mixed-use development on the site of a former Consolidated Edison (Con Ed) steam plant in Manhattan on the East River just south of the United Nations headquarters.

The site extends from 35th to 41st Streets, between First Avenue and FDR Drive. FSM East River Associates, a partnership between Fisher Brothers and Sheldon H. Solow, is developing the nine-acre site. The partnership recently acquired the land from Con Ed for $680 million. The architect selection process has been led by Bill Lacy, FAIA, president of Purchase College of the State University of New York and executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize.

The initial ideas competition included firms that were asked by the developers to work together: David Childs of Skidmore Owings & Merrill, Richard Meier, Peter Eisenman, and Hugh Hardy; HOK and Schuman Lichtenstein Claman Efron; Kohn Pederson Fox, Rem Koolhaas, Davis Brody Bond, and Toyo Ito; Henry Cobb and James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Machado & Silvetti Associates; and Christian de Portzamparc and Gary Edward Handel & Associates.

Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and SOM were on competing teams in the initial competition. Unhappy with the selection process, other competing architects declined offers for consulting positions on the master plan team. In a statement, Meier and Eisenman said, "Unfortunately, the euphoria of the design process has been quenched by unfortunate circumstances that blur if not blind the vision of what should happen in this great city."

The new team of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and SOM is expected to take about four months to develop an initial master plan concept.

http://images3.fotki.com/v28/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/FSMEastRiverDevelopment1-vi.jpg?1056910595 http://images3.fotki.com/v28/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/FSMEastRiverDevelopment3-vi.jpg?1056910601

From Richard Mier's website where there are 3 renderings (1 of them is above).
\http://www.richardmeier.com/

"The Richard Meier and Partners Residential Towers are located at the center of the waterside site in tight juxtaposition as a pair. Although the two towers are identical, they are staggered in position, with one facing west to the city and the other facing the East River and Queens. A dramatic elevated bridge connects the two towers 60 stories up providing a large multi-use communal space with spectacular views. An opaque and translucent armature wraps three sides of each tower to provide a variety of possible terrace and unit combinations. These two screens anchor the glass towers to the site, in dialogue with one another and to the other surrounding towers. The interplay and relationship between layers of opaque, translucent, and transparent curtain walls with changing light brings the architecture of the towers to life. The shear curtain walls are further engaged by translucent double-height communal spaces at intervals along the height of the building that house such amenities as a gymnasium, nursery or cafe. The floor plans are flexible but are optimal at four units per floor allowing all apartments to be corner units for sweeping views and maximum light exposure.The site is flat from west to east at 685 First Avenue and begins to slope up gently from the Neighborhood Park at First Avenue through the ground plane and lobby levels of the towers and meanders up to the surrounding Public Park at the river edge. Ramps, stairs and elevators provide connection to the lower esplanade along the river. *At the 685 First Avenue site a stair, elevator and bridge are proposed for connection to the raised level of Tudor City.The surrounding Public Park slopes up gently north to south from grade at 42nd Street to a promontory over the FDR Drive at 38th street. This tilted plane forms the Public Park along the river edge. As First Avenue slopes down north to south, the increasing height difference relative to The Park by 38th Street provides natural street frontage for retail. Creases and unfolding of the ground plane of the park as well as step-ramps and stairs promote movement through the site. The ground plane engages the towers of the Waterside site in a variety of layered conditions providing convenient access to the Public Park as well as clear separation of functions of retail and parking for the residents and the public."

So it seems Richard Mier only designed the residential towers with the bridge and the park space. Also, if the bridge connects at 60 stories, according to the renderings, the buildings must have like 90-100 floors. Though *we have only seen premature and conceptual plans, it shows these people are thinking big.

http://images3.fotki.com/v29/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/FSMEastRiverDevelopment5-or.jpg
Here is the proposal from the other winner, Henry Cobb and James Ingo Freed of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners and Machado & Silvetti. Associates



(Edited by Derek2k3 at 2:52 pm on June 29, 2003)

Fabb
June 29th, 2003, 06:26 PM
Well, they're not as slender.

Edward
June 29th, 2003, 07:00 PM
It does have to say 2003, thanks :) I have just copied the code from the first picture of this thread that, incidentally, was 8 June 2002, so I only had to add 2 to make it 28.

Derek2k3
June 30th, 2003, 12:24 AM
Here are the photos from Richard Mier's & Partners website...

http://images3.fotki.com/v29/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/evelopment6RichardMierPartners-vi.jpg?1056943280
http://images3.fotki.com/v29/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/evelopment7RichardMierPartners-vi.jpg?1056943284
http://images3.fotki.com/v28/free/2be30/3/39399/245775/evelopment8RichardMierPartners-vi.jpg?1056943288

billyblancoNYC
June 30th, 2003, 12:47 PM
Is this going to happen any time soon, really?

Fabb
June 30th, 2003, 02:29 PM
The site looks busy.
So, I guess the answer is yes.
Unless they build a temporary parking lot...

Gulcrapek
June 30th, 2003, 02:44 PM
I doubt they'd be excavating for a parking lot.

When the work permit goes up, somebody hurry over there.

ablarc
June 30th, 2003, 02:49 PM
What are these crooked buildings? Are they melting? Have they been hit by an airplane? Are they economical and waterproof? Will they be admired? Will they be eyesores? Will it enhance Richard Meier's reputation that late in life he is jumping on to someone else's bandwagon?

Richard, you did such a fine job on the other River.

JD
June 30th, 2003, 07:01 PM
Don't hold your breath waiting for anything to happen on 1st Avenue and the river.

In the first place, all the glossy pictures (which either impress or repulse, depending on your perspective) presuppose demolition of the ConEd powerstation that is now sitting there, puffing away. *ConEd has to build another station to replace the giant that now sits on the East River. *And guess what? *No neighborhood wants its successor. *So bank on ten years -- if you're an optimist -- for the 1st Ave station to go bye-bye.

Now, as for 708 First Avenue...yes, there's a big hole in the ground sitting at that spot. *Yes there are steam shovels and dump trucks moving earth around. *But there's a big difference between a hole in the ground and a tower in the sky. *(Cf. the "Alexander's" site on Lexington & 59th: 5+ years between immense crater and Bloomberg Tower.)

So...keep your ears open, but don't visit the site too often expecting to see much.

TLOZ Link5
June 30th, 2003, 08:18 PM
Ladies and gentlemen, our own little dissenting ray of sunshine. *With an Elmo avatar, no less :)

Kris
June 30th, 2003, 09:32 PM
Quote: from ablarc on 1:49 pm on June 30, 2003
What are these crooked buildings? Are they melting? Have they been hit by an airplane? Are they economical and waterproof? Will they be admired? Will they be eyesores? Will it enhance Richard Meier's reputation that late in life he is jumping on to someone else's bandwagon?

Richard, you did such a fine job on the other River.

Eisenman, not Meier.

ablarc
June 30th, 2003, 10:01 PM
Thank you, Christian; my faith in a pretty good architect is restored. Didn't think he could actually do an eyesore.

Kris
June 30th, 2003, 11:23 PM
Don't worry, he's likely to keep on doing his old repetitive thing for the rest of his career. A champion of consistency.

ablarc
July 1st, 2003, 12:53 AM
He is trusty and faithful, like an old dog.

And like a faithful old dog, he can be trusted not to bite.

GLNY
July 1st, 2003, 10:58 AM
{From JD: ConEd has to build another station to replace the giant that now sits on the East River. *And guess what? *No neighborhood wants its successor. *So bank on ten years -- if you're an optimist -- for the 1st Ave station to go bye-bye.}

Wrong on that point. *Additional capacity is being added to Con Ed's 14th Street station (on the East River) to replace the Waterside plant. *This construction, visible from the FDR, has been ongoing for some time. *Waterside itself is scheduled for decommissioning in 2006.

Zoe
July 2nd, 2003, 01:56 PM
I saw the work permits today at the site. *They are all specific to the demolition work, nothing about any new construction.

Fabb
July 2nd, 2003, 02:35 PM
I already miss the old station.
The new buildings MUST be tall. Or I'll be pissed.

Kris
July 2nd, 2003, 02:49 PM
FSM is trembling.

luisalf
July 9th, 2003, 08:48 PM
Fresh from the Post:

Sheldon Solow has taken over responsibility for the development of the First Avenue sites that he is buying from Con Ed along with the Fisher Brothers, who will continue as investors.

Tony Fisher had agreed to this plan a few days prior to his tragic death, sources said.

The project is now going through a public review process to satisfy the Public Service Commission, but will later have to go through the city's entire uniform land-use review as well.

Solow is well known for his luxury residential rentals and commercial properties, such as the Class A building at 9 W. 57 St.

Not sure what implications this may carry, wonder what you think about it.

NoyokA
July 11th, 2003, 11:04 AM
I can only think of a bad pun.

That a solow vision cant be a bad thing.

NoyokA
July 11th, 2003, 11:14 AM
Officially it is no longer FSM.
Fisher--Solow--Morgan Stanley.
Solow is the only partner remaining.

And this can be a good thing if he can finance the development himself, as he did with a smaller one further uptown. Solow is also one of the better developers, if you use the Solow Building as precedent. The materials used and the solid corners were design requests of Burnshaft and not fiscally sensible.

Further having expressed interest in architectural competition and discretion, and prominence, Im expecting he will be remembered more for this.

NoyokA
July 11th, 2003, 11:33 AM
Also from what Ive heard there have been talks with a large foreign company that would occupy the 70 storey building at 708 First Avenue.

billyblancoNYC
July 11th, 2003, 02:43 PM
A foreign company already in NYC or a newly locating company? *

Gulcrapek
August 22nd, 2003, 03:00 AM
http://www.davisbrody.com

Look under planning for the ConEd Waterside project. There are some funky images there. I hope that's not the working design...

Kris
August 22nd, 2003, 05:23 AM
Losing entry.

NoyokA
August 22nd, 2003, 11:42 AM
I dont know, I like it. Though it looks like each of the competition architects designed their own building.

NoyokA
September 1st, 2003, 12:04 PM
Con Ed Site workers clearing lot:

http://a.1asphost.com/guide/Con%20Ed%20Site%20-%20Workers%20clearing%20lot.JPG

(Edited by Stern at 11:04 am on Sep. 1, 2003)

TLOZ Link5
September 1st, 2003, 04:24 PM
I can't see the pic.

Fabb
September 1st, 2003, 05:55 PM
It showed a couple of hours and then disappeared.
The site looked busy.

Freedom Tower
September 1st, 2003, 07:48 PM
If they're working then a design must've been chosen right? Does anyone know the final design? Or are they just preparing for whatever building may come?

TLOZ Link5
September 1st, 2003, 11:23 PM
I'm guessing they're preparing the site for construction. *That doesn't always imply that the design has been finalized. *Remember Alexander's?

Gulcrapek
September 1st, 2003, 11:25 PM
Is the site suspended? It redirects to a domain sale site.

billyblancoNYC
September 2nd, 2003, 11:19 AM
How much of the total site is this pic? *This isn't 9 acres, right? *

NoyokA
September 2nd, 2003, 11:41 AM
It's only the site of 708 First Avenue, 41st Street between the FDR and First Avenue.

tmg
September 3rd, 2003, 04:52 PM
I don't think this is related to the project. *Earlier, this site was used for construction work related (I think) to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. *It involved pile drivers, warnings about blasting, etc., and went on for over *year. *It looks like they're cleaning up from that earlier project and preparing the site so it's ready to go. *But I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that construction is beginning.

That said, I have no inside knowlege of this project, so I'm only speculating as well.

Fabb
September 3rd, 2003, 05:33 PM
It's OK to speculate. One of my favourite activities.
Welcome to the forum tmg !

Zoe
September 3rd, 2003, 10:55 PM
tmg, the site you are thinking of is down a few blocks from this between 1st and 2nd ave, just south of the Corrintian. *And welcome

tmg
September 4th, 2003, 05:59 PM
Thanks for the welcome, Fabb and Zoe!

The site I described is between 1st & FDR, 35th & 36th. Just south of Manhattan Place.

NoyokA
December 30th, 2003, 11:12 PM
Excavations sure, lots and lots of sand you bet.

http://e.1asphost.com/guide498/ConEd.jpg

Derek2k3
December 31st, 2003, 12:14 AM
I don't think this is related to the project. *Earlier, this site was used for construction work related (I think) to the Queens-Midtown Tunnel. *It involved pile drivers, warnings about blasting, etc., and went on for over *year. *It looks like they're cleaning up from that earlier project and preparing the site so it's ready to go. *But I wouldn't jump to the conclusion that construction is beginning.

That said, I have no inside knowlege of this project, so I'm only speculating as well.

That site is going to be a 34 story residential tower designed by Costas Kondylis & Partners.
245 East 36th Street/241-249 East 36th Street/663-673 Second Avenue
34 stories
Costas Kondylis & Partners
Dev-Mark Perlbinder
Proposed


http://www.ire-net.com/pubs/zarchives/z113001.html
Elsewhere in New York, the "Post" reports luxury multifamily developer Mark Perlbinder wants to build a 34-story mixed-use development. Nothing unusual about that, except the building would stand partially on top of the Manhattan entrance to the Midtown Tunnel. The tower would include 480 apartments, with a Post Office and retail component on the lower four stories. The project faces a public hearing Dec. 11.


IGDNYC's December 2003 report says Pfizer still has a deal pending for the tower.

http://www.igdnyc.com/Reports_December03.shtml
"Pfizer has a deal pending with Fisher Bros., SheldonSolow and Morgan Stanley to build a 2 million square foot skyscraper at 708 First Avenue. "

Gulcrapek
December 31st, 2003, 02:12 AM
That's goodie news.

I passed the Con Ed site again today, it's about one floor below grade.

NoyokA
January 1st, 2004, 12:39 PM
IGDNYC's December 2003 report says Pfizer still has a deal pending for the tower.

http://www.igdnyc.com/Reports_December03.shtml
"Pfizer has a deal pending with Fisher Bros., SheldonSolow and Morgan Stanley to build a 2 million square foot skyscraper at 708 First Avenue."

Great news.

PHLguy
January 1st, 2004, 03:21 PM
is this the site where the 1100', 86 floor tower is to be built?

ZippyTheChimp
January 1st, 2004, 03:36 PM
No. One storey adobe brick houses. :roll:

Did you bother reading any of the thread?

dbhstockton
January 2nd, 2004, 12:21 AM
http://www.tc.umn.edu/~joha0103/chimp-teeth.jpg

ZippyTheChimp
January 2nd, 2004, 12:27 AM
Good one bud!!

That's exactly what I'm doing right now.

billyblancoNYC
January 2nd, 2004, 01:34 AM
Boys, be nice.

PHLguy
January 2nd, 2004, 02:09 AM
No. One storey adobe brick houses. :roll:

Did you bother reading any of the thread?


huh?

so is that 86 story supertall getting built or not.....and yes i did...

billyblancoNYC
January 3rd, 2004, 03:39 AM
Still up in the air.

the Italian Stallion 718
January 3rd, 2004, 03:00 PM
i really would like to see another nice tall building at that spot, not a nasty box.

Deimos
March 29th, 2004, 10:26 PM
Just came from a meeting of the "East Midtown Coalition for Sensible Development"... the NIMBY group opposed to the construction. It was an interesting assembly of people living in all the buildings surrounding the Waterside site from Tudor City down to the Corinthian, about 100 people or so in all.

Basically they said that they don't know what ConEd plans for the site, although the FEIS should be available around the 11th of April. They did say that the DGEIS called for 5 Million square feet of development on the entire Waterside site from 38th to 41st St. on the East side of 1st Ave, and 39th to 40th St on the West side of 1st Ave. I don't fully understand the zoning laws discussed, but they said that it would be a 12... or an average height of 12 stories for the entire site (the surrounding neighborhood they say is a 6)

The development of the Robert Moses Park by the UN was also discussed, and they said that they would not be opposed to the assumption of that property by the UN if a park with hockey rink of equal size were provided from the Waterside Site. They proposed a means of taking the lot on the West Side of 1st Ave from 39th to 40th St. as it is virtually the same size as Robert Moses Park.

NoyokA
March 29th, 2004, 10:32 PM
A FAR12 is kind of low, but that doesnt mean we wont see tall skyscrapers!

Deimos
March 30th, 2004, 01:48 AM
Just remembered one more detail of the meeting: They are completely opposed to any mixed use facility. The development of Waterside must be residential only in their view. BTW... they are in favor of the development of the site, just not with anything that big.

Thanks for the correct term Stern, FAR12 is what they were saying in the meeting. They are seeking to keep the development at FAR6, as they claim that the surrounding neighborhood is entirely built at that density.

They also made it seem like the only way to overrule ConEd is through the courts. They claim that the decision to approve the plans comes from the state agency which approved their transition of steam generation to the 14th street facility. This according to the board is illegal, and this is exactly how they will be challenging the project. Sorry for the lack of exact details, but I wasn't taking notes at the meeting, just relying on my not so perfect memory.

NYguy
March 30th, 2004, 09:10 AM
They also made it seem like the only way to overrule ConEd is through the courts. They claim that the decision to approve the plans comes from the state agency which approved their transition of steam generation to the 14th street facility. This according to the board is illegal, and this is exactly how they will be challenging the project. Sorry for the lack of exact details, but I wasn't taking notes at the meeting, just relying on my not so perfect memory.

Not surprising. They always try to take these things to court, but they won't win. It will be an all residential development, except for one tower. It is a good thing though, that they have no authority over what gets built there...

tmg
March 30th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Any word on an estimated timeframe for construction? Or the unveiling of the final plans?

Eugenius
March 30th, 2004, 04:07 PM
They are seeking to keep the development at FAR6, as they claim that the surrounding neighborhood is entirely built at that density.

Typical NIMBY BS. There is no way the surrounding area is anything like FAR6. The Corinthian alone is over 50 stories.

NYguy
April 2nd, 2004, 09:17 AM
This is a comparison of potential skyscrapers sites, and allowable size of the towers. Some are already planned, others in planning stages...


http://www.newyorkgames.org/files/images/CW/16.jpg?

billyblancoNYC
April 3rd, 2004, 02:52 AM
55 Water? How and where is that possible?

NYguy
April 3rd, 2004, 09:03 AM
55 Water? How and where is that possible?

A few years ago, they were going to build an extension above the plaza that was underused. However, plans for the extension were canceled in favor of renovating the plaza (there was a design competition). I suppose that space is still transferable somewhere Downtown...


http://web1.arch.hawaii.edu/soa_alt1/Practicumstudio/News/Image/Case1%20copy.jpg


one of the designs from the competition

http://www.metropolismag.com/images/urban_images_1102/55mcdonough1_t.jpg

Agglomeration
April 5th, 2004, 02:03 AM
They always try to take these things to court, but they won't win. It will be an all residential development, except for one tower. It is a good thing though, that they have no authority over what gets built there...

It's still disgusting that they even go to court to try to stop such a brilliant project. This obstructionist attitude not only bodes ill for the city, but is one reason why government agencies and developers often ignore public input in big and magnificent projects such as this one. It's really a shame that the AOL Time Warner Center had to be saved from NIMBY-induced oblivion by direct action by city and state authorities.

Deimos
April 6th, 2004, 01:17 AM
Something's been bugging me ever since that meeting last week... is there any way to find out the FAR ratings of each of the buildings in the area? I'd expect that the values are public domain, but are they available on the web anywhere?

NYguy
April 11th, 2004, 01:01 PM
Not sure if this has any relevance, but its a quote from Electrical Wholesaling magazine...

TROPHY JOBS

Jan 01 '04

With today's sluggish construction market, it might seem like a bad time to talk about large construction jobs. I mean, how many big buildings are really being built in this type of market?

More than you might think. Electrical Wholesaling's editors discovered that despite slow sales, several of the Top 200 electrical distributors were involved with some very interesting and, at times, very large construction projects last year.

Here are some of the largest construction projects now underway or on the drawing boards in some major metropolitan markets. We would love to hear from you if you get involved with any of them!

New York

Two large projects are underway — 7 World Trade Center, a 1.7-million-square-foot office building; and The Hearst Tower, an 856,000-square-foot office tower at 959 Eighth Ave.

The most recent report by IGDNYC Inc., New York, a real estate consulting firm, said several huge jobs are on the drawing boards, including Bank of America's 2.1-million-square-foot building on 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue; a 52-story building with 1.54 million square feet of office space that will be the new headquarters for The New York Times ; and a 2-million-square-foot skyscraper for Pfizer.

One of the highest profile trophy jobs ever built in the United States will be The Freedom Tower, expected to break ground later this year at the World Trade Center site. The building is expected to have 2.6 million square feet of commercial space and be completed in 2008.

Gulcrapek
April 11th, 2004, 01:44 PM
Good news, but I'm not sure it's news; hasn't Pfizer stepped out since?

NYguy
April 12th, 2004, 10:45 AM
I thought they had, but that article was from earlier this year. The tower itself may be in the works, just not with Pfizer...

Derek2k3
May 17th, 2004, 01:41 AM
http://articles.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3601/is_24_50/ai_113140936

Article states construction probably will not be started before 2007/2008.

NYguy
May 17th, 2004, 09:42 AM
They are talking about the site of the plant itself, right?.....

NYguy
May 21st, 2004, 08:56 AM
NY Post...

CON ED OK TO SELL 4 SITES

By LOIS WEISS
May 21, 2004

The New York State Public Service Commission has voted to approve Con Edison's planned sale of four large East Side properties to East River Realty Co.

The sale price for the properties will range from approximately $300 million to about $680 million, depending on the level of rezoning approved by the city government.

The properties, which are no longer needed to support Con Edison's operations, take up more than nine acres along First Avenue.

They include the former Kips Bay Generating Station site between 35th and 36th, a parking lot between 39th and 40th, a Waterside Steam Station between 38th and 40th and a former office site between 40th and 41st.

Public Service Commission Chairman William M. Flynn said the sale will produce "hundreds of millions of dollars in benefits for Con Edison customers," in addition to helping local development and making access to the East Side waterfront easier, which would be a major boost for the areas to develop "accessible open space in Midtown."

Flynn said he thought the benefits of the deal "outweigh" any negative impact.

After deducting the net book costs of the properties and other costs associated with the sale transaction, the remaining net proceeds from the sale will be retained and used for the benefit of Con Edison ratepayers.

The commission deferred consideration of the accounting and rate treatment of the net proceeds until the rezoning process is completed and the transaction is consummated.

The decision represents a key component of Con Edison's Steam System Plan, which was developed to maintain the viability and reliability of the company's steam system while stabilizing steam rates.

Deimos
May 23rd, 2004, 11:35 AM
http://articles.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m3601/is_50_49/ai_106084700

FSM East River Associates' name change - Brief Article
Real Estate Weekly, July 16, 2003

The development team that has contracted to purchase and develop the approximately nine-acre Consolidated Edison site in East Midtown Manhattan has changed its name from FSM East River Associates, LLC, to East River Realty Company, LLC.

The name was modified to reflect a change in management. Developer Sheldon H. Solow's Solow East River Development Company, LLC, will serve as managing partner of the Con Ed development. The Fisher family's Fisher East River Associates, LLC, will continue as an investor in the property.

The Con Ed property - the largest site of undeveloped land remaining in Manhattan - includes four parcels from East 35th to 41th Streets, between First Avenue and the FDR Drive. The objective of the project will continue to be the development of a world-class, landmark mixeduse waterfront development. The firm of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP has been retained as the architect for the planning stage of the development.

COPYRIGHT 2003 Hagedorn Publication
COPYRIGHT 2003 Gale Group

nike
May 31st, 2004, 11:36 PM
:? SO IS THIS 1100FT TOWER GOING TO BE BUILT. IAM CONFUSED COULD SOMEBODY GIVE ME AN UPDATE ABOUT WHATS GOING ON ON THIS SITE. :?

NYguy
June 3rd, 2004, 11:36 AM
:? SO IS THIS 1100FT TOWER GOING TO BE BUILT. IAM CONFUSED COULD SOMEBODY GIVE ME AN UPDATE ABOUT WHATS GOING ON ON THIS SITE. :?

Nobody knows the exact heights, just that its a multiple tower development.

NYguy
June 3rd, 2004, 11:37 AM
A look at the con ed plant that will be demolished
to make way for new towers...(June 1)


http://www.pbase.com/image/29710266.jpg


http://www.pbase.com/image/29710279.jpg


And a look at the site that has already been cleared
for the tallest office tower. This site is next to the park
where the UN expansion tower will be built.


http://www.pbase.com/image/29710281/large.jpg

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 11:50 AM
Is the tower built in the center of both #1 and #2 photos (the tall one on 42nd st.) built by the same developer as the one built on 42nd st at the west side overlooking the hudson river? They look almost alike. :?

GLNY
June 3rd, 2004, 01:41 PM
Is the tower built in the center of both #1 and #2 photos (the tall one on 42nd st.) built by the same developer as the one built on 42nd st at the west side overlooking the hudson river? They look almost alike

I can answer that question (I live in that tower). The Horizon tower pictured (37th and First Ave, 44 stories) was built by Jeffrey Glick. The West 42nd Street tower is a Larry Silverstein project. However, both were designed by the same architect: Costas Kondylis.

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 01:57 PM
Thanks for your answer. I knew there were some similarities.

I wonder if the toweron West 42nd Street is the last project the architect Costas Kondylis has been involve so far. He seem to be very active in the 80's.

NoyokA
June 3rd, 2004, 02:05 PM
Costas is still an active architect, he is responsible for the TWT.

krulltime
June 3rd, 2004, 02:12 PM
Oh ok...Thanks!

NYguy
June 11th, 2004, 06:50 PM
It's interesting to look at the development that has or will be taking place accross the 42nd Steet corridor over the last 10-15 years. Among them:

UN tower, Con Ed development, CIBC tower, 1 Bryant Park (Bank of America), Conde Naste tower, Ernst & Young, Reuters bldg, Times Square Tower, Times Square Westin, E-walk development, NY Times tower, Milstein tower (Times Sq Plaza), numerous residential towers, and the boom will continue on the westside with the Javits center expansion and the explosion of new towers there...

http://www.vision42.org/www/project/images/map_new.jpg

nike
July 30th, 2004, 05:36 PM
Any info update :?: 8)

Deimos
November 15th, 2004, 03:45 PM
Is this project still moving forward?

UrbanSculptures
December 12th, 2004, 12:33 PM
See if this works, taken from the top of an apartment building a few blocks West looking down.

Try this then as a copy/paste I don't want to host the bandwidth for it to display in here every time someone loadsthis thread;


lostnewyorkcity.com/tempphotos/coned.jpg

NoyokA
December 12th, 2004, 12:44 PM
See if this works, taken from the top of an apartment building a few blocks West looking down.

Nope.

ZippyTheChimp
December 12th, 2004, 02:55 PM
Fixed.

http://www.lostnewyorkcity.com/tempphotos/coned.jpg

NoyokA
December 12th, 2004, 10:48 PM
Its impossible to tell because the cleared site is blocked by a Tudor City Building.

UrbanSculptures
December 13th, 2004, 09:54 PM
Its impossible to tell because the cleared site is blocked by a Tudor City Building.

THought they were/are also going to demolish the red building with the tall stacks on the right...

NoyokA
December 13th, 2004, 10:01 PM
Not untill around 2007 when they decommision it and transfer power to the 14th Street powerplant.

Alonzo-ny
January 10th, 2005, 01:35 PM
Anything new on this?

PHLguy
February 10th, 2005, 08:22 PM
Are the 500+ foot tower for UN site, the twin 780 foot apt towers and the 900+ foot pfizer plaza still in play?

RedFerrari360f1
February 10th, 2005, 08:52 PM
Noone knows anything.

Kolbster
February 11th, 2005, 09:50 AM
damnnnn

antinimby
February 11th, 2005, 04:33 PM
Didn't Pfizer pulled out a while ago?
As for the UN, read the UN thread.
They are now looking for sites in Brooklyn or Queens instead.
Oh well, maybe something else will come along in the future. :)

billyblancoNYC
February 11th, 2005, 09:37 PM
Didn't Pfizer pulled out a while ago?
As for the UN, read the UN thread.
They are now looking for sites in Brooklyn or Queens instead.
Oh well, maybe something else will come along in the future. :)

This was never official either way. They did take over a lot of space near their HQ on 42nd to make a campus. The UN site is north of this site anyway.

I do wish this would move it already. Not sure what the holdup is. The need for office space in midtown is getting to be so acute that they would rent the space pretty damn quickly, I think.

PHLguy
February 12th, 2005, 11:15 AM
Pfizer pulled out?


so there will be no tall buildings on the con ed site?


DAMN

RedFerrari360f1
February 12th, 2005, 12:35 PM
Just because Pfizer pulled out doesnt mean there are to be no tall buildings. If a developer can concievalby build a tall tower it will.

ASchwarz
February 12th, 2005, 02:06 PM
Pfizer never pulled out, the project is still in the approvals process. Any potential Pfizer (or other) commercial tower plans are a year or two away.

Any speculation on building heights is also ridiculous, the FAR (Floor Area Ratio) has not been established. In fact, the project has not completed ULURP (Uniform Land Use Procedure). Nothing is definitive until ULURP is completed. Nothing has publicly been released, because the building envelopes have not been established. You might start hearing things before the year ends.

NoyokA
February 12th, 2005, 06:23 PM
Pfizer never pulled out, the project is still in the approvals process. Any potential Pfizer (or other) commercial tower plans are a year or two away.

Any speculation on building heights is also ridiculous, the FAR (Floor Area Ratio) has not been established. In fact, the project has not completed ULURP (Uniform Land Use Procedure). Nothing is definitive until ULURP is completed. Nothing has publicly been released, because the building envelopes have not been established. You might start hearing things before the year ends.

Thank you.

PHLGUY, speculation was no reason to reopen discussions.

billyblancoNYC
February 23rd, 2005, 06:19 PM
"Meanwhile, Solow has brought in Richard Meier to work with Skidmore Ownings Merrill on the designs for his Waterside project on the Con Ed site along First Avenue."

http://www.nypost.com/realestate/comm/41035.htm

Kolbster
February 23rd, 2005, 08:48 PM
Ahhh, now that good news, i like Skidmore and Ownings....classic architecture

Derek2k3
February 23rd, 2005, 10:01 PM
^not quite.
Let's see how SOM will influence Meier's initial design which wasn't too great to begin with. In short it was twin residential towers about 90 stories each with a sky bridge connecting them at the 60th floor.

Richard Meier and Partner

http://www.richardmeier.com/02_Projects_Chrono_Text.htm

The Richard Meier and Partners Residential Towers are located at the center of the waterside site in tight juxtaposition as a pair. Although the two towers are identical, they are staggered in position, with one facing west to the city and the other facing the East River and Queens. A dramatic elevated bridge connects the two towers 60 stories up providing a large multi-use communal space with spectacular views. An opaque and translucent armature wraps three sides of each tower to provide a variety of possible terrace and unit combinations. These two screens anchor the glass towers to the site, in dialogue with one another and to the other surrounding towers. The interplay and relationship between layers of opaque, translucent, and transparent curtain walls with changing light brings the architecture of the towers to life. The shear curtain walls are further engaged by translucent double-height communal spaces at intervals along the height of the building that house such amenities as a gymnasium, nursery or cafe. The floor plans are flexible but are optimal at four units per floor allowing all apartments to be corner units for sweeping views and maximum light exposure.The site is flat from west to east at 685 First Avenue and begins to slope up gently from the Neighborhood Park at First Avenue through the ground plane and lobby levels of the towers and meanders up to the surrounding Public Park at the river edge. Ramps, stairs and elevators provide connection to the lower esplanade along the river. At the 685 First Avenue site a stair, elevator and bridge are proposed for connection to the raised level of Tudor City.The surrounding Public Park slopes up gently north to south from grade at 42nd Street to a promontory over the FDR Drive at 38th street. This tilted plane forms the Public Park along the river edge. As First Avenue slopes down north to south, the increasing height difference relative to The Park by 38th Street provides natural street frontage for retail. Creases and unfolding of the ground plane of the park as well as step-ramps and stairs promote movement through the site. The ground plane engages the towers of the Waterside site in a variety of layered conditions providing convenient access to the Public Park as well as clear separation of functions of retail and parking for the residents and the public.

Deimos
February 28th, 2005, 01:53 AM
I can't believe it's been a year since the last meeting.... if anyone's interested in hearing what's going on with the site, this is a meeting being run by the group that's running the opposition to the development on the site.


EAST MIDTOWN COALITION FOR SENSIBLE DEVELOPMENT

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
NYU MEDICAL SCHOOL
AUDITORIUM “ALUMNI - B” (STREET LEVEL)
550 First Avenue (Between East 30th and East 33rd Streets)

Bring a picture ID – NYU requires it!

* The latest news on the struggle over the future of the Con Ed site
* The amazing tangle with the U.N., the State Legislature, City Hall even the U.S. Congress
* How we’re stepping up the fight
* Your ideas added to the mix

Election of the Board of Directors will follow the discussion

NoyokA
February 28th, 2005, 11:36 AM
The big question will the developers or their representatives be there?

Deimos
February 28th, 2005, 03:14 PM
Stern,

At last year's meeting it was a buch of geris and nobody from con-ed or the UN. Besides myself, i saw just 3 other people in the room out of maybe 100 that were under 60, and the vast majority were definitely retired. It was at least interesting to sit and listen to what the opposition was saying first-hand. I didn't know enough to speak up last time, but this time should be different (unless i'm dumbfounded by how anti-development they are.... there was a gasp in the crowd when the 90-story building was mentioned)

BrooklynRider
February 28th, 2005, 03:37 PM
People in their 60's now were the activists of the 1960's. They know how to organize, make noise, and get things done. There has to be a convincing argument made to them that a residential or mixed use building is preferential to an Electrical Power Plant.

It's such an ugly little stretch of First Ave. There are these big residential buildings, but no sense of community or connection between them. It's Institutional Row. (Oh,and add the Corinthian to the list of buildings I'd move into in a snap if they said here's a 3 bedroom at $1500/month.)

NoyokA
February 28th, 2005, 04:11 PM
To quote Time Out New York:

Murray Hill

"The name Murray just sounds old, like a 70-year-old Jewish uncle who lives upstate. And sure enough, this neighborhood in the wasteland below Midtown East isn't the youngest, most energetic in the world."

Gulcrapek
February 28th, 2005, 06:39 PM
There's a pretty big hole at 708... I don't think it'll be refilled.

RedFerrari360f1
February 28th, 2005, 08:03 PM
Quote: Ahhh, now that good news, i like Skidmore and Ownings....classic architecture

I would have to disagree, more like safe and boring.

PHLguy
February 28th, 2005, 08:16 PM
Are those 90 floor towers likely to happen?

NoyokA
February 28th, 2005, 08:18 PM
Quote: Ahhh, now that good news, i like Skidmore and Ownings....classic architecture

I would have to disagree, more like safe and boring.

I agree, even more concerning is that it's Marilyn Taylor of SOM. I can only guess Meier was brought on board to repeat the formula at Perry West, I'm all for it.


There's a pretty big hole at 708... I don't think it'll be refilled.

According to the DGEIS which I picked up a number of years ago there is a no action alternative where no new development would be built, all the buildings would be razed and the lots used as parking.

That said that isn't the developers objective for the project.

PHLguy
February 28th, 2005, 10:14 PM
2 90 floor boxes would look odd but I could get used to it if it was built!

NoyokA
February 28th, 2005, 10:26 PM
2 90 floor boxes would look odd but I could get used to it if it was built!

Who said that's going to be built?

TLOZ Link5
February 28th, 2005, 11:31 PM
Has anything been said about the fate of the Waterside plant itself? I hope that it can be preserved; possibly as a museum, or is it too big for most other functions?

PHLguy
March 1st, 2005, 10:14 AM
Who said that's going to be built?



No one, I was just saying IF it was.

BrooklynRider
March 1st, 2005, 10:39 AM
Can't we just self-edit speculation and rumor-mongering? It's completely useless and reads like spam. They could build two 20 foot huts as well. They could cement it over as a parking lot. The could create a farm of porta-potties. It's endless speculation. WHO CARES! This forum becomes useless with meaningless, untrue, uninformed, hopeful and factless guessing games.

Flame away.

ZippyTheChimp
March 1st, 2005, 10:58 AM
No one, I was just saying IF it was.
If you feel the need to document your pointless speculations and wish lists, why don't you start your own BLOG.

When you notice how little traffic or responses you get, maybe it will finally sink in that no one cares.

Kolbster
March 1st, 2005, 11:55 AM
If you feel the need to document your pointless speculations and wish lists, why don't you start your own BLOG.

When you notice how little traffic or responses you get, maybe it will finally sink in that no one cares.

LOL jesus christ

truth hurts

NewYorkYankee
March 1st, 2005, 10:46 PM
Goodbye PHLguy.

Deimos
March 2nd, 2005, 12:40 AM
to get this back on-topic... at last year's meeting, I came away with the impression that:

1. the current waterside plant was to be razed, and the 90 story building would be on that land.

2. the residents are worred about the shadows such a tall building would cast over Tudor City (same thing that stunted the height of the Time Warner buildings)

3. they want to re-establish the grid at 39th and 40th streets east of 1st avenue

4. the group is livid about losing the concrete playground known as Robert Moses Park, and would like the city to convert the empty lot on the west side of 1st ave between 39 and 40 to a parkland.


I'd like to see the land get developed, and a huge apartment skyscraper would definitely balance the Trump World Tower (especailly when viewed from the olympic village across the east river... but that's another topic). Robert Moses park is ugly, and could use a complete replacement, so it wouldn't be terrible to see that land swap happen.... and if a comprimise that would allow the air rights from the new park to be transferred to the waterside project, i think everyone willl win (doesn't a public plaza or arcade increase the FAR for that site by 1?).

Kolbster
March 2nd, 2005, 12:25 PM
That souns good, but the thing is that was created last year...did anyone go to the NIMBY meeting? I'd bet that they would be very up to date with the latest developements on the site

NoyokA
March 2nd, 2005, 01:00 PM
I'd like to see the land get developed, and a huge apartment skyscraper would definitely balance the Trump World Tower (especailly when viewed from the olympic village across the east river... but that's another topic). Robert Moses park is ugly, and could use a complete replacement, so it wouldn't be terrible to see that land swap happen.... and if a comprimise that would allow the air rights from the new park to be transferred to the waterside project, i think everyone willl win (doesn't a public plaza or arcade increase the FAR for that site by 1?).

I like to hear that rationale. This project will be a good neighbor, Solow is a mindful developer, it will return the favor and will be a good neighbor. If you could convince your cohorts that they are not the only ones entitled to a view in Manhattan and that height is a good thing that reduces bulk, we can really start to get this thing moving.

And I made the comparrison about a year ago that a tall tower here would create architectural bookends with the Trump World Tower, nicely framing the United Nations.

Deimos
March 2nd, 2005, 02:36 PM
That souns good, but the thing is that was created last year...did anyone go to the NIMBY meeting? I'd bet that they would be very up to date with the latest developements on the site

Kolbster, I was at that meeting (that's how i'm on their mailing list about the coming meeting). Everything that i've stated is the fact (as I remember it... check back to the postings from a year ago for the reality of what I said immediately after the meeting). My opinions on the site will always be in a seperate paragraph to keep everything organized for everyone's enjoyment.




And I made the comparrison about a year ago that a tall tower here would create architectural bookends with the Trump World Tower, nicely framing the United Nations.
Stern, I remember your posting with that feeling, and should have given you credit for coming up with the thought. It was your idea that got me to think of the project in a balanced light, and I liked the thought (and hopefully helped to build on the conversation). When the UN puts up their new building next to secretariat, the symmetry will be complete with 90 stories on Waterside, 50 for the UN, 50 for Secretariat, and 90 for TWT. Finally the far east side gets some attention.

NoyokA
March 2nd, 2005, 03:22 PM
Kolbster, I was at that meeting (that's how i'm on their mailing list about the coming meeting). Everything that i've stated is the fact (as I remember it... check back to the postings from a year ago for the reality of what I said immediately after the meeting). My opinions on the site will always be in a seperate paragraph to keep everything organized for everyone's enjoyment.




Stern, I remember your posting with that feeling, and should have given you credit for coming up with the thought. It was your idea that got me to think of the project in a balanced light, and I liked the thought (and hopefully helped to build on the conversation). When the UN puts up their new building next to secretariat, the symmetry will be complete with 90 stories on Waterside, 50 for the UN, 50 for Secretariat, and 90 for TWT. Finally the far east side gets some attention.

Its cool dude. I was just echoing it. I don't want any credit, I should've wrote it differently. I just think its great that someone else thinks this way, even more that its someone who lives in the neighborhood.

BrooklynRider
March 4th, 2005, 11:20 AM
This gives creedence to the arguments set forth in these forums against building too high at river's edge in Brooklyn and Queens. If you build too tall, you impede further development inland from the rivers edge, because you can't capitalize on "views" and get "premium prices". In this case you have people who, at the time, invested in housing units that afforded them unobstructed views. Now, their views will be blocked and, even at 300, 500 and 500 feet, they can now have concerns over people peeping their windows. Welcome to NY!

I think I've mentioned it before, but very wealthy residents of UN Plaza apartments fought a strenuous, yet hopeless, battle against Trump World Tower - using the ridiculous argument that they would lose their views. A more productive route here is to elicit community ammenties from the project - rather than create an adversarial relationship from the get go. Fighting to preserve a cement "playground", when a new, more modern one is being offered, albeit in another closer location, is a dubious start to a community campaign.

Eugenius
March 4th, 2005, 11:58 AM
It has been pointed out many times that views are not legally protected in New York, so that argument against development won't really help in a court fight. Still, a potential solution would be to build a rectangular building with the narrow side facing the water. In this way, you would accomplish two things: minimize obstruction for any development further away from the water, and give most apartments a view of the water (albeit, not quite front and center). This is the methodology commonly used by beachfront resorts. By approaching the water edge-wise they can bill most of their rooms as "ocean-view."

Deimos
March 4th, 2005, 04:01 PM
There's one problem... the UN is requesting to take over the Rober Moses park independantly from the Waterside project. The community board is asking for the land on the west side of first avenue as a consession of the developers on waterside.

alex ballard
March 4th, 2005, 05:30 PM
Sorry if I'm coming in late to the conversation, but I saw blurbs of 90 story buildings. Is that what the site might evolve to? Can someone help catch me up?

PHLguy
March 4th, 2005, 05:32 PM
Thats what I was confused about.


If I'm not mistaken those where the old plans, The site is now a possibilty for a 900 foot building and twin 775 foot apartment towers and a 500 foot UN expansion office tower.

Deimos
March 14th, 2005, 05:21 PM
Just a reminder if anyone's interested in attending.... i'm not sure if i can make it anymore, so hopefully someone can definitely be there to report back on what's said


EAST MIDTOWN COALITION FOR SENSIBLE DEVELOPMENT

NOTICE OF ANNUAL MEETING
MONDAY, MARCH 14, 2005 at 7:00 p.m.
NYU MEDICAL SCHOOL
AUDITORIUM “ALUMNI - B” (STREET LEVEL)
550 First Avenue (Between East 30th and East 33rd Streets)

Bring a picture ID – NYU requires it!

GLNY
April 7th, 2005, 10:43 AM
Solow's construction signs went up last night on each parcel of the site. No renderings, of course, but it's one small step.

macreator
April 9th, 2005, 09:53 PM
Now that Solow has posted a construction sign up does anyone have any solid idea of what will be going up on the already razed plot on 1st Avenue and 41st street?

Kolbster
April 10th, 2005, 02:25 AM
Solow's construction signs went up last night on each parcel of the site. No renderings, of course, but it's one small step.

what did the signs say on them?

Gulcrapek
April 10th, 2005, 02:52 AM
A few weeks ago I got to briefly glimpse into the site, it's a rather large hole...

macreator
April 10th, 2005, 03:33 AM
what did the signs say on them?

The sign simply reads SOLOW9W57

9 West 57th Street is Solow's headquarters.

PHLguy
April 10th, 2005, 06:07 PM
A few weeks ago I got to briefly glimpse into the site, it's a rather large hole...


whats going there?

macreator
April 10th, 2005, 06:23 PM
whats going there?

Good question. From what i've read there are rumors of a few large scale buildings being put up on the Con Ed site but I am a bit unsure whether or not those plans applied to the two other Con Ed buildings that are still active on the site until 2008 or the currently empty one.

No construction vechicles are currently on the site so the hole must have been dug out a while ago.

macreator
April 23rd, 2005, 11:31 PM
Two new groups of SOLOW signs have sprouted up lately.

I noticed SOLOW signs posted on the fencing surrounding the completely empty square block of 35th and 36th streets between 1st and the FDR drive as well as SOLOW signs on an empty patch of land that is about half of the block between 39th and 30th streets between 1st and 2nd avenue.

This is in addition to the SOLOW signs on the empty patch of land on 41st street next to the Con Ed site.

All of these empty patches of land, including the square block and half a square block, are former Con Ed parking lots so I guess SOLOW really hit the big time in acquiring land around the Con Ed site area.

Any word on when development of this area will commence?

NYguy
April 24th, 2005, 02:40 AM
I am a bit unsure whether or not those plans applied to the two other Con Ed buildings that are still active on the site until 2008 or the currently empty one.

Eventually, the active Con Ed buildings will be gone as well.

GLNY
April 25th, 2005, 11:03 AM
More progress: Demolition signs went up this weekend on Waterside, and interior work has begun. Probably months of asbestos remediation work ahead.

krulltime
May 7th, 2005, 06:44 PM
Great News!!!

Meier's hired


By BRADEN KEIL

Richard Meier's latest condominium project at 165 Charles St. is selling well (according to our sources, the penthouse at 165 Charles St. has just sold to an unknown buyer in the lower $20 million range). But Meier himself has moved on to planning his next riverfront condo project - and this time it's on the East Side of the city.

The renowned architect, who also created the glass towers at 173-176 Perry St. in the West Village, told us that he's putting pen to paper for the former Consolidated Edison site, which was planned as a mixed-use complex when it was sold in 2001 to a partnership that included Sheldon H. Solow.

This is the first inkling that Meier's the architect for the project. When the deal was announced, Meier was but one of several architects in the running to transform the four parcels between 35th and 41st streets, south of the United Nations.


Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc.

NoyokA
May 7th, 2005, 06:57 PM
This is the first inkling that Meier's the architect for the project.

Not entirely true.

But his celebrity has been duly noted since his NYC break out a few years ago.

I'm a big big fan of his Con Edison site tower designs.

On the far left of the spectrum are Eisenmann’s ugly blob designs, and on the far right of the spectrum are David Child’s staid corporate boxes. Meier's design is perfect, right in the middle, its ashame he wasn't originally picked, but is of little matter now since all is well that ends well.

macreator
May 7th, 2005, 10:14 PM
What kind of heights are we talking about for this complex of buildings?

Anyone have any idea of a timeframe?

I'm getting real excited for this project. That section of First Avenue has really been languishing for years, this should really skyrocket that area.

NYguy
May 8th, 2005, 04:21 AM
Its about time we see some new, serious designs for that site. Hopefully that will happen soon. Meanwhile, we wait for the Gehry and Freedom towers Downtown...

Gulcrapek
May 23rd, 2005, 10:17 PM
Someone I know mostly depends on Pfizer for his business (graphic design, presentations, proofs) and I asked him to ask around about the site. He didn't want to do that (prying) but told me that he had recently done a presentation regarding Pfizer's overseas research center and distribution center expansions. Nothing about here though.

NoyokA
May 23rd, 2005, 10:22 PM
Someone I know mostly depends on Pfizer for his business (graphic design, presentations, proofs) and I asked him to ask around about the site. He didn't want to do that (prying) but told me that he had recently done a presentation regarding Pfizer's overseas research center and distribution center expansions. Nothing about here though.

From what it sounds he's not in a position warranting him knowledge of the site one way or the other.

NoyokA
May 23rd, 2005, 10:24 PM
Besides Pfizer's old news they decided instead of building here to consolidate space in existing office buildings.

kliq6
May 24th, 2005, 10:23 AM
office space is one thing but in terms of Pfizer putting research properties there, it wont happen. NYC is scared of Biotech and its residents have fought against it for a long time. believe me im invovled in the planning of the East River Science park, which is to be built on Hospital grounds, yet weve got plenty of oposition from people being afraid it will spread sickness.

alex ballard
May 24th, 2005, 03:50 PM
office space is one thing but in terms of Pfizer putting research properties there, it wont happen. NYC is scared of Biotech and its residents have fought against it for a long time. believe me im invovled in the planning of the East River Science park, which is to be built on Hospital grounds, yet weve got plenty of oposition from people being afraid it will spread sickness.


That's becasue you're looking in all the WRONG places. Brownsville, Morrisana, South Jamaica, East NY, etc, all have sites waiting to be brought to life. This, along with Media, Tech, and Academic would be great ways to reviliaze the outer boroughs.

kliq6
May 24th, 2005, 03:55 PM
ALex, i respect you but what major biotech firms that have beatiful corporate campuses in NJ and other areas are going to locate in Brownsville, Morrisana, South Jamaica or East NY?

Lets just say i know what developers are thinking, and its not that

Gulcrapek
June 19th, 2005, 07:48 PM
K. NYT real estate section today mentioned plans for four buildings were submitted, 79 to 85 storeys.

Edit: They actually wrote "stories" so they might mean 790-850 ft. But whop knows.

alex ballard
June 19th, 2005, 07:58 PM
ALex, i respect you but what major biotech firms that have beatiful corporate campuses in NJ and other areas are going to locate in Brownsville, Morrisana, South Jamaica or East NY?

Lets just say i know what developers are thinking, and its not that


Okay, but let's use foresight:

There was this little town called Las Vegas. The year is 1930, and the town is nothing more than a pit stop. There is nothing but dust, heat and blistering sun beating down on you. There's little water and no electricy. The homes are shacks and you're in the middle of nowhere.


Ahhhh...but someone took a risk. A very big risk. I bet his grandkids are somewhere sipping martinis in Paris right now...

That is Brownsville. Why should I drive 90 minutes when I could hop a train and read a book in the same time? Why should I pay for utitlies when I got a site that has them? Why can't I have an office that overlooks Manhattan?


it takes foresight and innovation to realize the future. Our urban youth are the future. With good schools, lower taxes and a huge market, NY can be the future.



Hope, my friend, hope and a dream. I understand your profession is drvien by the current. My world is driven by what can be...And will be, with the right ideas and mindset. Let's get started!





BTW: SJ and Boston aren't "suburban" either. But they're leaders too.

Kolbster
June 20th, 2005, 02:19 AM
Alex, what you are envisioning is easier said than done.
Who is going to take this MAJOR risk?

I do agree with you that it would be a splended and one of the only ways to revitalize the outer boroughs, but the risk is very large. Firstly all these areas are very low income, and with the acception of Jamaica, transportation isn't too great. Also, crime is huge, that puts it in a high risk area, causing employees to be scared thus opening up two sores for companies; highering new employees who are willing to work there, or boost the salaries of the exisitng employees.

I am in favor of your idea, anyone in their right mind would be, but its hard to put it in action. Times have changed since the bloom of Vegas.

If anyone could find a way to put your words to action, they would have my vote for mayor

Gulcrapek
June 20th, 2005, 03:41 AM
I think everyone missed my post. Read: 79 to 85 story buildings.

kliq6
June 20th, 2005, 09:57 AM
Gul, do you have a link to this article?

macreator
June 20th, 2005, 10:08 AM
I think everyone missed my post. Read: 79 to 85 story buildings.

That would be fantastic! A great extension southward of the Midtown skyline. What is your source for this information Gul?

I guess we'll start to see activity on the site next year when the plant is decommisioned.

Derek2k3
June 20th, 2005, 10:53 AM
NYT
A Place Apart Becomes a Place Discovered
By PATRICK O'GILFOIL HEALY
Published: June 19, 2005

http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/19/realestate/19livi.html?

HERE is a spring afternoon in the East Side enclave Tudor City: Old women in nightgowns check the mail. Nannies eat lunch in a tiny, shaded park. Children stroll down the middle of the street. Workers scale Gothic apartment buildings, minding the leaky old casement windows. A toy-balloon shop closes for lunch.

This verdant neighborhood of four brownstones and 11 apartment buildings is Brigadoon above the East River. It sits high on an outcrop from 40th through the north side of 43rd Street, fortified against the traffic, noise and constant change that define Midtown Manhattan.

It is a place where tapestries of unicorns hang on lobby walls and nostalgia lives in the present tense. One main street runs through Tudor City, and it is one way.

"We immediately fell in love with the place, just all the detail," said Lawson Harris, who recently bought a $385,000 one-bedroom with his fiancée, Maria Kelley. "You're close to Midtown, but you feel removed because you're elevated."

But that placid scene is likely to change soon, as developers have discovered the area. The Consolidated Edison Company recently sold nine acres of riverfront land to developers who plan to knock down an old power plant and build luxury apartment buildings and office towers.

It could be the most significant development near the 80-year-old Tudor City complex since the United Nations was built in 1952. Residents fear the development will add only congestion while blotting out their morning light and river views and casting shadows onto the community gardens.

"Con Ed is the most important issue affecting the community, and will be for a long time," said George Brown, president of the Tudor City Association, a neighborhood group. "The whole area is going to be affected by all the new people, new businesses, new residents and new stores."

The developer, Sheldon Solow, recently submitted plans to the community board proposing four towers 79 to 85 stories tall that would add 5,000 residential units to the neighborhood and draw in another 14,000 people each day, said Jack Lester, a community activist and lawyer who is running for City Council.

"Right now, everyone's experiencing their worst fears," Mr. Lester said. "It's not happening on my watch."

Mr. Solow would not discuss the details of the project, saying only through a spokeswoman that his development would "complement, enhance and honor" the neighborhood.


Rest of the article discussing the demographics of Tudor City:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/06/19/realestate/19livi.html?

antinimby
June 20th, 2005, 01:04 PM
Residents fear the development will add only congestion while blotting out their morning light and river views and casting shadows onto the community gardens. What NIMBY's always seem to say.


. . . said Jack Lester, a community activist and lawyer who is running for City Council. "Right now, everyone's experiencing their worst fears," Mr. Lester said. "It's not happening on my watch." A NIMBY who's working his way into city government. Not good.

czsz
June 20th, 2005, 02:12 PM
Where do you live, antinimby? I lived at the bottom of a light shaft. I could only see the sky by sticking half my body out the window and craning my neck to the point of extreme pain. Sunlight might reach my window once a week, around the summer solstice, if lucky.

My building would not have even had an airshaft if not for the 1901 Tenement Law, influenced by Jacob Riis investigations into the living conditions of those subject to the whims of unrepentent, profit-squeezing landlords. What a goddamn NIMBY law that was, eh?

It's one thing to argue that such construction is justified, as it would serve the greater interests of the metropolis, quite another to ridicule those with legitimate concerns who, not resigned to total deference, wish a little consideration for their own fortunes as contributory citizens.

alex ballard
June 20th, 2005, 05:57 PM
Uh huh. I feel so sorry for you. Poor, starving child.

Seriously, Grow Up.

This is an attack on capitalism, not about preserving neighborhoods. Go back to Europe and stay there. Permanently.

BrooklynRider
June 20th, 2005, 08:15 PM
It's one thing to argue that such construction is justified, as it would serve the greater interests of the metropolis, quite another to ridicule those with legitimate concerns who, not resigned to total deference, wish a little consideration for their own fortunes as contributory citizens.

Touche. Very well put and well worth quoting in the future.

Ah, eloquence. We must not forget posts like this.

JMGarcia
June 20th, 2005, 08:46 PM
Uh huh. I feel so sorry for you. Poor, starving child.

Seriously, Grow Up.

This is an attack on capitalism, not about preserving neighborhoods. Go back to Europe and stay there. Permanently.

czsz isn't European and you obviously are missing the point so at least cool it.

kz1000ps
June 21st, 2005, 02:03 AM
Alex I'm tired of seeing "capitalism" creep into your posts....or ending your thoughts with "...perfect?"

They immediately incite a sharp reaction, almost always in the opposite direction, so instead of building and expanding off of it we often get stuck in the way how you delivered your message. You should go work at the Department of City Planning and get some of your many ideas in motion.

Kolbster
June 21st, 2005, 02:07 AM
Where do you live, antinimby? I lived at the bottom of a light shaft. I could only see the sky by sticking half my body out the window and craning my neck to the point of extreme pain. Sunlight might reach my window once a week, around the summer solstice, if lucky.

My building would not have even had an airshaft if not for the 1901 Tenement Law, influenced by Jacob Riis investigations into the living conditions of those subject to the whims of unrepentent, profit-squeezing landlords. What a goddamn NIMBY law that was, eh?

It's one thing to argue that such construction is justified, as it would serve the greater interests of the metropolis, quite another to ridicule those with legitimate concerns who, not resigned to total deference, wish a little consideration for their own fortunes as contributory citizens.

Sorry for your current lack of sky

But on another not, well said. Your post emboddied an impartial view, one which is pro construction but not to an extreme; one that incorporates both ends of the spectrum, the just cause of nimbys and those of developers. I totally agree with what you are saying

Now, putting it into context. For the Con Ed site, I do not know the are well enough to say that the nimbys are off thier rocker, but from the renderings, views of the site and my visits to the midtown area (near the site), i feel that it would be beneficiary to build these buildings. But I am open to change my opinion, if some one provides examples of problems that these towers would cause, then I will change my stance.

Kolbster
June 21st, 2005, 02:08 AM
Touche. Very well put and well worth quoting in the future.

Ah, eloquence. We must not forget posts like this.


couldn't agree more, but I think it holds true especially for you. Especially after how the forum hounded you for sticking with your views on the atlantic yards project. I respect that.

antinimby
June 21st, 2005, 04:06 AM
I don't get it. Just don't.
Why all of a sudden, everyone is jumping on Alex.
And why this forum has become so PC.

I didn't think Alex's recent posts--although directed at someone specifically--were all that offensive. It might have been a little bit harsh but there were no obscenities or profanities, no name calling.
It was just a heated discussion. We're all grown-ups here (and NYer's no less), can't we take a few harsh words without getting all upset?
If I'm not mistaken, czsz had a few himself. Czsz has been no model citizen either, good eloquent writing notwithstanding. Many a times, he has been condescending towards tourists, all the while putting New Jersey and Connecticut down. I guess that's all right as long as no one on this forum is insulted.

Alex's point (and I wholeheartedly agree) is that if you're so unhappy with where you live or the condition in which you're in, then you can pick up and leave. This is after all, a free country in the 21st century, where people are more mobile than ever before.
Trust me, I've done that plenty of times myself.

As for him questioning czsz's love for NY, well what's so wrong with that?
I've seen plenty of posts on this forum, where people professed their love/hate for this place or that using even more explicit language. Yet, nobody thinks anything wrong with it. So what if czsz loves or hates NY. What difference does that make? Czsz can certainly speak for himself.

Lastly, how does the discussion of the erecting of four buildings in a relatively vast stretch of land warrant this response from czsz:

Where do you live, antinimby? I lived at the bottom of a light shaft. I could only see the sky by sticking half my body out the window and craning my neck to the point of extreme pain. Sunlight might reach my window once a week, around the summer solstice, if lucky.
Talk about getting all upset over nothing.
If anything, czsz initiated the elevated tone that Alex only continued.

If after all this explaining, the people on this forum still believe what Alex said was so heinous and should be banned, well then, you can ban me too.

Fabrizio
June 21st, 2005, 06:49 AM
Honestly, I feel a little uncomfortable here now knowing that some of you are teenagers.... do I really want to converse over the internet with a 17 year old?

How can anyone be upset with this kid? I applaud him for being interested in these subjects.

I too once knew everything about everything and had all the right answers.

NYguy
June 21st, 2005, 09:16 AM
NYT
A Place Apart Becomes a Place Discovered
By PATRICK O'GILFOIL HEALY
Published: June 19, 2005

The developer, Sheldon Solow, recently submitted plans to the community board proposing four towers 79 to 85 stories tall that would add 5,000 residential units to the neighborhood and draw in another 14,000 people each day, said Jack Lester, a community activist and lawyer who is running for City Council.

Mr. Solow would not discuss the details of the project, saying only through a spokeswoman that his development would "complement, enhance and honor" the neighborhood.

Doesn't seem like the heights have changed much. This could be a bigger issue for the neigherhood than if the UN gets a new headquarters building over a piece of park.

alex ballard
June 21st, 2005, 09:45 AM
Sorry, I was having a rough time...

I got bad news on the homefront...


And personally, this hasn't been the greatest time for me...

The above does not accurately reflect the attitude or behavior of everyday Alex. You know that...

BrooklynRider
June 21st, 2005, 09:45 AM
Or, it is just more hyperbole. The NY Times has sufficiently undermined its own Real Estate and Construction reporting to lose any semblance it might have had as the arbiter of fact and objectivity.

ryan
June 21st, 2005, 11:58 AM
I don't get it. Just don't.
Why all of a sudden, everyone is jumping on Alex.
And why this forum has become so PC.

I think people have been "jumping on" errr- arguing the hyperbole of Alex for many months - from just about when he started posting. I think Schaudenfrau called it when she said that his vitriol has escalated lately, so people are reactive to that. It appears to me that if anything the forum is has become less polite or "PC" lately, not more.


If after all this explaining, the people on this forum still believe what Alex said was so heinous and should be banned, well then, you can ban me too.

I wouldn't call for his banning - like other people I feel the need to self-police the forums rather than wait for a moderator to do it for me. It's not that he's been heinous or sincerely offensive, but it is annoying to parse through all his exaggerated posts that are clearly reaction-provoking. An interesting debate about issues is one thing. Giving attention to a troubled teenager is another.

Alex, if you're having personal problems, provoking online arguments is not the best way to deal with them. You might get some attention, but most of it is negative, which won't do what you want it to. I'd suggest you find a counselor - or at least another online forum that focuses specifically on personal problems.

alex ballard
June 21st, 2005, 01:07 PM
Again: Nothing personal...

ryan
June 21st, 2005, 01:14 PM
Sorry, I was having a rough time...

I got bad news on the homefront...


And personally, this hasn't been the greatest time for me...

The above does not accurately reflect the attitude or behavior of everyday Alex. You know that...

if nothing is personal, then what does this post mean?

kz1000ps
June 21st, 2005, 01:21 PM
For the record, I am not looking towards banning Alex. That's giving up on him as if he's hopeless - no need for that because he is not. Alex, you just need to bake your ideas in the oven a wee bit longer.

TLOZ Link5
June 21st, 2005, 01:31 PM
Sorry, I was having a rough time...

I got bad news on the homefront...


And personally, this hasn't been the greatest time for me...

The above does not accurately reflect the attitude or behavior of everyday Alex. You know that...

With due respect, Alex, my family is going through a really tough time, too. There have been many times since I became a member here during which someone at home was having a fight, had problems at work/school/etc., had personal issues, or was very ill (the last of which is an ongoing matter from last year, and the future of the beloved family member involved is still very uncertain). But I don't lash out at people on this forum if their opinions are contrary to mine; to put it bluntly, they had nothing to do with how I was feeling at the time, so I had no reason to get angry when their intention was not to offend me.

I'm sorry that things aren't going well for you at the moment, Alex. I can truly sympathize; I think we all can because we've all been there. But keep personal problems personal, unless you really need to let something out.

lofter1
June 21st, 2005, 01:34 PM
Maybe this tangent / thread should be re-directed to "Anything Goes" so we can get back on topic...

TLOZ Link5
June 21st, 2005, 01:37 PM
Maybe this tangent / thread should be re-directed to "Anything Goes" so we can get back on topic...

I agree. Sorry.

Jasonik
June 21st, 2005, 02:13 PM
I'm not sure how relevant this still is for Kips Bay:
http://www.vanalen.org/workshops/east_river/sites/

Eugenius
June 21st, 2005, 02:34 PM
Wasn't Tudor City built with windows facing mostly West, away from the river (due to some smelly industrial facility in place across First Ave)? If so, then the impact on light is minor at best.

If you walk by the First Ave. side of Tudor City in the evening, you will see that all the windows looking at you are stairwells. I want my stairwell lit as much as anyone, but hardly enough to stand in the way of a huge development like the ConEd site.

NYguy
June 21st, 2005, 07:19 PM
NYT
A Place Apart Becomes a Place Discovered
By PATRICK O'GILFOIL HEALY
Published: June 19, 2005

The developer, Sheldon Solow, recently submitted plans to the community board proposing four towers 79 to 85 stories tall that would add 5,000 residential units to the neighborhood and draw in another 14,000 people each day, said Jack Lester, a community activist and lawyer who is running for City Council.

Mr. Solow would not discuss the details of the project, saying only through a spokeswoman that his development would "complement, enhance and honor" the neighborhood.


We're talking 85-stories people. This is a significant development, even for Midtown. I'm sure everyone can agree on that at least.

alex ballard
June 21st, 2005, 08:55 PM
/\ Any office? Or is this all residental?

NoyokA
June 21st, 2005, 09:22 PM
Having attended a community board meeting a couple of years ago I highly doubt the nostalgic community of Murray Hill will approve 79 to 85 storeys, only thing 79 to 85 there is the average residents age. It’s particularly sad because I’ve always thought midtown could use a super tall tower like lower Manhattan’s WTC, or more ideally a John Hancock like building, this would’ve/could? act/ed as such.

NoyokA
June 21st, 2005, 09:27 PM
John Hancock Boston or Chicago? I would assume Chicago because of its Commercial/Residential setup.

Correct. The Boston one is great too, but not appropriate for NYC.

alex ballard
June 21st, 2005, 09:36 PM
Having attended a community board meeting a couple of years ago I highly doubt the nostalgic community of Murray Hill will approve 79 to 85 storeys, only thing 79 to 85 there is the average residents age. It’s particularly sad because I’ve always thought midtown could use a super tall tower like lower Manhattan’s WTC, or more ideally a John Hancock like building, this would’ve/could? act/ed as such.


Why does it have to go through one anyway. This isn't design by commitiy. Whatever happened to property rights. We have them here in PA, is NYS code different?

lofter1
June 21st, 2005, 11:27 PM
NYC law, in many instances, requires that Community Boards have input to the building process; this invovlves public hearings where the members of the community can listen and speak to the issues at hand.

In certain cases a separate public hearing is held before the City Planning Commission, again where members of the community can listen and speak.

These can be good public forums for learning about what is happening in the immediate community, and -- when necessary or desired -- to effect change in the proposal or plan.

All of this is governed by the NYC Zoning Resolution which has gone through many changes over the years. While far from perfect it has served to change the course of the building of the city, especially in response to new building technologies that allowed for previously un-thought of structures. The prime example is the set-back law that came about in response to the construction in 1915 of the Equitable Building at 120 Broadway (from Emporis):

This 40 story building casts a 7 acre shadow across the city, which caused public outrage when it was completed. As a result, New York City passed the 1916 Zoning Resolution which aimed at restricting the height and bulk of buildings and assuring the penetration of light and air to the streets below.

This structure was the last skyscraper to be constructed before building regulations were instituted in New York.

Built to replace the first Equitable Building which burned down in 1912.

Used by some 15,000 people daily, this was the world's largest office building at the time of completion.

http://www.nyc-architecture.com/LM/LM59-equitabl.jpg

alex ballard
June 21st, 2005, 11:36 PM
Well, then here's my next question:

Let's say I'm Developer Bob and I want to build an 80 story building at Chambers st. CD 1 holds a meeting where a few people are upset (for un-serious reasons). Now, my buidling has meet codes, zoning and approval from the city, how can the NIMBYs stop this from happening like they always do?

Is it the Media? Politicans? Interest groups stopping construction?

lofter1
June 21st, 2005, 11:39 PM
The windows on the "air shaft" weren't put there for the view but rather to bring in the maximum amount of light (and probably cross ventilation) into the interior of the building.

The Equitable Building design was a "good" architectural answer to the problem presented: fill up an entire city block with a structure of this height. But the shadow cast by the building on the surrounding area proved to be completely unacceptable to just about everyone who worked / owned in the surrounding area of what was then becoming the financial center of the world.

lofter1
June 21st, 2005, 11:50 PM
I don't think that NYC Zoning Res. would allow "by right" an 80 story building to be built on Chambers St. So if a developer wanted to build such a building (a building that does not comply with the local zoning laws), then the developer would have to go through the land use process to get special OK's to allow the building to be built. This is when the public can chime in.

The process often leads to compromise on both sides. And while neither side might end up with what they precisely want, the process can lead to a final result that better serves multiple constituencies.

And don't forget that many of these large projects are laden with "tax incentives" bestowed upon them by the powers that be, so tax payers as a whole are directly affected.

pianoman11686
June 22nd, 2005, 12:03 AM
Well, then here's my next question:

Let's say I'm Developer Bob and I want to build an 80 story building at Chambers st. CD 1 holds a meeting where a few people are upset (for un-serious reasons). Now, my buidling has meet codes, zoning and approval from the city, how can the NIMBYs stop this from happening like they always do?

Is it the Media? Politicans? Interest groups stopping construction?

If everyone who has to approve this has done so, then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be in the clear. The main concern about NIMBY's is when they start holding public rallies, petitioning politicians, and then gaining the support of certain influential people who have a big say on what gets built and what doesn't. We know this from what happened with the Jets stadium. Silver, Fields, Miller, Weiner - they all ended up representing powerful districts in Manhattan. Once the politicians get involved, then the media brings the issue to everyone else, and if you get a lot of negative publicity, you're screwed.

I feel that the most important single skill a developer can have, especially in a city like New York, is the ability to compromise. Going into a project with an iron fist will get you nowhere. Just think of Trump's failure with Television City, or, to a similar extent, the big players behind the Jets stadium. Now, look at Ratner. For his Beekman Street Tower, which is still far from being built, he has already included a school, height reductions, and I'm sure a bunch of other things that I can't list off the top of my head. In Atlantic Yards, he's buying up literally every apartment on the site. He's had height reductions, a lot of affordable housing concessions, and has managed to garner the support of Markowitz. This is someone who has a good idea of how to build big in New York. I look forward to seeing him embark on other, bigger projects in the future. In the meantime, have Developer Bob set up a conference call with Ratner, with a secretary taking notes.

macreator
June 22nd, 2005, 12:47 AM
So on this subject, what kind of zoning rights does SOLOW have? Let's say the community puts up a huge opposition, what can SOLOW build without the community's help?

I mean Trump put up the Trump World Monolith while high powered neighbors weeped because he had the zoning rights....what kind of rights does SOLOW have?

alex ballard
June 22nd, 2005, 09:33 AM
If everyone who has to approve this has done so, then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be in the clear. The main concern about NIMBY's is when they start holding public rallies, petitioning politicians, and then gaining the support of certain influential people who have a big say on what gets built and what doesn't. We know this from what happened with the Jets stadium. Silver, Fields, Miller, Weiner - they all ended up representing powerful districts in Manhattan. Once the politicians get involved, then the media brings the issue to everyone else, and if you get a lot of negative publicity, you're screwed.

I feel that the most important single skill a developer can have, especially in a city like New York, is the ability to compromise. Going into a project with an iron fist will get you nowhere. Just think of Trump's failure with Television City, or, to a similar extent, the big players behind the Jets stadium. Now, look at Ratner. For his Beekman Street Tower, which is still far from being built, he has already included a school, height reductions, and I'm sure a bunch of other things that I can't list off the top of my head. In Atlantic Yards, he's buying up literally every apartment on the site. He's had height reductions, a lot of affordable housing concessions, and has managed to garner the support of Markowitz. This is someone who has a good idea of how to build big in New York. I look forward to seeing him embark on other, bigger projects in the future. In the meantime, have Developer Bob set up a conference call with Ratner, with a secretary taking notes.


But wait:

CD 1 has 34,000 residents. The NIMBYs may be 30-40 people. If the other 33,000 support the project, how can a few crash it?

NoyokA
June 22nd, 2005, 10:07 AM
If everyone who has to approve this has done so, then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be in the clear. The main concern about NIMBY's is when they start holding public rallies, petitioning politicians, and then gaining the support of certain influential people who have a big say on what gets built and what doesn't. We know this from what happened with the Jets stadium. Silver, Fields, Miller, Weiner - they all ended up representing powerful districts in Manhattan. Once the politicians get involved, then the media brings the issue to everyone else, and if you get a lot of negative publicity, you're screwed.

I feel that the most important single skill a developer can have, especially in a city like New York, is the ability to compromise. Going into a project with an iron fist will get you nowhere. Just think of Trump's failure with Television City, or, to a similar extent, the big players behind the Jets stadium. Now, look at Ratner. For his Beekman Street Tower, which is still far from being built, he has already included a school, height reductions, and I'm sure a bunch of other things that I can't list off the top of my head. In Atlantic Yards, he's buying up literally every apartment on the site. He's had height reductions, a lot of affordable housing concessions, and has managed to garner the support of Markowitz. This is someone who has a good idea of how to build big in New York. I look forward to seeing him embark on other, bigger projects in the future. In the meantime, have Developer Bob set up a conference call with Ratner, with a secretary taking notes.

Not to nitpick but Ratner raised the heights of both projects.

lofter1
June 22nd, 2005, 10:09 AM
Alex Ballard: Let's say I'm Developer Bob and I want to build an 80 story building at Chambers st. CD 1 holds a meeting where a few people are upset (for un-serious reasons). Now, my buidling has meet codes, zoning and approval from the city, how can the NIMBYs stop this from happening like they always do?

Pianoman: If everyone who has to approve this has done so, then I don't see any reason why you wouldn't be in the clear.

The course of this question / response seems flawed:

The 80 story building Alex proposes for that area is too big under the Zoning regs, so it must go through the public process before it will be approved.

Pianoman responds as if the 80 story building is OK'd sans public response, and therefore any public input after the supposed approval would be moot.

This building as proposed would most likely never make it through the approval process without major input from the community, which would lead to changes + compromises.

For example: 200 Chambers Street started as a much bigger plan which required variances to allow it to be built at the proposed size. But after much public input the height of the building was lessened -- and many more public amenities were added.

The example of Trump World Tower @ "90 stories" is a great example of a builder who bought the required air rights which allowed him to build as he saw fit -- and therefore was not stymied by public input.

Fabrizio
June 22nd, 2005, 10:29 AM
"This building as proposed would most likely never make it through the approval process without major input from the community, which would lead to changes + compromises".


"...input from the community".... how refreshingly democratic.

pianoman11686
June 22nd, 2005, 04:51 PM
The course of this question / response seems flawed:

The 80 story building Alex proposes for that area is too big under the Zoning regs, so it must go through the public process before it will be approved.

Pianoman responds as if the 80 story building is OK'd sans public response, and therefore any public input after the supposed approval would be moot.

This building as proposed would most likely never make it through the approval process without major input from the community, which would lead to changes + compromises.

For example: 200 Chambers Street started as a much bigger plan which required variances to allow it to be built at the proposed size. But after much public input the height of the building was lessened -- and many more public amenities were added.

The example of Trump World Tower @ "90 stories" is a great example of a builder who bought the required air rights which allowed him to build as he saw fit -- and therefore was not stymied by public input.

My response was not meant to specifically say, "Okay, Developer Bob can build an 80 story building on a lot on Chambers Street." I thought Alex was using that location as an illustrative example. I don't doubt that that kind of building is not zoned for that specific area. My point is: if, as Alex said, the building met all codes, requirements, and was already approved by the city, I don't see how NIMBY's could block it, e.g. Trump World Tower. My subsequent argument about about the importance of compromise was meant to address the more likely situation that, a) the building has met most requirements but still needs approval from the city; b) NIMBY's have won the support of important local politicians who have the sway to block/alter the project.