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Thread: Gene Kaufman...kough...kough, hack....hack...

  1. #571


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    What would the cost differential be for a developer to hire an actual Architect in the true sense of the word?
    A lot less in this case, where the building isn't as-of-right, and the architect must sell it to the LPC.

    Kaufman tried to explain that the configuration of columns and spandrels would offer appropriate shadows,
    A little silly to argue that Mr Sun will take care of the details.

  2. #572


    Here was an old design for the site. Not sure by who.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	341 Canal Street 1  Sean Daly  Windtunnel  NYSR.jpg 
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  3. #573


    Gene Kaufman's 'trade secret' revealed: the above comment that many real estate developers do "want cheap and easy to build" is true - this is how he gives it to them. (LOL)

    BTW...this is actually a fantastic piece of software for DIY designers. Well done promo video of the product: and a snappy little sound track as well.

  4. #574


    Speaking of Kaufman the Great's trade secrets, here is his interview with the New York Times from 2010. I bolded the parts where he uses thinly-veiled language to admit his cheapness, as well as his denial regarding said cheapness.

    Q Your business has picked up, hasn’t it?

    A Business is surprisingly good. In 2009 we didn’t break ground for a single building. Now we have projects that we started some time ago that we’re working on, and we’ve gotten a crop of new projects. We have maybe six or seven hotels that we started in the last 90 days.

    Q Tell me about current projects.

    A We’re doing a couple of projects with Marriott — a Marriott Courtyard at 35th Street in the old Atlantic Bank Building, and a Marriott SpringHill around the corner from there. We’re doing a Hyatt Place in Brooklyn and a Hyatt hotel in Union Square. We have a Holiday Inn on Delancey Street, a Holiday Inn Express in the West 40s. We’re doing a couple of Cambria Suites projects.

    Q Just how many hotels in New York City have you designed?

    A We had designed over 60 hotels during the whole boom period, starting actually around 2000. In the heyday we were breaking ground for a new hotel about every three weeks.

    So we’re talking about a couple million people a year in New York City who wouldn’t have been here otherwise because there was no place for them to stay. This is an enormous contribution to the business of the city.

    Q Will there be another boom?

    A Another one is already happening.

    Q How did hotels become your niche?

    A We became a leading expert very quickly, in part by default.

    Things turned on circumstances and luck: I had a client many years ago whom we were doing a residential building for, and he sold the site to another developer who wanted to do a hotel. He said to me at the time, “Don’t worry, this is going to be the best thing that happened to you.”

    Q That new developer was Sam Chang of McSam, wasn’t it?

    A The buyer of the property was McSam, and this was in the ’90s and the hotel wave had not happened yet.

    Q Why did it take so long?

    A The key was being able to build these things economically. There was a barrier to providing hotel rooms for people in middle-range incomes — with the land and construction costs and the financing constraints. Sam and I worked out a model that was really quite different than anything else when it came to building hotels.

    Q What was that model?

    A We basically looked at the room from top to bottom and everything that didn’t work we changed. So inevitably rooms got smaller.
    We expanded space for other things: the brand standards that were 300 to 400 feet for a fitness room became 600 to 800 square feet, and we’re doing one now that’s 1,400.

    When you can standardize the construction, you could limit costs. We also decided to build on small sites. We went to sites that were basically forgotten about, that were maybe 50 by 100, and this land was not expensive.

    Q Because of this standardization, do you ever feel stymied creatively?

    A Hotels are limiting in many ways, because we’re providing the same type of room over and over again. But that’s a starting point, not an end point. The hotel guest might imagine that there are 100 or 200 identical rooms, but they don’t experience those other rooms. And I think the notion of all hotel rooms being the same is really a misnomer — it’s democratic but not identical.

    Q You also design residential projects. Some have described Verdi on Adelphi condominium in Brooklyn as, well, “ugly.”

    A When we do a project, we’re always going to have advocates and detractors. In that project we used a special glass tile made of a recyclable product that changes color depending upon the light. Some people may not like that, but we thought it was interesting.

    Q What has been your most challenging project?

    A We had a building by a subway tunnel down on Maiden Lane. The site was L shaped and only 16 feet wide at the front. One side faced the Federal Reserve Bank, where we actually thought we’d have trouble putting a shovel in the ground because they might be concerned that we were going to go after the gold!

    Q Do you stay in many hotels?

    A I travel a lot, and I move from hotel to hotel as a form of research. It’s an opportunity to see what everybody else is doing.

  5. #575


    I travel a lot, and I move from hotel to hotel as a form of research. It’s an opportunity to see what everybody else is doing.
    looks like he needs to do a lot more traveling...

  6. #576


    Maybe he just travels around NYC and stays in his own hotels...

  7. #577


    The Molotov-Ribbentrop chronicles continue.

    Sam Chang has sold 33 Beekman Street site to a developer that will hire Gene Kaufman to design a 30-story dorm.

  8. #578


    sweet...another gut wrenching vomit inducing pile for nyc.

  9. #579


    Since Pace allowed that mediocrity on Broadway, we can only imaging what abomination they'll tolerate on a back street.

    The bar is set low; a comfort zone for Kaufman.

  10. #580
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Guilderland, NY


    Quote Originally Posted by scumonkey View Post
    sweet...another gut wrenching vomit inducing pile for nyc.
    I think I will lose sleep over waiting for renders...

  11. #581
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    Ohhhh .

    Permit Issued for, Yes, Another Gene Kaufman Hotel

    by Sara Polsky

    [Photo via PropertyShark.]

    Development should be underway soon at the lot shown above, 125 West 28th Street, according to a new DOB permit issued this week. Unfortunately, that news probably isn't going to cheer up even those who've been waiting to see the empty spot filled, because the architect on the permit is none other than Gene Kaufman. According to the permit, the planned building will eventually rise to 202 feet and 18 stories, with 49,307 square feet of space. There are no renderings floating around out there that we've seen. Earlier reports identified the property as a 194-room Cambria Suites hotel.

  12. #582


    Aren't there already four Gene Kaufman hotels on this block, including two surrounding this site?

    If I am not mistaken, was this area once called the Flower Market or the Flower District or something like that?

  13. #583
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    It is/was (there's still plenty of florists here, just not as many as there used to be). There's a nearly un-countable number of these things here. Just from the windows of my offices we can see nearly a dozen of them. There's a couple on every single block between 7th and 6th. It's crazy.

  14. #584


    Quote Originally Posted by RoldanTTLB View Post
    It is/was (there's still plenty of florists here, just not as many as there used to be). There's a nearly un-countable number of these things here. Just from the windows of my offices we can see nearly a dozen of them. There's a couple on every single block between 7th and 6th. It's crazy.
    Is Kaufman giving Amanda Burden handjobs? What gives? It's clear to anyone with a brain -- and a majority of those lacking one -- that Kaufman is an absolutely destructive force to the city, like arson in the 70s or crack cocaine in the '80s. Why doesn't anyone do anything?

  15. #585
    Fearless Photog RoldanTTLB's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Broomfield, CO


    oh, so:

    1.) No one's going to do anything about it because of money. While it's destructive from an architectural integrity stand point, there's no arguing with the money that comes from bringing hundreds of thousands of additional tourists to NYC every year. So long as GKA doesn't tear down the empire state building or the Chrysler building (which many tourists cannot distinguish between anyway), the draw will be here.

    2.) I discovered that I can extract sets of permits by architect from bisweb! Jackpot! More interestingly, I decided to look at GKA (I'm posting in this thread, aren't I?). His firm has 106 NB permits going back 10 years to 2002. That's just under 1 a month over the entire period of time. The smallest Building was 10,413 Sq Ft, at 51 E 131st St and the largest was 316,728 Sq Ft at 217 Pearl St. (I'm assuming this is NOT actually being built, as it's the site of the now 2 separate hotel buildings being constructed, as opposed to this 1 enormous hotel).

    3.) In any event, here are projects that have had permit activity in 2012 (which is to say some sort of plan review/amendment since original filing - these are the most likely to be U/C or in process right now):

    235 WEST 54TH STREET
    125 WEST 28TH STREET
    312 WEST 37TH STREET
    520 5TH AVENUE*
    538 WEST 48TH STREET
    336 EAST 112TH STREET*
    333 WEST 38TH STREET
    120 WEST 57TH STREET
    337 WEST 39 STREET
    135 NORTH 11 STREET
    162 NORTH 12 STREET
    206 EAST 52ND STREET
    210 EAST 52 STREET
    17 WEST 24ST*
    339 WEST 39 STREET

    * Plans were disapproved on most recent action.
    Of note, the original filings for some of these buildings go all the way back to 2004.

    I'll continue to mine the data a little, and will probably post about all this more in the future.

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