From the New York Post
Whatever happend to Paul and Howard Milstein's big 42nd Street project?
According to a CoStar compilation of Manhattan's largest blocks of available office space, reported in Crain's this week, the tower the Milsteins plan for the southeast corner of Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street will have 960,413 square feet of new offices ready for occupancy by October 2005.
But for that to happen, the building would have to shoot out of the earth overnight. Since a groundbreaking presided over by Gov. Pataki in October 2002, the site remains a walled-off, empty lot.
The Milsteins have been in talks with the Empire State Development Corp. about doing the project as partly residential. And in any event, the site can only accommodate 720,000 feet of offices and/or apartments ó the maximum that ESDC guidelines allow at the corner, which falls within the boundaries of the 42nd Street Development Project.
However, Howard Milstein says that under Real Estate Board of N.Y. rules for "rentable" space, the floor size is really 850,000 feet. Asked about the status of things, Milstein joked, "We're building it in China and we're going to float it over."
More seriously, he said, "We're looking forward to coming out of the ground by year's end."
It will likely be a commercial/residential mix, with 450,000 square feet of apartments in an "80/20 project" ó with the Milsteins getting lower-cost financing available under city or state authority in exchange for earmarking 20 percent of the units for moderate-income tenants.
Milstein also confirmed long-standing buzz that the tower might house a world-class aquarium, saying he was in talks with two prospective operators.
ESDC chairman Charles Gargano would only say: "We're ready to sign an agreement with the Milsteins. We have been flexibile and we'll allow all-commerical or a mix."
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