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Thread: CyberCenter - Durst - West 57th

  1. #1

    Default CyberCenter - Durst - West 57th

    From New York Post

    Douglas Durst plans to break ground on his New York CyberCenter next month. "Con Ed finally shut off the power there," Durst said. "You can't demolish a building with power still on."

    Durst owns the lease on the block bounded by 11th and 12th Avenues and West 57th and 58th Streets. He first planned an office building, but switched to a data center with its own co-generation plant.

    As at his office development site on West 42nd Street, Durst said he won't build without some pre-leasing. "It will take us six months to excavate and pour the foundation" for the CyberCenter, he said.

    "If we're up to grade a year from now and we don't have tenants yet," he joked, "we'll have a very nice parking lot." Somehow you doubt that Durst - who started 4 Times Square before he had signed up tenants - will end up in that position.

  2. #2

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

    Are there any pictures on what the cyber center will look like?

  3. #3

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

  4. #4

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

    Here some dated articles related to NYCyberCenter:

    From Globe St

    UpClose *
    Durst Organization's Douglas Durst
    By John Salustri
    Last updated: Jun 26, 2001 *08:49AM

    It's a rather quaint story, the one about immigrant Joseph Durst arriving in New York with $3 sewn into the lapel of his coat. It smacks of elevated trains and nickelodeons and the rags-to-riches imagery that is a unique part of this culture. The Durst Organization--informally founded when Joseph Durst bought his first office building in 1915--may not be the largest organization in the commercial real estate arena; its portfolio consists of 7.5 million sf in 10 buildings. But you would be hard-pressed to find one more closely linked with the growth of its native city. That's future growth as well as past growth. Durst was a pioneer in the *
    revitalization of Times Square with the creation of the 1.6-million-sf 4 Times Square and now--as third-generation president Douglas Durst explained recently to firm has embarked on what is being billed as the first-ever multi-tenant building with on-site, privately owned co-generation capabilities. The building, which will measure 1.3 million sf when all three phases are built out, is going up on the now-evolving Upper West Side, at 628 West 58th St., and Durst will once again be contributing to the transformation of a Manhattan neighborhood. Here are his thoughts on the project, dubbed the NYCyberCenter: How did the idea for the CyberCenter germinate and who is your target tenant?

    Durst: The typical tenant will be the high-energy user--basically data centers, Internet firms and telecom tenants. We began looking at data centers and telecom use about a year ago. When we had designed the building as a normal ground-up data center facility, we realized we were building something that was very inefficient. How so?

    Durst: We were reserving a third of the space for back-up generation and batteries. We determined that the most efficient way to handle this type of building with high electric demand would be to put in our own co-generation plant with built-in reliability. We found an engineer who was able to design a plant with six nines of availability. Six nines?

    Durst: They talk about how many nines you get. Our reliability was rated at 99.9999% reliable because of the backup redundancy. Plus, the power we're generating is much cleaner in terms of its suitability for computer use. But cogeneration is nothing new.

    Durst: It is in terms of the degree of reliability in a multi-tenant building. So name the closest competitive building in the New York market.

    Durst: There isn't any in the New York market. There is one other plant, a very small plant, and that's the Bank of Omaha's data center in Omaha. How much will the building cost and when do you project completion?

    Durst: It will cost around $200 million. We project that tenants will be open for business in the building by the summer of '03. How much of an anchor tenant will you need to bring this project out of the ground?

    Durst: We feel the concept is so compelling that we're going ahead with it. Everyone we've talked with has embraced the idea--especially in light of what's going on with the electric supply in California and all the concern about rolling blackouts. But doesn't that make it a high-risk project?

    Durst: Phase one is 420,000 sf, so it's not a big building. Four Times Square was a million six and that was built on spec. Actually, in effect, we have a tenant that is leasing the cogeneration portion of the building from us: Trigen, which will build the interior and operate the plant. So you have someone to help take the financial burden off of you.

    Durst: It gives us the courage to go ahead. How much is the $200 million you quoted over and above normal spec costs?

    Durst: You have to understand that data centers are very expensive to build because, as in this case, there are 250 pounds of floor load. It's also a hard question to answer because tenants normally install their own back-up generators. Generally speaking, though, a data center is typically 20% more expensive than a typical office building. But, since we are providing the power redundancy, we estimate that our building is actually cheaper. How much so? And what is your target rent?

    Durst: We estimate that we'll be saving tenants $300 per sf in upfront capital costs plus $30 per foot in operating and other cost savings. We're asking $60 per foot. You've been involved in the revitalization of Manhattan neighborhoods before. How will projects like this change the tone of the far West Side?

    Durst: Hudson River Park, which goes up to 59th, is now being completed, and from 59th to 72nd there is Riverside South. So that part of town is changing as we speak. For our part, we've started discussing the possibility of a light rail transit system on 11th Avenue, which would connect with an extension of the seven line. I think you're going to see a completely different Manhattan West Side in the next 10 years.


    From New York Times

    June 3, 2001 *NYRegion *

    One Developer's Power Solution: Build a Plant at the Office


    With state officials scrambling to stave off power shortages this summer, a New York developer has come up with his own solution: building a sophisticated power plant, complete with gas turbines and smoke stacks, inside his planned West Side office complex.

    Power experts and real estate brokers said the project might be the first privately owned one to generate the kind of high-quality, reliable power needed for computer operations.

    Gas turbines are among the cleanest power generators. The heat exhaust from the turbines would be used to drive steam generators for the building's air-conditioning system. Any surplus steam would be sold to Consolidated Edison.

    The developer, Douglas Durst, is proposing to build a 47-megawatt generating station, with six gas turbines and enough power to light 40,000 homes a year. The power plant would serve his planned $200 million NYCyberCenter, a six-story building on a block bound by 11th and 12th Avenues between 57th and 58th Streets.

    The complex would be for tenants needing huge, air-conditioned spaces for computers and electronic equipment used for the Internet or data storage.

    But these kind of buildings, known variously as telecom hotels, server farms and data centers, require enormous amounts of electricity to power the computers and air-conditioning systems, typically 10 times as much as a comparable office tower.

    Given the current concerns about power shortages, Mr. Durst, whose family owns 10 Manhattan skyscrapers, said he decided to build his own cogeneration plant rather than rely primarily on Con Ed. He has brought in the Trigen Energy Corporation of White Plains to build, own and operate the turbines.

    "It's the most innovative and exciting project we have worked on," Mr. Durst said, "but it's also the most difficult. It has taken an effort by more than 40 people to come up with a solution that will enable companies with dense power requirements to secure premium power with unparalleled reliability."

    Mr. Durst still needs permits from the state and the city, but government officials say they are intrigued by the proposal.

    "It's a novel program," Deputy Mayor Anthony P. Coles said. "It seems to bring with it a number of benefits, but the city has to complete its due diligence before reaching a final decision."

    Kevin Corbett, chief operating officer of the Empire State Development Corporation, said, "Anything that can help reduce emissions and provide energy more efficiently is certainly worth looking at."

    Mr. Durst said he planned to begin demolition on the site in August for the first phase of the project, a 420,000-square-foot building. He will add office space and possibly a residential tower in two successive stages, he said. If the project is successful, experts said, other Internet data centers might quickly use the same technology, especially with tightening power supplies in California and the Northeast.

    "With California facing a white- knuckle summer of up to 200 hours of rolling blackouts, every kilowatt of energy reduction is critical," said Dr. William M. Smith, a manager of the Electric Power Research Institute, a nonprofit development organization for the electricity industry. "This cogeneration facility may be a forerunner of things to come as the digital economy tries to keep the lights on."

    Demand for electricity has soared in recent years in New York as well, but private power companies have been slow to build new power plants since the deregulation of the electricity industry in the mid-1990's.

    The first two of 21 proposed large and medium-size plants around the state will not begin operating until at least late 2003. Meanwhile, the state is spending $510 million to build six small gas turbine plants in the city and one on Long Island this year, some of which have encountered opposition.

    The administration of Gov. George E. Pataki has also encouraged hospitals, factories and colleges that have their own backup generators to run them when demand for electricity is high and there is a threat of power shortages. But environmentalists have criticized the effort because most of those power plants are diesel generators, which would create more pollution, and most of them are in New York City, which already violates federal clean air standards.

    That is what makes Mr. Durst's use of energy-efficient gas turbines and steam generators as his primary source of power attractive to environmentalists who oppose diesel generators and nuclear power plants.

    "They're demonstrating that you can have high-quality, reliable power and do it in a very clean way," said Ashok Gupta, senior energy economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council. "We'd support expediting the permits if they met clean air standards."

    According to Con Ed, Mr. Durst's project is one of 22 proposals it has received for telecom hotels or Internet data centers. But the other projects rely chiefly on Con Ed for their power, requiring 60 to 120 watts per square foot, compared with 7 to 10 watts for an office building. In addition, the tenants typically have a series of diesel generators and battery systems for backup power in the event of a breakdown.

    Tenants at the telecom hotel at 75 Broad Street, for instance, have 44 diesel generators, each of which can cost millions of dollars to build and maintain and take up as much as 30 percent of each company's space.

    Mr. Durst said that tenants in his building would save money because they would not need to rent the extra space or buy backup systems. His power plant would have backup turbines and in the event of a breakdown would immediately switch to Con Ed power. The electricity in his building, he said, would cost no more than what Con Ed charges.

    "Customers won't have to worry about storms, lightning or Con Ed," said Richard A. Ubaldi, a vice president of Trigen Energy.

    Still, there are risks in Mr. Durst's plans. Many Internet-related companies have collapsed over the past year, while those that survive are finding it hard to get financing for new projects. Real estate brokers said that few tenants were now willing to sign leases for space that has yet to be built.

    That is one reason the developer has expanded his list of potential occupants to corporate data centers. Mr. Durst said he expected the market to recover in the 18 to 24 months it took to build his complex.


    From Telecom Planet

    What Now? How Safe Is Safe Enough for Mission Critical Facilities?
    December 04, 2001
    Source: Building Operating Management * *

    Originally Published:20011101.

    Buried in the rubble of the World Trade Center are the remains of what may be dozens of mission critical data processing operations that were located in the towers. Other mission critical spaces in nearby buildings went down as well; some stayed out of commission because telecommunication lines were down or because the area was cordoned off.

    As facility executives struggle to come to grips with the implications of the terrorist attacks, one of the questions weighing on their minds is this: Are cities appropriate locations for mission critical operations?

    That subject isn't new, but it has resurfaced with renewed urgency. The analyses that are taking place today go far beyond the question of location. Companies are also examining the kinds of structures being used to house mission critical operations, along with security measures and level of redundancy.

    But location is a crucial issue. For many experts, cities - and especially high rise buildings - were never a good place for mission critical spaces. "The average high rise office building was never designed with the characteristics we find appropriate for the location of mission critical data processing operations," says Kevin Lemans, vice president, Carlson. "And being in a high-profile, high-rise environment in a major metropolitan environment brings a lot of risks, on many levels."

    One of the biggest problems is that it's impossible to keep vehicles very far away from the building. "Without a doubt, the best thing a company can do is buy itself some distance around a facility," says Douglas B. McCoach, director of applied technology for RTKL. "We are regularly recommending a 100-foot set-- back distance."

    Advice like that isn't new. Designers have long advocated measures to isolate and harden mission critical facilities. And that's been the strategy for some developers all along. "Our program has not changed," says Jason Britton, director of marketing for developer DataCentersNow. That program includes 8 1/2-inch-thick concrete exterior walls, a concrete roof and concrete walls between spaces leased to different tenants.

    But despite their drawbacks, metropolitan areas have distinct appeal. "In Manhattan, you can be in two or three data centers in minutes," says Jack Caloz, principal, EYP Mission Critical Facilities Inc.

    Caloz doesn't think the attacks will drive all mission critical space out of metropolitan areas. Neither does Douglas Durst, president of The Durst Organization, which is building the NYCyberCenter on West 57th Street in Manhattan. The design of the facility hasn't changed since the attacks. "The building will be in essence a bunker," Durst says. It will have concrete walls and 350 pound floor loading; Kevlar may be used at the grade. With its own co-- generation plant, the facility will be completely off the grid.

    In the middle of Manhattan, there's no room to set the building back from the street. Instead, the 58th Street side of the building "will essentially be a private street," Durst says. On 57th Street, however, the retail space required by city code will serve as a "buffer" in the event of a street level bombing. "The facility will be designed in such a way that, unfortunately, the retail space would absorb the force of any explosion in the street," Durst says.

    Tom Bow, director of marketing for Durst, says the retail space, which he calls "very small and very shallow," is being included only to meet code.

    In the end, any move from cities could well be very gradual. "People aren't going to abandon their mission critical facilities in metropolitan areas," says Ken Seaton, vice president of Environmental Systems Design. "But if they're looking to build new mission critical facilities, I think you're going to see them move into more rural areas."

    Concerns about security arrive at a time when the economics of mission critical space have undergone a profound change from the days when speed was so important that everything else took a back seat, including budget. "Many organizations are struggling to balance the need to react against budgetary constraints," says David A. Dobbins, a project manager for Black & Veatch. Companies are using emergency or contingency funds to analyze risks; some have put construction projects on hold until the threat assessment is complete.

    The new focus on security won't bring a return to the free-spending days of the late '90s. "You're going to see more economically justifiable security, more rational security," says Caloz. He says that some of the money spent on security in the past was more about show than safety. He points to guard stations in mission critical spaces designed with bullet-proof glass surrounded by sheetrock walls.

    Effective security doesn't have to cost more in a new facility, say experts. "On a new building, security is a design philosophy," says R. Stephen Spinazzola, director of engineering for RTKL. "If you want a building to meet force protection standards, you need to know that when you have a blank sheet of paper." General Service Administration standards can serve as the starting point for assessing risk and determining an appropriate response.

    "The truth is that it's much less expensive to design security into a building than to retrofit it," says McCoach of RTKL. But with existing facilities, it's too late to design in security. With many warehouses that have been converted to mission critical space, it will be cost-prohibitive to reinforce them. Instead, says McCoach, "the goal should be to keep people away from them if possible. The days of having the delivery truck pull up to the glass front door should be over."

    That's not to say that there may not be additional costs associated with security decisions. "If you move into rural locations, you almost have to go toward a 2N design," says Seaton. "And when you have to start bringing electric lines for these high power usages, the utility companies charge a lot of money."

    How much should a company spend to secure a mission critical space? That depends on the operations housed by the facility. "I used to work in the utility industry, and when we designed a nuclear plant, we put four- to six-foot-thick walls of reinforced concrete around the reactor," says Seaton. "You can't do that to a building - yet." What you can do is house mission critical operations in a former missile facility converted by Titan I LLC - a facility originally designed to take a 10-- megaton nuclear strike.

  5. #5

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

    300,000-SF West Side Telecom Facility Under Way
    By Glen Thompson (
    Last updated: Jan 31, 2002 *04:38PM

    NEW YORK CITY-Shovels went into the ground yesterday on the Durst Organization's NYCyberCenter, a 300,000-sf telecom/datacenter project to be located on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th avenues.
    According to Durst co-presidents Douglas and Jodi Durst, it will be the first such high-availability facility to contain a privately owned, independently certified co-generation facility.

    The building, which is scheduled for occupancy in summer 2003, will provide tenants with 100 watts-per-sf of uninterrupted power with high reliability, say the Dursts. Heat from the power operations will be used to produce chilled water to cool the building's interior.

    "The NYCyberCenter will set the benchmark for quality, reliability, efficiency and environmental sensitivity," says Douglas Durst. "It will enable companies with dense power requirements to secure premium quality power with unparalleled reliability at an economic all-in cost."

    Floor sizes at the facility will range from 51,000 sf to 57,000 sf. Ceilings will be 14 ft and column spacing 30 ft by 30 ft. Advanced security systems, on-site parking and retail space along 57th Street will also be featured.

    The project is a collaboration between Durst and architectural firm Fox & Fowle. N.K Engineering is providing co-generation configurations and Einhorn-Yafee-Prescott has designed the mechanical, electrical and plumbing infrastructure.

  6. #6

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

    The demolition underway to clear the way for the NY CyberCenter. 17 February 2002.

  7. #7

    Default Durst will build CyberCenter on West 57th

    Any status on the Cyber-Center site? I haven't seen the construction area in more than a month.

  8. #8
    Forum Veteran macreator's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    East Midtown


    Sorry to dig up such an old thread, but this site became The Helena, correct?
    Last edited by macreator; December 20th, 2005 at 06:48 PM.

  9. #9


    The site is immediately to the west of Helena.

  10. #10
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Anyone have photos of what this CyberCenter looks like. Is it hideous?

  11. #11
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Never mind. After a quick look up in the Helena thread, I came across this photo. I am presuming that the short white-ish, blank-walled building in front of the Helena is the lovely CyberCenter. How charming (not!).

  12. #12

    Default Cybercenter never built

    The building in the foreground of the Helena is the former Artkraft Strauss warehouse/factory.

  13. #13
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    Look how oogly that big brown brick pile west of the Hearst Tower is ...

    Hoping someone will build something TALL on 57th & 11th / WSH to hide that thang.

  14. #14


    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Look how oogly that big brown brick pile west of the Hearst Tower is ...

    Hoping someone will build something TALL on 57th & 11th / WSH to hide that thang.
    It'll also hide Hearst.

    Btw, a question no one has answered: Is there a cyber center?

  15. #15
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    NYC - Downtown


    As you can see, from the west Hearst is pretty much hidden already.

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