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Thread: 50 West Street - by Helmut Jahn

  1. #16
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Well, I think it's landmark-worthy.

    If anyone else thinks so too, you can submit a petition to LPC to have them evaluate it using this form.

    Remember the address of the mansard roof building is 47 West St.

  2. #17
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    DOB shows only one C/O for 50 West (from 1921). It shows a frontage of 24-1/2 ' on West Street but gives no other property dimensions.

    The info for 47 West at DOB shows a lot there of ~ 100' x 180'.

    DOB also shows that the 3 "Buildings on Lot" included in this property have these addresses:
    50 WEST STREET 107897
    47 WEST STREET (47 - 49) 1078972
    74 WASHINGTON STREET (74 - 80) 1078973
    Perhaps 47 will remain and the FAR will be used to build something very tall on the smaller plot at 50 ...

    btw: There are no recent Applications filed for 50 West regarding anything about a New Building , Demo, etc.

  3. #18
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    A 1996 article from the NY Times regarding 47 West:

    New Residential Space Arrives in Lower Manhattan

    PERSPECTIVES

    NY Times
    By ALAN S. OSER
    February 4, 1996

    BEFORE the year is over, about 1,000 apartments are expected to be in construction in older office and commercial buildings in lower Manhattan. Developers are taking advantage of relaxed zoning regulations and new tax incentives aimed at assisting economically stagnant properties and bringing in more round-the-clock occupancy.

    Some of these projects will be large-scale conversions. But as it happens, the first to begin marketing space after a construction start is a small-scale project that exemplifies the offbeat specimens of mixed residential, office and industrial use that the new incentives may occasionally produce. It will also test the market for large for-rent live-work spaces in the financial district.

    The property is 47 West Street, close to the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel and directly across from Battery Park City. It is actually three buildings on one tax lot. The tallest is the 12-story 47 West Street, named the Crystal Building for the family that once owned it. It is internally connected to 74 Washington Street, which is five floors lower. Combined they create 160,000 square feet of space, with lower floors of 15,200 square feet for printers and other businesses. The small third building is the three-story 50 West Street.

    The Crystal Building was 90 percent occupied until about 1989, said Francis Greenburger, principal of Time Equities, the owner, a major co-op converter in the 80's but a commercial owner as well.

    "Then one tenant went bust, two moved to Brooklyn and another went out of business," he said. "We had 26,000 square feet of nonresidential loft space vacant for two years." A tenant on the eighth and ninth floors of the West Street building was moved to the large fifth floor, which runs through to the shorter building on the Washington Street side. That freed two floors for residential conversion.

    Now the 8th through the 11th floors of the West Street building are being converted to live-work space, with a sizable 3,000 square feet in each space, two to a floor, and sunlight from four directions. The units will rent for $4,000 a month, or $16 a square foot a year. Residents will share a modest-sized lobby, redecorated in Art Deco fashion, with the commercial tenants. The Dime Savings Bank of Williamsburgh is financing the construction.

    The long-term tenant on the 12th floor of 47 West Street is the Superior Group (formerly Superior Reproduction Systems), a copying, microfilm and imaging service that signed a new lease only a year ago.

    "I have no heavy presses," said Michael S. Darvin, the chief operating officer. "I have no problem with people living below us as long as the people moving in know we're a functioning business, 24 hours a day."

    NOR is Donald Kern dissatisfied. He and his partner, Arthur Baron, run Admiral Communications (formerly Admiral Photo Offset Company), a printing company founded by their fathers in lower Manhattan 50 years ago. Three weeks ago Admiral signed a 15-year, $10-million lease renewal for 49,100 square feet on three-and-a-half low floors. Time Equities agreed to build a new heavy-duty freight elevator for Admiral on the south side of the building, along Joseph P. Ward Street.

    Does residential occupancy disturb Admiral? "It doesn't bother me one way or another," Mr. Kern said. "My machines are noisy but they're down in the building, on the Washington Street side."

    The live-work units of 47 West Street are a modest precursor of residential projects to come in lower Manhattan. Crescent Heights Investments, a partnership of Bruce A. Menin, Russell Galbut and Sonny Kahn, has gutted the interior of the 500,000-square-foot 1901 building at 25 Broad Street, at Exchange Place, in preparation for construction of a residential building of 345 family-sized high-ceiling apartments. Crescent Heights has developed close to 6,000 apartments in 20 former apartment buildings or hotels, mostly in South Florida.

    Another redevelopment candidate is 127 John Street, the 32-story, 550,000-square-foot office building completed only 25 years ago by the Kaufman Organization. It was purchased out of foreclosure last November by Rockrose Development Corporation, a large residential owner-builder. A major tenant, Prudential Securities, moved out of 150,000 square feet three years ago and the space was not rerented.

    A few blocks away is the 66-story, 1.4-million-square-foot 40 Wall Street, recently purchased by Donald Trump. Despite speculation that its upper floors might be converted to residential use, Mr. Trump said that it would remain a pure office building. Most of it is vacant, a big reconstruction has started and Cushman & Wakefield has been retained by the Trump Organization as the leasing agent, Mr. Trump said.

    Creating an environment that attracts residents requires more than apartments. "The key is to create a restaurant destination that makes people want to be there," said Tony Goldman, principal in Goldman Properties, who said he was prepared to open five of them over the next 24 months. Mr. Goldman owns 70 Broad Street and other nearby property. A brownstone converter, he owns and operates three hotels in the South Beach section of Miami.

    The zoning changes that are fueling the residential conversion activity were adopted last summer. They affect pre-1961 buildings below Murray Street west of Broadway, and below the Brooklyn Bridge east of Broadway. One change allows apartments in these buildings to have an average gross square footage of 900. Previous zoning discouraged conversions with a provision that the average apartment size in a large portion of the building had to be 1,800 square feet. Also, developers are now allowed to provide on-site parking for 20 percent of the units, up to 200 spaces.

    Another zoning change makes it easier to create live-work space in lower Manhattan by permitting up to 49 percent of the dwelling units to be used for the home occupation. The previous limit was 25 percent. Three employees may work in the space.

    SPECIAL tax incentives were also introduced for lower Manhattan conversions. After completion of construction, a 12-year tax exemption is provided. It applies to the assessment established at that time for buildings that are wholly or substantially (more than 75 percent of the total space) converted to residential use. It phases out after the first eight years at a rate of 20 percent a year.

    In addition, taxes attributable to the preconstruction assessment are abated for 14 years. The abatement is 100 percent for 10 years, and it phases out over the next. (Landmarked properties get an extra year on both the exemption and the abatement.) The exemption and abatement together let the converted building to start out tax free. Then, until the benefits phase out, it pays taxes only on the portion of subsequent assessments that reflect a rise in value.

    To qualify for the full initial tax benefits when less than 75 percent of the property is converted, developers are likely to attempt to establish the residential space as condominiums. Their expectation is that then both the exemption and the abatement would be available. On this principle, the converted floors at 47 West Street are likely to become a condominium.

    Other tax incentives in lower Manhattan benefit office and commercial lessees. One runs for three years and applies to new arrivals in pre-1975 buildings in lower Manhattan, or to tenants signing renewal leases renewals in such buildings. This benefit helped Admiral Communications at 47 West Street. Mr. Kern said it would save the business $250,000 over five years, and was a factor in its decision not to move.

    Mr. Greenburger said that he got the idea of converting several floors in 47 West Street two years ago when he was visiting a friend at Battery Park City. "I looked out and saw the empty floors in my building, and I thought residential might work," he said. "It took two years to get a bank to agree to finance it."


    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  4. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenwichBoy View Post
    The first is 50 West Street, located between West and Washington Streets at J.P. Ward Street (just north of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Entrance). The project involves abatement and demolition of the location's three existing buildings, which will be replaced by a new 65-story residential tower and hotel. Pending abatement and demolition-plan approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies, the developer hopes to begin several months of deconstruction work as soon as spring 2007, followed by 32 months of construction.
    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_196/undercover.html

    Meanwhile, at 50 West St. (and 47 and 48 and 49 West St.), Francis Greenberger’s Time Equities plans to spend an estimated $345 million to demolish its current property and create an enormous hotel-condo combo. Sources say the project could include as many as 310 condominium units and that Community Board 1 is currently looking into ways that Time Equities might “contribute to the community” in exchange for the board’s support for the project.

  5. #20
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Just when you want that freakin' community board to protest (so 47 can be saved), not only do they not protest but they even ask for a kickback.

    This place is just too insane for me.

  6. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenwichBoy View Post
    Two New High Rises Coming to WTC South

    Work may begin soon on a new West Street Tower Real estate development is on the rise in the area south of the World Trade Center, with two new towers recently added to the construction slate.
    The first is 50 West Street, located between West and Washington Streets at J.P. Ward Street (just north of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel Entrance). The project involves abatement and demolition of the location's three existing buildings, which will be replaced by a new 65-story residential tower and hotel. Pending abatement and demolition-plan approval by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies, the developer hopes to begin several months of deconstruction work as soon as spring 2007, followed by 32 months of construction.
    Nearby at 111 Washington Street (at Carlisle Street), abatement and demolition of the parking garage and two neighboring buildings (numbers 109 and 107) are planned in the coming months. The project's start also depends on EPA approval, with plans to rebuild the site as a 50-story residential tower and hotel. The developer expects construction to last approximately two years.

    http://www.lowermanhattan.info/news/...ses_85333.aspx
    I'm thinking that perhaps this most recent addition to Frank Williams' website and the fact that the building is 65 storeys, that this is the building mentioned in the article. If the building was to be 65 storeys at 50 west it would require the transfer of air-rights, presumably from the Battery tunnel, its my guess that perhaps 50 west is to be spared and the 65 storey building will be built above the tunnel entrance instead, as shown above.

  7. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern View Post
    It seems like its almost every week that Frank Williams updates his website with new and ambiguous projects. This 65 storey building is proposed for the top of the tunnel entrance and looks to be around 800 feet. Its not the best of his ability but it would probably look nice on the skyline nevertheless.



    The tower pictured is shown at top, the footprint for three other towers are shown at the bottom picture.

    This looks like the Greenwich Street South project. It would be awesome if that occurs.

    THe little building with the mansard roof that will be razed (as was discussed in an earlier post) is seen to the left of this one.

  8. #23

    Default 50 West St

    Developer plans to knock down West St. ‘copper top’ to build 63 stories


    Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
    This narrow walkway on Ward St. would be widened into a landscaped plaza under the plan.

    By Skye H. McFarlane

    The developer has called it a “shot in the arm for the neighborhood.” More than one Financial District resident has called it a “dangerous precedent.” The chair of Community Board 1 has called it a “huge decision.”

    On June 6, Downtowners will get a chance to decide for themselves how to describe the 63-story, mixed-use development proposed for 50 West St. The developer, Time Equities, will make a full presentation on the project before C.B. 1’s Financial District, Battery Park City and Quality of Life Committees.

    In addition to informing the public, the Wednesday meeting will be one of only two opportunities that the board will have to formulate an official position on the development. The other will be next month’s full board meeting. Because 50 West St. has applied for several zoning tweaks, as well as the purchase of air rights from the city, the project must undergo the city’s complex Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). By city law, the community board has until July 2 to submit its opinion on the project.

    “We’ll meet as long as we need to meet Wednesday to answer everyone’s questions on this,” said Julie Menin, the chair of C.B. 1. “We are going to speak with a very loud voice on this.”

    However, Menin isn’t sure just yet what that voice will say. No matter what the community board says, there will be a significant development at 50 West St. Under the area’s commercial zoning, Time Equities can build a 30 to 40 story building on the site’s current footprint. The company has already submitted preliminary applications for the demolition of the 1912 “copper top” 13-story building that currently occupies the space, just north of the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The development will contain hotel rooms, luxury condominium units and ground floor retail, all to be designed by well-known architect Helmut Jahn.

    If the developer’s ULURP application is approved, the building could gain an additional 180,000 square feet of space, putting it at 63 stories under the current plans. The ULURP would also clear the way for a public plaza on the site, with landscaping and outdoor seating for a proposed café and restaurant. The plaza would be created by enlarging the narrow Ward St. walkway near the garage that leads from West to Washington Sts.

    Menin, City Councilmember Alan Gerson and representatives from the community board and the local schools have been meeting with Time Equities to discuss potential “community benefits” that the developer might be willing to offer. Community benefit negotiations are common in cases of large-scale developments, especially those that require zoning variances or regulatory approvals. Previous negotiations with Downtown developers have yielded three schools, two community centers and funding for youth programs.

    Gerson, Menin and Phillip Gesue, Time Equities director of acquisition and development, all declined to comment specifically on what community amenities have been discussed. However, both Gerson and Menin stressed that the developers will have to make accommodations for the additional children they would be bringing into the area’s overcrowded schools, as well as address the dearth of affordable housing Downtown. Others with knowledge of the negotiations were more specific, saying that Time Equities has offered to purchase laptops and other technology for P.S./ I.S. 89 in Battery Park City, and to beautify a small local park on Trinity Place.

    Some community members have complained about the “closed door” negotiations for community amenities. Gerson responded that the talks were only preliminary, to let the developers know what concerns they would have to address in their presentation. Menin and Gesue both stressed that it was not possible to have full-blown public presentation until the 50 West ULURP application was officially submitted to the board. That happened on May 2 and since then, Menin said, a number of board members have taken the time to review the proposal.

    Though it is not contained in the ULURP plans, Menin said that she expected Time Equities to include the possibility of a pedestrian bridge in its presentation to the board. Residents of south Battery Park City have long wished for a bridge to connect them to the Rector St. subways without the hassle and danger of navigating the at-grade traffic near the Battery Tunnel. Financial constraints and logistical questions over where and how to construct the bridge have long stalled the project. Gesue said that Time Equities is “absolutely” supportive of having a pedestrian bridge in the neighborhood. He added that the 50 West project could help the community by getting involved in any number of urban planning efforts.

    In general, though, Gesue believes that the 50 West project is its own community benefit. With Jahn’s name and talent attached, he said, the building will be an “architectural landmark.” Gesue declined to release any renderings before the presentation. The building is also aiming for a gold rating from the U.S. Green Buildings Council. The current plans call for a clear glass building surrounding an exposed concrete skeleton. The building would be narrower at the bottom, to allow room for the public plaza, and wider on the upper floors — what architects call a cantilever.

    The public plaza, Gesue said, will give Battery Park City residents a clean, attractive walkway to the Financial District. With a better access path, the merchants in the Greenwich South area will benefit from an increase in foot traffic. In general, he believes that the development will bring tourists, shops and street life to an area that is better known for commuter traffic and parking garages. Gesue admitted, however, that those neighborhood qualities will make the new 50 West St. property a challenge to market.

    “This is why we need all the help we can get,” Gesue said. “We’re taking what is not a great area and we are making it better. This will be a real shot in the arm for the neighborhood, but that’s a challenge and a risk for us. That’s why we need the community’s help and not resistance.”

    Some community members are already resistant, fearing that the rumored laptops, park improvements and pedestrian bridge will not compensate for the stress that the building’s increased population will put on the neighborhood’s schools and parks. While new laptops will become obsolete in five years, C.B. 1 member Catherine McVay Hughes said, the community will be stuck with 20 extra stories forever. Hughes also worried that the developer’s plan to build green would be presented as a “community amenity” at the meeting.

    “A green building is great,” Hughes said. “But any smart developer these days who wants to attract luxury condo owners would want to make their building green. So it’s not a community amenity.”

    Other community members are vowing to oppose the project, no matter what community amenities Time Equities offers. The height of the building would be out-of-context with the neighborhood, they say, (most nearby buildings are in the 20- to 30-story range) and the purchase of air rights from over the Battery Tunnel would set a bad precedent in an area that will likely see more large development in the coming years.

    “I think it’s time to save the community contextually,” said C.B. 1 member and Battery Park City resident Tom Goodkind. “I don’t think community boards were meant to negotiate money out of realtors.”

    Menin also believes that the process of community boards negotiating with developers needs to be reformed. She said that instead of having communities beg and plead every time a new development comes along, the city should institute a formal process whereby large projects must be analyzed to find out exactly what impact they will have on community infrastructure. Developers would then have a legal mandate to mitigate that impact.

    While Gerson also supports a more regulated process at the city level, he said Wednesday that he was “guardedly optimistic” that the community and Time Equities could reach an amenable agreement under the current system. Though she is waiting to see the final presentation and hear the community’s reaction, Menin was a bit more guarded than optimistic.

    “It’s a huge decision,” she said. “It may be that the impact is simply too great. At a certain point, we would have to say, ‘No, this is not acceptable.’”

    The opinions of the community board, the Borough President’s office and the City Planning department all carry weight in the ULURP process, but because the 50 West application involves a change to the city map, the final approval or disapproval will be made by the City Council. The June 6 public meeting will take place at 6 p.m. in the Assembly Hearing Room on the 19th floor of 250 Broadway.

    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_21...erplansto.html

  9. #24

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    I've moved all of the posts relating to this property from the "Manhattan Residential Development" thread.

  10. #25

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    Regarding questions about air-rights: This project would purchase air-rights, although it wasn't specifically mentioned that they would be transferred from the Battery Garage.

    In any case, if the Greenwich South project goes forward, the air-rights would be released for development.

  11. #26
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    Default 50 West Street


  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    Developer plans to knock down West St. ‘copper top’ to build 63 stories


    Downtown Express photo by Lorenzo Ciniglio
    This narrow walkway on Ward St. would be widened into a landscaped plaza under the plan.

    By Skye H. McFarlane

    The developer has called it a “shot in the arm for the neighborhood.” More than one Financial District resident has called it a “dangerous precedent.” The chair of Community Board 1 has called it a “huge decision.”....

    “We’ll meet as long as we need to meet Wednesday to answer everyone’s questions on this,” said Julie Menin, the chair of C.B. 1. “We are going to speak with a very loud voice on this.”
    http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_21...erplansto.html
    Julie Menin is such a moron. Where's her "loud voice" with respect to the psycho Chang's proposed demolition of an 18th Century structure on Greenwich Street or his demolition of the beautiful little building on Trinity or his construction of the absurd monstrosity on Maiden Lane?

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by GreenwichBoy View Post

    This is New York City, not Paris. Aesthetics, history, architecture, etc., none of that matters. Only money matters. In the end, CB1 will get its kickback, the developer will get his highrise, and those of us who were fond of that elegant old coppertop will still be able to come to this web site to see the pictures of how it used to be. Everybody wins. God forbid that brown and white thing next door should be the one to go.

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by BPC View Post
    This is New York City, not Paris. Aesthetics, history, architecture, etc., none of that matters. Only money matters. In the end, CB1 will get its kickback, the developer will get his highrise, and those of us who were fond of that elegant old coppertop will still be able to come to this web site to see the pictures of how it used to be. Everybody wins. God forbid that brown and white thing next door should be the one to go.
    It's sad but true. Look at what the creep Macklowe is doing with The Drake.

    By the way, not only is this building quite nice, but the one behind it that will be razed, while run-down, has some really beautiful feautures. It should be restored.

    Instead of grubbing computers from the developer, Julie Menin should use her loud mouth to save these buildings.

  15. #30

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    However, Menin isn’t sure just yet what that voice will say. No matter what the community board says, there will be a significant development at 50 West St. Under the area’s commercial zoning, Time Equities can build a 30 to 40 story building on the site’s current footprint.
    So no matter what, the building is going to be demolished, and with an application already out there's little hope to save it. Honestly, just because it's old doesn't mean it's landmark worthy.....I don't think it is anything special.

    The ULURP would also clear the way for a public plaza on the site, with landscaping and outdoor seating for a proposed café and restaurant. The plaza would be created by enlarging the narrow Ward St. walkway near the garage that leads from West to Washington Sts.
    I'm always a fan of outdoor restaurants, great animator of street life.

    Though it is not contained in the ULURP plans, Menin said that she expected Time Equities to include the possibility of a pedestrian bridge in its presentation to the board. Residents of south Battery Park City have long wished for a bridge to connect them to the Rector St. subways without the hassle and danger of navigating the at-grade traffic near the Battery Tunnel.
    Sounds reasonable to me.

    In general, though, Gesue believes that the 50 West project is its own community benefit. With Jahn’s name and talent attached, he said, the building will be an “architectural landmark.”
    I agree.....this has the potential to be a magnificent building and hold its own in the skyline.

    Other community members are vowing to oppose the project, no matter what community amenities Time Equities offers. The height of the building would be out-of-context with the neighborhood, they say, (most nearby buildings are in the 20- to 30-story range) and the purchase of air rights from over the Battery Tunnel would set a bad precedent in an area that will likely see more large development in the coming years.

    “I think it’s time to save the community contextually,” said C.B. 1 member and Battery Park City resident Tom Goodkind. “I don’t think community boards were meant to negotiate money out of realtors.”
    This is the part that burns me. This is Lower Manhattan, with a storied skyscraper history like no other city on Earth. And 63 stories, probably 700 feet max is too tall? You've got to be kidding me. There are plenty of other taller, fatter, uglier buildings that ruin the skyline and street life more than this will.

    I hope they get the additional square footage, this has great potential with a great architect involved. The potential pedestrian bridge would be a nice thing to obtain as well.

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