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Thread: New Condo project in Village

  1. #1

    Default New Condo project in Village

    RELATED IN DEAL TO DEVELOP APT. TOWER FOR COOPER UNION

    So long, Swiss cheese; hello, glass and class.

    After dumping the cheesy-looking Rem Koolhaas hotel project proposed by Ian Schrager and The Related Cos., Cooper Union has now signed a 99-year pact with Related alone to create an iconic, 22-story apartment tower in the middle of Astor Place.

    The Related Cos., which are also the developers of the AOL Time Warner Center, are bringing in world-class architects Gwathmey Siegel & Associates to design its first large-scale residential building.

    Gwathmey Siegel has previously worked on interiors and homes for celebs like David Geffen and Steven Spielberg; designed the Morgan Stanley headquarters at 1585 Broadway; and handled the expansion of the Guggenheim Museum.

    The firm makes up one of the current World Trade Center design teams.

    "We hired [Gwathmey Siegel] because we think they will design an incredible and modern residential landmark for downtown," said David Wine, vice chairman of Related.

    The currently vacant site takes up the South side of St. Marks Place between Lafayette Street and the Bowery, at the crossroads of the East and West Villages.

    Related will retain the street retail and may opt to sell the units as co-ops. Current regulations do not favor condominums on ground leases.

    Drawings and apartment layouts for the expected 40 two- to three- bedroom units at 30 Astor are being handled separately by Ismael Leyva.

    Two years ago, hotelier Ian Schrager and Related hired Dutch architect Koolhaas to create an ill-fated hotel plan for the site.

  2. #2

    Default New Condo project in Village

    The PA's WTC site plan architects are the same people designing these towers. Though these buildings are quite boring it's probably due to the lack of money from Cooper Union and the community.



    The other Cooper Union site was proposed for the Astor Place Hotel but now it will supposedly be an "incredible and modern residential landmark for downtown" by Gwathmey Siegel & Associates. It will be 22 stories compared to the 20 story hotel by Rem Koolhaas and the 54 story hotel by Gehry.


    Koolhaas




    Gehry


    (Edited by Derek2k3 at 10:02 am on Jan. 19, 2003)

  3. #3

    Default New Condo project in Village

    Cool pics, Derek2k3, but the article is referring to a different project. This is not Cooper Union's expansion, which involves academic buildings surrounding Astor Place. Rather this is the Cooper Square development, which is a large residential/retail project being developed by AvalonBay where the Bowery and Second Ave hit Houston Street.

    Arquitectonica (Westin Times Square, Midtown East) is the architect. William Jackson Ewing working on the retail.

    http://www.wjeinc.com/Index/index.htm

  4. #4

    Default New Condo project in Village

    Since the site of the residential tower is owned by Cooper Union I decided to post their expansion too.


    Plans filed for 22-story tower on Cooper Union parking lot

    By: Lincoln Anderson December 31, 2002

    Villager photo by Christie Johnson
    Plans were filed last week to develop this Astor Pl. parking lot.
    http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?B...=461&rfi=9

    A little over two months after Cooper Union gained approval from the City Council for a hotly-contested large-scale development plan including two new buildings in the Astor Pl./Cooper Sq. area, last week plans were filed for a large apartment building on a Cooper Union-owned Astor Pl. parking lot. *
    On Dec. 23, the Related Companies filed plans for a variance for a 22-story residential residential building with the city's Board of Standards and Appeals for the parking lot, bounded by Astor Pl., Lafayette St. and Fourth Ave., and abutting the Carl Fischer building on the south, the latter which was converted to high-end residential use a few years ago.

    Claire McCarthy, a Cooper spokesperson, said Related Companies and Cooper Union recently signed a lease agreement under which Related will lease the parking lot site for 99 years from Cooper Union. The deal had been in the works for several years in various incarnations. First it was to be a residential project, with a Robert Redford Sundance cinema showing independent movies. That idea was shelved in favor of a hotel. There were two hotel projects, both of which fell through. The first was led by hotelier Ian Schrager and designed by Rem Koolhaas; the second was designed by Frank Gehry.

    The parking lot includes two different zonings; most of it is commercially zoned, but there is a 25-ft. strip running along the frontage of the Carl Fischer building that is manufacturing zoned. The B.S.A. application is to extend the C6-2 commercial zoning into the strip zoned M1-5B and apply the C6-2 bulk regulations to the manufacturing strip. Generally, manufacturing zones do not allow residential use except in joint living-work quarters for artists as seen in areas like Soho and Noho.

    The size of the lot is 17,728 sq. ft. The building's height is listed as 250 ft., 25 ft. taller than the Wannamaker Building one block north, and its total floor area as 112,820 sq. ft.

    According to community activists who fought Cooper Union's general large-scale development plan, Cooper Union would collect the city property taxes on the site, similar to what it would do at its Engineering Building site, across the street on Astor Pl.; a developer is being sought to build a 16-story office building on the Engineering site, for which Cooper will give a 99-year lease.

    Over the protest of both Community Boards 2 and 3 and an ad-hoc group called the Coalition to Save the East Village, Cooper's general large-scale plan won approval from the City Council in October. As a result, the commercial zoning of the Engineering site was modified, raising fears that it will trigger a rezoning of the neighboring area of the East Village. The other part of the large-scale plan includes Cooper's rebuilding its two-story Hewitt Building on Third Ave. and Sixth St. into a nine-story academic building.

    The activists and community board had called on Cooper Union to include the parking lot project in the large-scale plan, known as the G.L.S.D.P. - and for the Department of City Planning to insist that it be included - so its impact on the area would be factored in; but it was not included.

    Of the latest news, Anna Sawaryn, a member of the Coalition, said, "It didn't take them long did it? This should have been included in the general large-scale development plan. This would have put them over the top and they would have had to mitigate the adverse impacts on the community. City Planning is at fault here."

    Martin Tessler, vice chairperson of the Joint Community Board 2 and 3 Cooper Union Task Force, said he's always suspected Cooper's real plan is to make the Engineering Building project residential, and that this latest project fits the overall "strategy."

    "It's not a surprise," he said, "because I knew this was their plan all along." Claiming there is no demand for office space in the Astor Pl. area, Tessler predicted Cooper "will come back in a year and ask for a modification of the use on the Engineering site" for residential use. Tessler said the school was "duplicitous" in claiming not to be able to say earlier what Related's plans for the parking lot were.

    "An owner never gives up his whole rights to a site," he said.

    Tessler is concerned Cooper Union might be allowed to use a community-facilities bonus for the residential project on the parking lot, since the school is a nonprofit organization, allowing a larger building to be constructed.

    Cooper Union is on winter recess until Thursday and spokesperson McCarthy said she couldn't find any administrators to comment on the plan. Similarly, Angela Glass, a representative of Related Companies, said Jeff Blau, Related's president, who signed the B.S.A. application, and David Wine, Related's vice chairperson and the head of its residential development, were on vacation and unavailable for comment.

    Contacted for her thoughts on the latest project on Monday, Councilmember Margarita Lopez said, "This is the first thing I hear" about it. Lopez's district includes both the two sites in the general large-scale development plan and the parking lot site. Yet, she said that as opposed to the G.L.S.D.P., which had to go through City Council approval, the B.S.A. variance for the parking lot doesn't go to the Council for review.

    "This is a site that the city [Council] has no oversight over," she said. "It's very frustrating to see something in which you have no jurisdiction. If it's luxury housing, I would be against it. I said long ago that a hotel proposal [on the parking lot site] would be good because it provides jobs and economic development. If that's what it is [luxury housing], it's really sad - but the community didn't want a hotel either. I don't know other possible uses that could go in there - maybe retail. I will not support luxury housing at that site; I have said that over and over."

    However, Tessler said the application may go through a uniform land-use review process, so there's a possibility that the Council would have a chance to vote on the plan.

    Lopez said it was unfortunately "inevitable" that upscale housing development will come into the neighborhood now that the area has been improved by the development of affordable housing by groups like the Cooper Sq. Committee and People's Mutual Housing Association. But she said Cooper Union has "the right" to allow a developer to build on the parking lot site, since the school owns the property.

    Lopez signed a memorandum of understanding with Cooper Union that any future designs and modifications for the plans at the Engineering and Hewitt sites be first shown to the community boards for review before they are presented to the Department of Buildings.

    In spite of the pleas of the community boards and coalition, Lopez voted to approve the G.L.S.D.P. on Oct. 23 at the full Council vote, and 50 other councilmembers followed suit. Only Christine Quinn abstained.

    The coalition's Sawaryn said that Lopez should have been given the plans for the parking lot site before Related filed with the B.S.A.

    "Does that mean they violated the M.O.U.?" Sawaryn asked. "Really, what protection did she get us? We keep asking her how is the M.O.U. enforceable?"

    The memorandum states: "It is further agreed that when the final development plans for the Parking Lot site located at 21 Astor Pl. are developed and ready for construction, Cooper Union will provide schematic versions of such plans to the Councilperson and Community Board 3, prior to their filing at the Department of Buildings."

    Although Lopez initially forgot that the memorandum contained a clause on the parking lot site, she later said, "They have to show us that [the plans], because they signed that document."

    Aubrey Lees, chairperson of Community Board 2, received a letter from James Chin, the B.S.A.'s commissioner, informing her of the application.

    "Of course, we're alarmed, troubled - but not surprised," Lees said. "And I'm sure we're going to be hearing more about it."

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