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Thread: The InterContinental New York Times Square - 8th Avenue and 44th Street - by Gensler

  1. #31
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    Headless Building in Topless Bar? Tishman’s Wish for Former Porn Palace in West 40’s



    The Playpen Theater


    by Eliot Brown | December 11, 2007

    Construction king Daniel Tishman is seeking to put a 22-story hotel atop the site of the Playpen Theater, a former pornographic mainstay on Eighth Avenue.

    According to applications for building permits filed in recent days, Tishman Asset Corporation, headed by Mr. Tishman, has plans for a 333,000-square-foot hotel and a smaller residential building for a large site on the northwest corner of 44th Street and Eighth Avenue.

    Preservationists have rallied for the site, particularly the Playpen Theater at 693 Eighth Avenue. They’ve unsuccessfully fought in recent weeks and months to save the theater—or in the least to save its façade—from the Tishman wrecking ball.

    “The theater had architectural, historical and cultural significance,” said preservationist Michael Perlman, citing its value as a relic of the vaudeville era (apparently it didn’t always show porn). “They chose not to acknowledge our sensitive and determined appeal.”

    The assemblage of five lots, including the Playpen, was sold to Tishman by a venture that included the Witkoff Group back in July for $128 million, according to property records.

    Tishman’s hotel plans join a growing list of new projects on Eighth Avenue in the 40’s. At 42nd Street, the block just north of The New York Times’ new tower, SJP Properties is constructing its 40-story 11 Times Square tower; and late last month, the Port Authority announced it had reached a deal with Ruben CompaniesandVornado Realty Trust to build a 42-story tower over the Port Authority Bus Terminal across Eighth Avenue from the Times tower.

    Copyright ©, The New York Observer, L.P.

  2. #32

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    The article is inaccurate. The building is taller than 22 floors, though I don't know how tall.

    They just filed permits for the as-of-right zoning, not for the actual zoning once all bonuses and air rights are added. This is quite common.

  3. #33

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    Thanks for that info, I was wondering.
    The SOM tower at 250 West 55th did the same.

  4. #34
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Destructoporn: Playpen is Now a Hole, RIP

    CURBED
    December 12, 2007



    Condolences were missing from our earlier report on the Tishman hotel plan for the
    site of the neon-bedecked Playpen porn palace. This tarted-up little gem, known
    for many years as the venerable Ideal Theater, is gone. No more curtain calls here.
    Forestalling any possibility of having this property Landmarked, a big nasty piece
    of construction equipment has ripped it wide open from the rear, spewing brickage
    this way and that.


    Time Square looms over the demolition site.

    From this hole a new hotel will rise. In the last couple of weeks, no fewer than
    20 applications for this property have been filed at the Department of Buildings. But
    still no renderings showing what Tishman has in store. Until they display their plan,
    we'll have to try and find some satisfaction in the raggedy hole they've left behind.


    Where the balcony of the Playpen sat above Eighth Avenue.


    The crumbling facade of the old Ideal Theater.

    · In Playpen's Ashes, Hotel Will Rise [Curbed]
    · "The Ideal" to Be Demolished by Tishman Realty [Postcards from Hell's Kitchen blog]
    · Destructoporn: Playpen's Final Curtain Call [Curbed]

    ***

  5. #35
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    Good riddance.

  6. #36

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    ^ It was a theatre in the Theatre District.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    The article is inaccurate. The building is taller than 22 floors, though I don't know how tall.
    They just filed permits for the as-of-right zoning, not for the actual zoning once all bonuses and air rights are added. This is quite common.
    Well, the permits while indicating that it is 22 floors, also shows that it'll be 308 feet so that equates to a 30 story tower. Are you saying it could go higher than that still?

    By the way, it appears--according to the permits again--that there will be a smaller, second 7-story tower as well.

  8. #38
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    The entire building site is shaped like a "T" with the longest span running 275' along W 44th (from the corner of 8th Avenue then west). The plot is 100' deep on that north portion. The narrow trunk of the "T" is # 307 W 43rd, which runs 25' along W. 43rd (the "alley" to the west of the Second Stage Theater building) and then 100' to mid-block where it meets up with the larger part of the site.

    The main building site is designated as 306 W. 44th, but encompasses 306-320 W. 44th, 691-699 8th Avenue & 307 W 43rd

    Department of Finance docs show that Tishman has obtained the air rights from the 5-story walk-up at #309 W. 43rd

    DOF also shows that air rights were obtained for the 5-story #691 8th Avenue -- just to the south of the Playpen / Ideal Theater; subsequently a Demo Permit was issued for that building (it is now coming down).

    DOF docs further show that there are Zoning Agreements from 2002 and 2005 in regards to this site.

    In regard to the shorter portion of the building: City Planning zoning maps show that along 8th Avenue in the Clinton / Midtown Districts there are height restrictions on side streets which start at a point 150' west of 8th Avenue. Such restrictions would pertain to the western-most part of the Tishman site.

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  9. #39

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    I've seen the rendering for this POS. It's a green glass box.

    Other than Hearst and NYT, 8th Ave. is becoming a mix of filthy, dilapidated, rent controlled, Soviet style buildings (like the Westerly) and cheap, mundane, Macklowesque boxes. It's sad.

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    DOF also shows that air rights were obtained for the 5-story #691 8th Avenue -- just to the south of the Playpen / Ideal Theater; subsequently a Demo Permit was issued for that building (it is now coming down).
    What a shame this one will be demo'd. It was a handsome walkup that appeared to be in great condition.

    It's the red 5-story walkup (with the American flag) to the right of the Playpen as seen here:


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    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    Other than Hearst and NYT, 8th Ave. is becoming a mix of filthy, dilapidated, rent controlled, Soviet style buildings (like the Westerly) and cheap, mundane, Macklowesque boxes. It's sad.
    That's pretty much true for most of the rest of the city, not just Eighth Ave.

    There's no concern on what it actually looks like, just that it falls within the zoning requirements is all that matters in this city now.

  12. #42
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    It really is nearing the time to look for a new place to roost

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby View Post
    That's pretty much true for most of the rest of the city, not just Eighth Ave.

    There's no concern on what it actually looks like, just that it falls within the zoning requirements is all that matters in this city now.
    I don't fully agree. Some great projects have been built in recent years (e.g., B of A, Heast, TW Center, Bear Stearns, 15 CPW). Some great ones are planned (e.g., MoMA, WTC, etc.)

    We just need to get rid of schmucks like Macklowe, Zuckerman, Solow, Gershon Barnett, Tishman and Chang.
    Last edited by londonlawyer; December 13th, 2007 at 05:37 PM.

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    Well obviously there will be exceptions (and thank god for that at least) but the vast majority are a disgrace.

    And don't argue with me on that londonlawyer because you know it is true.

  15. #45

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    To date, Gershon Barnett has built garbage, but hopefully, he will redeem himself with the 57th Street parcels and with the Holl and Copacabana Towers.

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