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

  1. #661


    Is he hoping to emulate ONE57's success by applying that pixilated blue vomit pouring down the facade?

  2. #662


    The Architerrorist strikes again! And - like Hitler - he loves opera!

    Quote Originally Posted by Wall Street Journal View Post
    Investors Seek to Revive N.Y. City Opera
    Deal Requires Court Approval and Could Be Challenged by Competing Bidders

    Updated Dec. 5, 2014

    New York City Opera is poised for a rebirth.

    A group of investors is proposing to pay slightly more than $500,000 for the shuttered opera company’s name as well as some other assets and liabilities, according to Gerard Catalanello, an attorney for the group.

    On Friday, City Opera’s board of directors voted to recommend the sale to the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan, according to a statement jointly released by the board and the investor group.

    The deal requires court approval and could be challenged by competing bidders.

    The investors would pay $10,000, settle $500,000 in debts and assume some liabilities, Mr. Catalanello said.

    The group would get City Opera’s trademarks and Internet domain name as well as its thrift shop and donor lists.

    Leading the revival effort is Michael Capasso, general director of the Dicapo Opera Theatre. The 33-year-old company, based on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, is in the process of being wound down, Mr. Catalanello said.

    Mr. Capasso would serve as general director of the resuscitated company, according to the statement.

    Roy Niederhoffer, a former City Opera board member, would return as chairman and former board member Jeffrey Laikind, would assume the role of president.

    The low price reflects how little is left of the opera company, which filed for bankruptcy protection in October 2013 after years of growing deficits and costly missteps with its endowment.

    When it closed, City Opera owed millions of dollars to New York City Ballet, with which it once shared a theater, and to ticket holders, musicians, former employees and others.

    Those creditors would be paid up to $500,000 over 10 years under the investors’ proposal, with the possibility of a quicker time frame depending on the outcome of the endowment’s transfer, Mr. Catalanello said.

    The plan also doesn’t include City Opera’s roughly $5 million endowment, at least for now. Turning over the funds requires approval from New York state regulators and must happen outside the bankruptcy process. City Opera’s board is still developing a recommendation on what to do with the endowment.

    Founded in 1943, City Opera was dubbed “the people’s opera” by former New York Mayor Fiorello La Guardia. It was known for launching the careers of such singers as Beverly Sills and Plácido Domingo.

    The proposed renewal comes just over a year after its last production, “ Anna Nicole, ” a contemporary opera about the life of tabloid star Anna Nicole Smith, at the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

    The offer is likely to be challenged. New York architect Gene Kaufman has expressed interest for months in reviving the opera, and an attorney for Mr. Kaufman said in court Nov. 20 that he remains willing to make a bid.

    Mr. Kaufman and other interested parties would have until Jan. 5 to submit offers under a proposed timeline to be submitted to the bankruptcy court.

    In a recent interview, Mr. Kaufman said that whether it is under his control or someone else’s, he wants to see the opera come back. “If the slate is wiped clean, that’s the first step that anybody would need,” he said.

  3. #663


    A somewhat interesting article on everyone's favorite Architect. It goes in detail as to his popularity with developers while inspiring hatred from critics.

    Gene Kaufman certainly ranks as one of the city's most prolific architects. During the third quarter alone, he had 16 residential and hotel projects totaling well over 1 million square feet underway around town. Yet for all his commercial success, one thing largely eludes him: even a smidgen of love from critics.
    When he filed permits for a 79-room hotel in Chelsea last year, for instance, a local real estate blog referred to the designer as the "dark lord of architectural blandness." Weeks later, another critic called the designer's execution of the world's tallest Holiday Inn, which opened its 492 rooms downtown in October, "another atrocity courtesy of Gene Kaufman." Such snipes—some of which are unfit for publication in a family newspaper—have increasingly dogged Mr. Kaufman as he nears 30 years at the helm of his namesake architecture firm.
    Yet his skill in landing jobs—this year, another 40 Kaufman properties will be either designed or built—speaks volumes about what it takes to succeed in New York as an architect, as well as, for better and for worse, why the city looks the way it does. The fact is that in a metropolis with some of the nation's highest land and building costs, Gene Kaufman Architects delivers more of the one thing developers -value above all else: profit.
    "The value of a [hotel] project when we do it is usually a couple million dollars more than if somebody else does it," said Mr. Kaufman, seated at his desk behind a high, undulating black partition in his SoHo office. "That's why people come to us."
    Just ask the city's most prolific hotelier, Sam Chang. In 1997, the then-aspiring developer of smaller, budget hotels—many in the boroughs outside Manhattan—tapped Mr. Kaufman for a seemingly impossible project. It was a proposed 65-room Hampton Inn in the South Street Seaport Historic District, a project where the architect first demonstrated an odd mix of ingenuity and shrewdness that helped launch his career.
    The hostelry's location was perfect, but the size of the lot and zoning constraints made it nearly impossible to build enough rooms to cover land and construction costs. Somehow, the designer would have to find a way to shoehorn more rooms.
    "So we told them that we will put in this brand-new thing, and people will come to stay in the hotel just to see it," Mr. Kaufman said. "It's called a flat-screen TV."
    True, the sets were initially budgeted to cost $10,000 a pop, but they also took up far less valuable space than traditional TVs—enough to allow Mr. Kaufman to shrink the width of each room enough to squeeze in one additional room onto each floor. That change alone was enough to boost the hotel's projected revenue, quickly persuading the chain's executives to go ahead with the project, which indeed has proved wildly successful.
    Since then, Mr. Kaufman has designed about 50 hotels, often with Mr. Chang's McSam Hotel Group as the developer, and has found myriad ways of reconfiguring rooms and shrinking construction schedules and costs, all while sticking to guidelines imposed by many hotel chains on everything from ceiling heights in the lobby to room layouts.
    Among other things, he has an in-house team of consultants focused on getting projects through labyrinthine bureaucracies like the city's Department of Buildings. The fact that his designs often feature plain-Jane façades, and buildings set back from the street wall to ensure that every floor is exactly the same size, also help cut costs.
    Making risk affordable

    The world's tallest Holiday Inn (99 Washington St.), Candlewood Suites (339 W. 39th St.) and 347 Bowery are beloved by clients but loathed by critics of Kaufman-designed hotels.Photo: CoStar Group Inc.Similarly, on the residential side, Mr. Kaufman has a reputation for keeping costs low enough that developers can afford to take chances on projects in iffy areas that others had written off. More than 20 years ago, he and a developer tried to persuade the city to grant permits for an apartment project in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where they insisted that they could make good money charging monthly rents of a then-¬unheard-of $1 per square foot.
    "They said, 'How are you ever going to get that much money?'"
    For the developer, that bet would have paid off handsomely, as rents in the area have since quintupled.
    Scores of designs for shoestring apartment buildings and budget hotels that others insisted would never pencil out have handsomely enriched Mr. Kaufman's clients and his own firm, but they have also come at a cost to the 56-year-old's reputation. One writer referred to him as the designer of "craptastic apartment buildings." Yet even some of his harshest critics concede that his budget designs simply reflect what his clients want and what city zoning rules allow.
    When Mr. Kaufman was tapped in 2006 for a planned seven-unit residential project at 314 John St. in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, for example, he produced two very different façade designs. His client, the developer Aljohn Group, cited costs in opting for the cheaper one, since the prices for other elements of the building, such as the foundation and plumbing, are fairly standard.
    "At the end of the day, everything in New York City always comes down to money," said Nikolai Fedak, founder of blog New York YIMBY [Yes in My Backyard]. "While rich people are willing to pay the price for top-level design, it just so happens most New Yorkers aren't rich, and neither are the people who come here to visit" and stay in a hotel.
    Developers of luxury properties can afford to hire starchitects and set a higher aesthetic bar because they know their buyers will cough up enough cash to justify all the additional sums spent on the finer points of a building—from custom-made windows to marble-clad bathrooms. But for those who aim to build for everybody else, the same math does not work.
    "It's very 'in' to say architects can do design on any budget," Mr. Kaufman said in his deadpan delivery. "But I think a lot of criticism [of my buildings] is actually from people who want something for nothing."
    Others insist that New York has to offer not just striking properties for those few who can afford them, but something for everybody else, too.
    "We need hotels and residential buildings that are not exclusively for the very rich," said Kenneth T. Jackson, a history professor at Columbia University. "To the extent that Gene Kaufman is helping to provide those units, that's a good thing."
    And while Mr. Kaufman has designed pricey projects as well, it is the blander ones for which he is known. Oddly enough, they seem out of keeping for a man who has so many connections to high art and design. After graduating from Cornell University, he interned at an architecture firm in Switzerland and went on to work as an associate for world-renowned Uruguayan architect Rafael Viñoly—the designer of what now stands as the tallest residential tower in the hemisphere, 432 Park Ave.—before starting his own firm.
    Bowing to the greats

    During the last real estate boom, he designed a Williamsburg condo inspired by the design of French architect Le Corbusier, a titan of modernism. And since purchasing a majority stake in well-regarded architecture firm Gwathmey Siegel & Associates in 2011, Mr. Kaufman has led a campaign to save an upstate government office building, designed in the (all too) brutalist style by Paul Rudolph.
    Outside the office, he is a devoted museumgoer, along with his wife, Terry Eder, a successful classical pianist. In recent months, Mr. Kaufman has been attempting to purchase the name and assets of their beloved but bankrupt New York City Opera.
    It is less surprising, then, that Mr. Kaufman is currently designing a ground-up development of artist studios in Bushwick, Brooklyn, and that he also has done many higher-end projects that have been better received by the same people who criticize his budget hotels. Among those is his design for Hilton's boutique brand, Indigo, in the financial district. YIMBY grudgingly praised it as "actually somewhat appealing." In the same vein, Mr. Kaufman's vision for a Thor Equities hotel on Canal Street was deemed "not that ugly," by, which also described an upcoming project of his a few blocks west as "surprisingly pleasant."
    And on the residential side, Mr. Kaufman's work in today's hyperpricey Williamsburg bears little resemblance to designs he came up with in the late 1980s. His work there includes projects such as the Lucent and the Decora.
    Even when he's had big bucks to spend, though, Mr. Kaufman's designs have stirred the wrath of some critics. A daring design for a condo on the Bowery prompted The Village Voice to note that the building "may as well come emblazoned with a rainbow 'F—k You!' sign."
    But like him or loathe him, it is the pricier side of Mr. Kaufman that the city may be seeing more of as a result of changing market dynamics. The designer's longtime collaborator, Mr. Chang, notes that stratospheric land and construction costs are making budget-hotel development a thing of the past.
    "People think there will be a lot more new [budget] hotels, but I think construction will completely slow down," said Mr. Chang, who, having built more of them than anyone else, announced last year that he is retiring.

  4. #664


    Inspired by Le Corbusier?


  5. #665


    said Mr. Chang, who, having built more of them than anyone else, announced last year that he is retiring.

  6. #666


    "But I think a lot of criticism [of my buildings] is actually from people who want something for nothing."
    he needs to take some time and look away from that reflection in the mirror he's so in enamored with.

  7. #667
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002



    But I think a lot of criticism [of my buildings] is actually from people who want something for nothing.
    What?! Isn't that what the developers/clients want?

    It's very 'in' to say architects can do design on any budget

    Who says that?

    "We need hotels and residential buildings that are not exclusively for the very rich," said Kenneth T. Jackson, a history professor at Columbia University. "To the extent that Gene Kaufman is helping to provide those units, that's a good thing."
    I can't believe Jackson of all people said that.

  8. #668
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002


    King of the Boring Box. Blech!

    Gene Kaufman Takes Break From Hotels To Build, Um, Studios

    February 5, 2015, by Zoe Rosenberg

    Construction has started on an East Williamsburg development that will house 50 to 60 live/work artist studios. The building coming to the corner of Bogart Street and Johnson Avenue is designed by prolific architect of blah hotels, Gene Kaufman. The architect's designs don't usually pull any punches—100 Bogart's doesn't either—but the deadpan building designer's insights into the project are surprisingly refreshing. As quoted by Bedford and Bowery, Kaufman explained 100 Bogart Street,

    This project reverses the all-too-familiar cycle of artists' rescuing a neighborhood only to be pushed out, victims of their own success. By making the creative community an integral part of the long-term plan for the area and recognizing their value as a built-in economic generator, projects like this are changing the nature of urban transformation in New York City.

    A big part of whether the development will succeed will be due to how the studios are priced, which has yet to be revealed. The building will be six stories, cover 56,000 square feet, and, according to B+B, have heavy floor loads, extra-large elevator bays, and strategically placed stairs. There will also be ground-floor retail. In an earlier interview, Kaufman mentioned that the building's design was inspired by the new David Zwirner Gallery in Chelsea.

    With its head start, it seems unlikely that developer Vlat LLC will be taking advantage of capital funding from the Department of Housing Preservation and Development. In his State of the City address, Mayor de Blasio announced a plan within his affordable housing agenda to build 1,500 artist studios by 2024, WNYC reports.

    As of now, the existing building at 100 Bogart Street has been bulldozed. Here's a look at the site, courtesy of Brownstoner.

    As City Plans Live-Work Space For Artists, Developer Starts Building Studios [B+B]
    De Blasio to Unveil New Artist Housing, Workspace [WNYC]
    Gene Kaufman-Designed Artist Studio Building in Bushwick Breaks Ground ['Stoner]

  9. #669


    Does he have kids?

    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post

  10. #670


    Quote Originally Posted by BBMW View Post
    Does he have kids?
    I believe the preferred term here is "spawn."

  11. #671
    NYC Aficionado from Oz Merry's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002



    What is your birth date?
    July 29, 1960.

    Do you have children?
    I have four. They’re 15 (Danny), 18 (Kevin), 23 (Jeffrey) and 24 (Jennifer).

    When are you going to retire?

    What are you going to do upon retirement?
    Just relax. I’m going to build one hotel at a time after I retire. Right now I’m building 30 hotels at a time.

    How have you been able to be successful?
    I don’t think I am successful yet. My dream is to be a billionaire.

  12. #672
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    New York City


    70 Columbus by Gene Kaufman


  13. #673


    Holy jeez that's brutal .

  14. #674


    That's New Jersey, though. This is still better than the Harrison Element hotel or Meadowlands Xanadu.

  15. #675
    Jersey Patriot JCMAN320's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Jersey City


    The hotel is currently under construction that will go in front of 70 Columbus. It's not as bad as the other crap he's built. I actually don't mind it.

    More renderings here:

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