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Thread: Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

  1. #1

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    On another thread, I saw this picture (below) of the Times Square Tower construction - view from Avenue of the Americas - and I couldn't help but notice these little 1-story buildings (like the Dunkin Donuts).

    Isn't it just a massively inefficient use of space to have little 1-story buildings in the middle of Manhattan?


  2. #2

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    I could be mistaken, but that particular block is the one that will soon be a Bank of America tower.

    IMO, they're a nice antithesis to all the scrapers. It would be nice to see some more, however.

  3. #3

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    What's really surprising is that many of these buidings are occupied by McDonalds... makes it seem even less efficient...

  4. #4

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Normaldude, no offense, but you have a lot to learn about NYC real estate. *You sure picked a doosie for your example, too. *There's a thread on "holdouts" somewhere on this forum. *start there, check it out.

  5. #5
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    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Forget one story buildings. Talk about vacant lots.

  6. #6

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Hey, stockton, I searched for "holdouts" but couldn't find anything. Sorry, but can you please link me to it? I was interested in why 1 story buildings are part of NYC Real Estate. Thanks

  7. #7

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Holdouts:
    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/to...&topic=294

    The site you photographed has one-story buildings on it because of an epic decades-long saga between two powerful NYC Real Estate dynasties:
    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/to...=4&topic=4
    http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/to...73&start=0

    When you do a search, make sure you search in both the topic titles and the posts.

  8. #8

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Ahh, thats what I did wrong. Thanks for the tip and the link stockton.

  9. #9
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    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Those one story buildings are also part of what prevents dark canyons (sometimes). Canyons are nice for city feel, but to the occupants of the buildings and the pedestrian they can be a bit depressing.

  10. #10
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    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Land/building owners can sell the air-rights about their buildings if they are less than what is maximum allowed by law.

    Whe you say "holdout" are you referring to this, or simply that the property owner won't sell for development?

  11. #11
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    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    The latter, which isn't as simple as you may infer. *The owner of a property who refuses to sell can effectively jeopardize the development of a building as it was originally planned. *In cases like this the developers either fold, or go back to the drawing board to improvise their design. *The Bertelsmann Building and Macy's can be considered cases in point.

  12. #12
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    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Quote: from TLOZ Link5
    The latter, which isn't as simple as you may infer. *The owner of a property who refuses to sell can effectively jeopardize the development of a building as it was originally planned. *
    Thanks for clarifying. I guess the air rights is a separate, but also interesting issue, like the case of the Trump World Tower by the UN. :-)

    In the Macy's case, that corner property probably did the right thing by holding out - it's far more valuable now than ever from the owner's POV. I'm sure Macy's hated them, but that's the way it goes.

  13. #13

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    I think the story was that it was held by a rival dept. store. *Often these holdouts are stubborn rival tycoons.

  14. #14

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    Quote: from Jo on 8:43 am on Aug. 14, 2003
    Thanks for clarifying. I guess the air rights is a separate, but also interesting issue, like the case of the Trump World Tower by the UN. :-)

    In the Macy's case, that corner property probably did the right thing by holding out - it's far more valuable now than ever from the owner's POV. I'm sure Macy's hated them, but that's the way it goes.
    I disagree. *The only function that holdout now serves is a billpost, with a bit of retail in the ground floor. *The building will never be anything bigger than an ancient lowrise.

  15. #15

    Default Why do 1-story buildings exist in midtown Manhattan?

    There is a great book on the topic of holdouts--"New York's Architectural Holdouts",by Andrew Alpern/Seymour Durst.(Yep,THAT Seymour Durst).
    It's a bit dated now(P:1984 ,with a foreward by John Lindsay),but it has some great photos of little buildings interfering with the construction of new ones.
    The entire history of the Macy's debacle is told,with a lot of period photos of Herald Sq.There are some other good stories,too.
    I got it at the MOMA Bookstore on E 53rd before the Museum went to Queens.

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