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Thread: 50 East 57th Street @ 432 Park Avenue (former Drake Hotel site)

  1. #151

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    Quote Originally Posted by kz1000ps View Post
    Well, back then big new towers (Sony, Trump, IBM, Park Ave Plaza, ect.) were sprouting up all around Madison and the surrounding midblocks, and it seemed the area was becoming oversaturated, thus the response. You can argue with it if you want, but I personally am glad that some steps were taken to save the midblocks (even if there was little left to save).
    This is an exellent point and very true. In the 1980's the NYTimes Sunday Magazine ran a cover-story on these block-buster buildings written by Ada Louise Huxtable that caused quite a stir. Mid-town traditionally had a mix of tall and small and side streets that were charming. And you could count on that.

    Suddenly a street like 53rd between 5th and 6th (as an example) was eaten up by towers. And so the out-cry.

    ---

    And now let's take Antinymby's quote about the Drake:

    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    ^ Regardless of whether one believes the Drake is worthy of being saved or not, one cannot argue the irreparable damage to the streetscape and the city when you one by one, replace these elegant and grand old buildings with sterile glass.

    Now, imagine it without the Drake and instead, imagine in its place, a stumpy all-glass tower similar to any of the three flanking the Drake in that picture.

    How much duller is that now?
    (ooops... theres that word "streetscape" again...)

    This is EXACTLY my point about the Hotel Penn. With new buildings coming in... it would be nice to maintain the contrast of the old.

    ---

    When the new MSQ complex etc is finally developed this also could apply to the Hotel Penn:

    Quote Originally Posted by kz1000ps View Post
    Although I had noticed the building when walking Park Ave before, it was more because it wasn't a glass box than it was because it had any outstanding architectural merit. However, I have to agree that its loss is a net loss for that area.

    ---
    Last edited by Fabrizio; July 10th, 2007 at 09:43 AM.

  2. #152

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    There will be no more than two consecutive modern towers on each side of Seventh once Hotel Penn and everything else on Seventh is built out. Old buildings stretch nearly continuously from 23rd to 41st Street.

  3. #153

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    For how long? Is it zoned/landmarked that way... or is everything up for grabs? What will the next 10 years bring?

  4. #154

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    The city seems intent on preserving the garment district by not uzponing it or changing its usage.

    South of 28th many of the older buildings are larger than what zoning allows. The Chelsea Centro at 26th (17 st.), Chelsea Royale at 26th (12 st.), and that H&M store at 34th are the only new developments in the past few decades. Only 2 or 3 blocks north and south of Penn Station can new towers rise.

  5. #155
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kz1000ps View Post
    Well, back then big new towers (Sony, Trump, IBM, Park Ave Plaza, ect.) were sprouting up all around Madison and the surrounding midblocks, and it seemed the area was becoming oversaturated, thus the response. You can argue with it if you want, but I personally am glad that some steps were taken to save the midblocks (even if there was little left to save).
    I'm sorry but the idea that downzoning will preserve midblock buildings is flawed as evidenced by a number of developments, particularly recently.

    The only thing that downzoning in that part of town accomplishes is to force developers to assemble more lots and thus raze even more small buildings than would have been necessary and all we'll get in return are more stumpy towers.

    Case in point is the short, recently unveiled, IM Pei-designed building that replaced a bunch of very beautiful townhouses on 56 St.

    Did the lower FAR's on the block save those townhouses? No.

    Same here with the Drake and those 57 St. townhouses/stores. They too will be gone to make way for another short, filler tower and all for what?

    If you want to save midblocks or anything else in this city, landmarking and/or regulating use is the way to go, not downzoning.
    Last edited by antinimby; July 10th, 2007 at 09:50 PM.

  6. #156

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    That's true, but in a way it did work. There hasn't been much development in the area since the 80's.

    A better idea would've been to landmark the midblocks and allow their air rights to be transferred to the avenues. Rents for new buildings are getting to the point where you can demolish an old building, build a slightly larger one and still make a profit.

    Her article is very convincingly written.
    http://www.archpaper.com/feature_art...criticism.html

  7. #157
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    That's true, but in a way it did work. There hasn't been much development in the area since the 80's.
    The downzoning only temporarily delayed development in those areas because as long as there are higher FAR'd areas nearby that are available for redevelopment, the developers would naturally gravitate to those sites first, but once those areas are eventually filled up, the downzoned midblocks are just as vulnerable, especially in heated markets like we are in now.

    Then nothing is sacred, not even those lovely townhouses and the lavish hotels such as the Drake, all simply because of the valuable locations that they occupy.

    This goes to show that downzoning is not a long term nor effective way to preserve buildings/areas. Your idea below is much better.

    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post
    A better idea would've been to landmark the midblocks and allow their air rights to be transferred to the avenues. Rents for new buildings are getting to the point where you can demolish an old building, build a slightly larger one and still make a profit.

    Her article is very convincingly written.
    http://www.archpaper.com/feature_art...criticism.html

  8. #158

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    Don't dry out those tears just yet...
    http://www.nypost.com/seven/07112007...lois_weiss.htm

    ROOSEVELT'S UP FOR SALE AT COOL $1B



    July 11, 2007

    NO sooner did we whisper the Roosevelt Hotel as being a potential development site last Friday then we were tipped that it was actually coming to market - and could sell for, gulp, $1 billion as an office development site. Just over a year ago, the Pakistani government, which owns the 1,013 room hotel as PIA Investments, bought out its 50/50 Saudi partner, Prince Faisal bin Khalid of Saudi Arabia.

    Infighting and Pakistani political factionalism stopped an earlier sales effort in 2003 that would have brought in around $225 million slated to be used to purchase new jets for its airline.

    Sources said Cushman & Wakefield will be marking the hotel through its Fab Foursome: Richard Baxter, Ron Cohen, Scott Latham and Jon Caplan. The company declined comment.

    At a breakfast meeting at Michael's yesterday morning, C&W executives were bullish on the ongoing sales and leasing markets, as vacancy rates have dropped to 5.3 percent and asking rents are up to $75.79 a foot in Midtown, a 35 percent jump since this time last year.

    The hotel occupies nearly a full-acre block just north of Grand Central Terminal bounded by 45th and 46th Streets, Vanderbilt and Madison avenues.

    Its 43,000 foot site can be built to 800,000 feet as-of-right, but attorneys say that special district air rights can be piled on to create a skyscraper that could leap to 1.5 million feet.


    Potential bidders are being advised to compare the hotel to the site next to the Museum of Modern Art which sold for $775 a buildable foot, but is mid-block near Sixth Avenue.

    Over a number of years making strategic land and air rights purchases, Macklowe Properties paid around $950 a foot for the Swisshotel Drake New York at Park Avenue and 56th Street, which they have changed from a residential hotel to offices.

    Office rents have since climbed markedly in the city with 18 deals completed at over $125 a foot this year alone versus 16 in all of last year.

    ___________________________

    The hotel site, just south of the Bear Stearns tower...


    hotelz.com



    thecityreview.com


    http://www.thecityreview.com/roose.html
    Now let the bitchin begin...

  9. #159

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    http://www.thecityreview.com/roose.html
    Now let the bitchin begin...[/quote]

    I thank you for your information, you are quite good in that, I have to admit. But I simply don't get why are you so insensitive?

  10. #160

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    ^
    I think I could ask the same about yourself. If you have a fetish for decay, there are many, many American cities to fufill your wishes. The beauty of New York is that it is constantly reinventing itself.

    Lately it seems that everything on Wired NY is an anti-development screed. One thread even now supports preserving a vacant lot over a new hotel, so I guess some hate development whatever the site. People are entitled to their opinions, but this worldview is something I will never understand, especially in the context of NYC.

  11. #161
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    Anti-development, or is it anti-crappy development?

  12. #162

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    And it's not like there's a lack of development - crappy and anti-crappy - throughout the city.

    I remember reading somewhere that we're in some sort of a building boom. Am I mistaken?

  13. #163

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    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT View Post
    Anti-development, or is it anti-crappy development?
    IMO, it's anti-development, period. Crappy is in the eye of the beholder. On this forum, lately 90% of the new is considered crappy, while the same people wax poetic about rundown tenements and potholed parking lots. I'm sure the same people would be the first to complain if there were city budget problems, which is ironic to say the least.

  14. #164

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    And it's not like there's a lack of development - crappy and anti-crappy - throughout the city.

    I remember reading somewhere that we're in some sort of a building boom. Am I mistaken?
    I think you're mistaken. In historical perspective, we are doing well, but we are certainly not in a building boom. Compare office and residential growth today to that of past decades. Not even close.

    The only reason people think we are in a boom is because there were here during the years of decline, from the late 60's to the mid 90's. In every other decade, there was far more growth. I have data on housing permits (which I am happy to post) and know that, in historical terms, we are not building much.

  15. #165

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    One thread even now supports preserving a vacant lot over a new hotel, so I guess some hate development whatever the site.
    No, not a hotel, this particular one.



    Or do you think this is appropriate across the street from one of the most anticipated downtown towers in decades.

    Crappy is in the eye of the beholder.
    Well, then judge our aesthetic tastes; don't dismiss them as anti-development.

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