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Thread: 101 Warren Street - Condo, Rentals - TriBeCa - by Skidmore, Ownings & Merrill

  1. #31

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    I guess you don't have children...

    or you might see that the two sites are different.

  2. #32
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    Zip-

    Living in BPC, what is / has been the impact of residential growth up to, but excluding, these two new towers on school capacity? There are the new BPC residential buildings, plus River Lofts and other buildings I'm too tired to research. Why so much haggling over capacity with these two proposed buildings? Do they push the capacity over the brink?

  3. #33

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    I disagree with the current objections over height limitations on 5B and 5C. My objection has always been to a commercial building, especially with trading floors, which is service intensive. The issues should be: more schools and a higher percentage of affordable housing. Last year, there was a proposal to expand PS 234 onto site 5C, but it was rejected. I don't understand why.

    Restricting heights on these 2 sites will not solve the school overcrowding problem. In BPC south, there are 2 sites along West St that are zoned for tall towers. In the north neighborhood, they have started construction of the 4th building around Teardrop Park. There are 2 remaining narrow sites adjacent to the ballfields. North of River Lofts on West Desbrosses and Watts Sts, another development is planned.

    Walk around the neighborhood in the late afternoon, and you'll see a lot of yellow buses and little people with bookbags.

    Much of the resistance to any development is what I call - last one in lock the door.

    As I said previously, Minskoff helped revive a dormant group that originally fought the Drexel tower. Within a week of his slipping in the height addition, flyers began appearing all over Tribeca. Now it's like a moving freight train.

  4. #34
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    A lot of CB's seem to negotiate for a "community center" in these development's, as CB1 is doing. The arguments for new schools is just so fundmental and, as you said, if not here now, where and when do they build it.

  5. #35

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    http://www.thevillager.com/

    Overcrowding problem is growing at P.S. 234

    By Ronda Kaysen

    Sandy Bridges, principal of P.S. 234, has about 10 more students in her small Tribeca neighborhood school than she did last year and nowhere to put them. Desperate for classrooms, the computer lab suddenly looks like a viable option.

    “We had to close our computer lab and put our computers onto laptops and carts,” said Bridges. She hired a new teacher and added an additional kindergarten and first grade class to this year’s roster. “My problem isn’t staffing, it’s space,” she said.

    P.S. 234 is facing another year of overcrowding. With a housing boom in full swing, the school cannot keep up. In 1980, according to census figures, there were 15,918 people living south of Canal St. and west of Park Row; in 2000, the neighborhood population had ballooned to a staggering 34,420; of those, 6,280 are families. With P.S. 234’s test scores among the highest in the city, residents generally opt for public school for their children.

    P.S. 234’s zone is one of the largest in the city, and although Bridges has requested that the Department of Education create a new zone, she is not optimistic. “It will take years [to create a new zone] and a hideous battle,” she said. “I don’t want the powers that be let this problem become such a crisis that they run a wonderful school into the ground.”

    Enrollment at P.S. 234 jumped by 12 percent over the past two years from 640 students in the 2002 school year to about 715 this year. The school has a capacity of 585. Most of the new students are in the lower grades.

    “I walk past Washington Market [Park] and see loads of three year olds,” said Bridges. For Bridges, toddlers milling about the park that abuts her school translate to future kindergarteners. “Their public school is so good, it’s saving [parents] $20,000 a year” in private school costs.

    Neighboring P.S. 150, the Tribeca Learning Center, is not faced with an overcrowding crisis because it is an option school and therefore not required to accept all students in its zone. “I don’t have to take anyone,” said Principal Alyssa Pollack. “When I’m full I’m full.” P.S. 150 is close to full enrollment now with about 190 students.

    There are plans in the works to alleviate P.S. 234’s overcrowding crisis. The vacant lot behind P.S. 234, Site 5C, is slated for development by Jack Resnick & Sons. The Resnick company unveiled plans at a June Economic Development Corporation meeting for a 35-story, market-rate rental building with about 480 apartments, 12,000 square feet of retail space, a 90-car parking garage and a community facility. The Resnick company offered about 10,000 square feet of space to the Department of Education — space that will be used to build eight additional P.S. 234 classrooms.

    But the development of lot 5C, which will also bring additional families to the neighborhood, is still a long way off — the plan still must complete a lengthy public review process before ground can break and many residents oppose the building because of its proposed size. In the meantime, the Department of Education has proposed bringing in trailers next year to use as additional classrooms. For Bridges, the proposal is problematic, to say the least. “Where would we put a trailer?” she said. “We have a playground, which we actually desperately need. There’s a dog run and those dog people don’t want to lose that.”

    The Department of Education did not return calls for comment.

    Until more permanent space is built, Bridges sees the problem escalating with each passing year. Because she added a new kindergarten class last year, she needed to respond with a new first grade classroom this year. Next year, the new first grade class will need a second grade classroom. This year’s new kindergarten class will also need a new first grade class of its own next year.

    “We’ve managed to adjust so far,” said Kevin Fisher, P.T.A. president and a parent of two P.S. 234 students. “As each year passes it gets harder and harder to make that adjustment.”

    Bridges is considering shuttering the school’s pre-kindergarten program and replacing it with an art room so that the old art room can serve as a new classroom. “If we had to lose the pre-K, that’s the program that’s been really valuable,” said Fisher. “It ushers the kids into [P.S. 234] in a really good way. That would be a detriment to the school.”

    Despite the crowding problem, Bridges is confident that she can maintain the school’s excellent reputation — at least for a while. “We’re a wonderful school, we’ll manage,” said Bridges. “But to lose a science room, you can’t really affectively teach science on a cart. It breaks my heart.”

    The Villager is published by
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    The Villager | 487 Greenwich St., Suite 6A | New York, NY 10013

    Email: news@thevillager.com

  6. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    Not only that, but when you consider how close these sites are to the Freedom Tower and the new Goldman Sachs tower, its borderline absurd
    That indicates that the issue is not views, but the proximity of the school. The school was built when the entire area was slated for residential development.
    That's the problem - with Downtown at a loss of sites for expansion, clearly the city should have had the foresight. But it doesn't matter, even if there were no school there, the same people would be bitchin over the towers....

  7. #37

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    That's true, but to understand the psychology that's driving this particular site, you have to look at it over the last 15 years. For many, although they may not admit it, the issue is no longer what is built, but beating city hall.

    The city built the school there for the same reason they wanted to maximize development on 5B and C - they own the land. Once the school was built and became successful, everything changed.

    If I were in city hall, I would start looking for a new school site in north Tribeca.

  8. #38

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    From Downtown Express...

    Gerson, city sign Downtown school deal

    By Josh Rogers


    The city and community leaders have reached a deal to build residential towers on two Tribeca sites and a new pre-K - 8 school on the East Side of Lower Manhattan.


    The deal also includes a 10,000-square-foot annex to relieve the overcrowding at P.S. 234, a 30,000-square-foot rec center with a gym and a regulation-size pool, according to City Councilmember Alan Gerson who signed the deal with Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff Wed., Sept. 8. Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1, was part of the months-long negotiations and Gerson said he would not have signed the deal without her approval.


    The first choice for the school site is 250 Water St. in the South Street Seaport Historic District and the city would likely have to acquire the parking-lot site from Milstein Properties through eminent domain. Gerson said the city is required to make its best efforts to find a school site south of the Brooklyn Bridge and east of Broadway and if the city fails to get a site somewhere Downtown, it will make it extremely difficult for the city to proceed with the rest of its development plans in Tribeca.


    The City Council on Thursday approved the plans for a 300-foot building at Site 5C, located behind P.S. 234, but the buildings planned for Site 5B across the street have not yet come before the Council. Site 5B would have buildings of 375, 200 and 135 feet, with the larger two on West St. Under the agreement, the developer must make sincere efforts to bring in a supermarket, and according to one source, representatives of the developer, Edward Minskoff, suggested they would try to get the popular Whole Foods to open in Tribeca. Minskoff did not return a call for comment.


    Gerson called the deal a “major accomplishment” and added, “there was more than one shouting match with the deputy mayor. In the end, the community came out really well.”

    Possibly 2007 Site 5C
    Scott Resnick
    3 residential buildings between 85- 300 feet, retail space, a 30,000-square-foot rec center with a pool and gym, a 10,000-square-foot school annex to P.S. 234 for younger children
    Possibly 2006

    Gerson said Site 5C will have the 300-foot building along West St., an 85-foot building with the community rec center and school annex on Warren St., and an 85-foot residential building. Norman Foster, a prominent British architect who was in the running to design the new World Trade Center, will design the apartment buildings for developer Scott Resnick, who did not return a call for comment.


    Doctoroff declined to speak about the deal’s specifics but said it includes “very, very attractive community facilities and amenities that the community really needs.” Speaking to reporters as he was leaving a meeting of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, Doctoroff said a school site has been picked but he did not confirm it was 250 Water St. Several sources who either participated in the negotiations or who were briefed regularly said 250 Water St. is the first choice.


    Wils, who attended the same L.M.D.C. meeting, was considerably less enthusiastic about the deal than Gerson. “Compromise is when everybody is a little unhappy,” she said. “I’m a little unhappy.”


    Gerson said he and Wils fought as hard as they could to make the buildings as small as possible and to maximize the school and community space.


    School needs and zoning

    Paul Hovitz, chairperson of C.B. 1’s Youth and Education committee, said there’s a desperate need for a new school in Lower Manhattan and he was pleased that it would be on the East Side. “All of our schools are overpopulated,” he said.


    P.S. 234 at Greenwich and Chambers Sts. is the most overcrowded school in Lower Manhattan and it consistently is a leader in reading and math scores across the city. Hovitz said the new school would have to be academically rigorous — otherwise parents in the Seaport and the Financial District will still fight to get into 234.


    Gerson said school zoning issues have not been decided, but under the agreement, only children living in areas that have first priority for P.S. 234 and P.S. 89 in Battery Park City will be eligible to have first priority in the new school. Currently, children living in Tribeca, the Seaport and the Financial District are guaranteed seats at 234 and B.P.C. children have first dibs at 89.


    The new agreement means children living in the nearby Smith Houses will not be guaranteed a spot in the new school. At least a few parents living in the new school’s zone have quietly expressed concerns about Smith House residents attending the new school, fearing the housing complex’s less affluent residents might make the school less desirable. Gerson said in all likelihood, Smith residents would be able to attend the new elementary school if it is not filled with children living in the first-priority boundaries. Presumably these boundaries would include the Seaport and the Financial District. They could include Tribeca and B.P.C., but they may not.


    The Tribeca school annex on the same block as P.S. 234 will include pre-K classes and may include kindergarten too. P.S. 234, which has 715 students in a building built for 585, will have more room for older children once the annex is built, which could be in two years. Sandy Bridges, the school’s principal told Downtown Express last week that she had to use her computer room as a classroom this year and she will have to make more sacrifices next year.


    Gerson said the new school should open in 2006 or 2007 before the Site 5B buildings.


    Water St. site

    The Site 5B plans could be before the community board within a few months and Gerson said it would be reasonable for C.B. 1 to expect the city to acquire the school site before the board recommends approving Site 5B.


    George Arzt, a spokesperson for Milstein, said there is pending litigation with the city over 250 Water St. and his client would resist any effort to take it.


    The vacant site was in the landmark district when the Milsteins bought it almost 20 years ago. They have proposed many designs for the block, but all but one were blocked by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which said the proposed towers were too tall for a district made up mostly of 19th century, structures of five and six stories. The commission approved one 14-story office building 10 years ago, but the project stalled because of a crumbling real estate market. Last year, the city changed the zoning in the landmark district and Milstein sued.


    “Not only do we contend that it was an illegal act to downgrade the zoning, now they want to be punitive and take it away entirely,” Arzt said Thursday.


    Gerson said the eminent domain proceedings would supersede the lawsuit and the Milsteins could make the same arguments about the zoning in a new forum. Gerson said if the Milsteins proved the zoning change was illegal, it would cost the city more to acquire the site. He said the whole issue could be resolved this year.


    The city has $44 million in its capital budget for the school and Gerson said it will cost $25 million more to build. Doctoroff said Thursday that he expected the L.M.D.C. would contribute an unspecified amount for the school. The city controls half the L.M.D.C. board and it may not be difficult for Doctoroff to get $25 million out of the agency’s remaining $860 million.


    The L.M.D.C. has already designated $50 million to build 315 affordable housing units at Site 5B, but Doctoroff said the city will spend the money other places in Lower Manhattan to build and preserve “substantially more” affordable apartments than would have been built at 5B.


    Gerson agreed this would be a much more efficient use of the money and said Knickerbocker Village and Lands End 1 on the East Side, and Gateway Plaza in Battery Park City are three possible places the money could be used to keep middle class people in Lower Manhattan.



    Details on Sites 5B and 5C

    Many residents oppose tall buildings on the two Tribeca sites because they say the structures would dwarf buildings nearby and cast too many shadows on Washington Market Park and the P.S. 234 schoolyard. Gerson said putting the taller buildings on West St. would take the office bulk further away from smaller buildings. The 370-foot building would have a few large setbacks after 330 feet so it will not seem as tall as it is, he added.


    Gerson said Minskoff wanted to build a fourth building at Site 5B and one of the last sticking points was giving C.B. 1 the power to veto a fourth residential building. The block will also have low-rise retail structures, possibly with the supermarket. Sheldrake Organization, an experienced residential developer has been talking with Minskoff about joining the project, according to two sources not connected with the developers.


    At Site 5C, there would be 300-foot and 285-foot buildings on West St. along with the two 85-foot buildings with the rec center, annex and more apartments.


    Gerson said there were many details that held up the talks along the way. Making sure the pool would be regulation – 75 feet and one inch – took time, as did moving a column off the basketball court. In addition to Wils, Gerson said Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, the expected operator of the Site 5C rec center, signed off on the 5C center details.


    And there was one more item that the community representatives fought for and won. On the hot days when noisy construction is going on all around them, P.S. 234 students will be able to ask their teachers to close the gym windows, because they are getting air-conditioning in the gym, the only part of the building that doesn’t have it.

  9. #39

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    DOWNTOWN EXPRESS

    Site 5B and 5C: Giving a lot to get a lot

    Some of Lower Manhattan’s most important needs were included in an agreement between the city and the Downtown community, signed two weeks ago. Downtown will get a new elementary and middle school, a youth recreation center and a school annex for overcrowded P.S. 234 in exchange for accepting two huge Tribeca development projects that won’t be as humongous as they may have been otherwise.

    Dep. Mayor Dan Doctoroff signed the agreement this month with Lower Manhattan Councilmember Alan Gerson, who included in the negotiations two important community leaders – Madelyn Wils, chairperson of Community Board 1 and Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, the group slated to run the rec center.

    By signing the deal, Mayor Bloomberg’s office recognizes that even after 9/11, Lower Manhattan thankfully remains the fastest growing part of the city and this population is in dire need of residential amenities to keep up, particularly with school and recreation space. This was not some giveaway to an affluent, political-savvy community, but a partial remedy to what would have been an urban planning mistake.

    And make no mistake, the community gave away a lot. The day after the agreement was signed, Gerson and his Council colleagues approved one of the two residential projects, a 300-foot tower behind P.S. 234 on Site 5C that will also include the school annex and rec center. The tower will cast shadows on Washington Market Park, schoolyards and the Battery Park City ballfields. In addition to this project, under the agreement developers can build three towers across the street on Site 5B – 370 feet, 200 feet and 135 feet.

    The deal in all likelihood means that the open-space feel of West St. between Chambers and Murray Sts. will no longer seem part of low-rise Tribeca, but will become a part of the Financial District-World Trade Center area. Let’s not forget Scott Resnick, the Site 5C developer, was once willing to build half as tall as he gets to build now under the agreement, for less money and without Liberty Bonds.

    That was before the 2001 attacks, but the Tribeca residential market is as strong as it was then. About 50 years ago, the city took over the 5B and 5C land under an urban renewal plan that was supposed to benefit the community.

    Gerson told us two weeks ago that the community should expect the city to have acquired a new school site before it recommends approving the larger Site 5B project. We agree. We’d also like to see recognition that all this noise and construction will be scheduled to minimize the effects on the six nearby schools – P.S. 89, P.S. 234, I.S. 89, Stuyvesant High School, the Borough of Manhattan Community College and St. John’s insurance college. And the Dept. of Education must begin a discussion with Downtown over the complicated and sensitive zoning issues for the new schools.

  10. #40

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    The day after the agreement was signed, Gerson and his Council colleagues approved one of the two residential projects, a 300-foot tower behind P.S. 234 on Site 5C that will also include the school annex and rec center.
    Too bad Foster wont be designing it.

  11. #41

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    From Tribeca Trib...

    I have one question... From the article - "With the reconstruction of Chambers Street from Broadway to West Street scheduled to begin in January and take 14 to 18 months" - Does anyone know what exactly the reconstruction is for?


    Way Cleared for Huge Development

    by Etta Sanders

    A deal reached last month between community representatives and the city will bring the most sweeping changes to the face of Tribeca since the construction of Independence Plaza North 30 years ago.

    Three residential towers, a 27,000-square-foot community center, and a pre-k and kindergarten feeder school are included in the development plans for two sites near P.S. 234, on the blocks bordered by Greenwich, Chambers, West and Murray Streets. A new pre-k-through-8th-grade school east of Broadway is also part of the agreement hammered out by City Councilman Alan Gerson and Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff.

    The agreement clears the way for the development of the two city-owned lots, known as 5B and 5C, next to P.S. 234, where the community has been fighting various city-supported projects for more than 15 years.
    “It’s not everything we wanted, but it is the best possible outcome for the community given this administration’s position,” said Gerson, who had threatened to block City Council approval of the sale of Site 5C to developer Scott Resnick if a satisfactory deal for the community could not be worked out.

    The Council okayed the sale to Resnick on Sept. 9 and construction on Site 5C, behind P.S. 234, may begin by the end of this year. Edward Minskoff, the developer of site 5B, across Warren Street from the school, still has to go through an additional approval process for his project, but with community negotiations completed he should face few obstacles. Minskoff said he hopes to break ground by the second quarter of next year and have the buildings completed the following year, “if everyone cooperates.”

    The agreement was the result of months of negotiations between city officials and community representatives, including Gerson, Community Board 1 chairwoman Madelyn Wils and Bob Townley, executive director of Manhattan Youth, which will run the planned community center.

    Those meetings were sometimes heated, Gerson recalled. “There were a few shouting matches between me and the deputy mayor,” he said.

    The most contentious issue, according to Wils, was the heights of the buildings. “There was some ingenuity that had to go into not creating just two huge, massive buildings that covered the entire spaces,” she said. “This took a lot of work.”

    The plans for 5C include:
    A residential building up to 300 feet tall.
    A 27,000-square-foot community center with a 75-foot-long pool.
    A pre-k and kindergarten early learning center with 10 classrooms, intended to ease crowding at P.S. 234.
    For site 5B, bordered by Greenwich, West, Murray and Warren Streets, the agreement calls for:
    A residential condominium tower with a maximum height of 370 feet on West Street. That building, Minskoff said, will have mostly two- and three-bedroom apartments.
    A residential tower up to 200 feet tall at the corner of Murray and Greenwich Streets. Fifty percent of those rental units will be subsidized.
    A non-residential building no taller than 70 feet directly across from P.S. 234 on Warren Street.
    A commitment by the developer to try to find a “quality supermarket tenant” for retail space on the site.
    Although the deal provides a broad outline for the development of the two sites and the creation of a new east-side school, significant challenges lie ahead and many details are still to be determined, including the financing for the public amenities, the zoning and administration of the new schools (see story, page 4) and how to minimize the effects of years of construction on P.S. 234.

    Manhattan Youth will need to raise nearly $5 million to outfit the community center. (If the budget exceeds that amount, the city has committed to pay $900,000). That fundraising effort got a boost last spring when Goldman Sachs promised $1 million for the facility. According to last month’s agreement, the community may also help finance the community center by allowing a building taller than 70 feet on Warren Street across from P.S. 234.

    Development of the sites will mean that P.S. 234 will be in the midst of massive construction projects for the next several years. With the reconstruction of Chambers Street from Broadway to West Street scheduled to begin in January and take 14 to 18 months, the school will be surrounded by construction on three sides for a year or more.

    In addition, P.S. 234 may temporarily lose access to the playground behind the school that is used by younger children.

    “It’s going to be dusty and it’s going to be unpleasant,” principal Sandy Bridges said, adding that the building’s air conditioning may need to be kept running during school hours for the sake of air quality. The school also has several air filters that were installed after Sept. 11.

    Kevin Fisher, president of P.S. 234’s PTA, said that the PTA and Bridges will need to be in contact with the developers to minimize impacts on the school.

    “We probably have to make ourselves known to the developer to have some impact,” Fisher said, “Let’s assume there’s a good faith effort and maybe we can get some mitigation.”

    Wils said that the community board will also work on mitigation steps, including the placement of staging areas for construction vehicles in the least disruptive spots and the reduction of work during key school testing periods, as was done last year during construction near P.S./I.S. 89.

    Wils said she had hoped that the development issues would have been resolved months ago, so that the construction on 5C could have begun over the summer. Minskoff said that if the approval process for the Site 5B project goes smoothly, contractors may be able to dig the foundations during the summer of 2005 when school is out. Whether that will require the use of pile drivers is still to be determined, he said.

    One P.S. 234 parent, who had strongly opposed the development, was more than a little unhappy with the outcome. “It’s an outrage,” said Catherine Weinstock, the mother of a first-grader. “Why is it that the infrastructure and needs of the community are an afterthought and the profits of the real estate developers come first?”

    But Andy Koutsoudakis, owner of Gee Whiz restaurant at the corner of Greenwich and Warren Streets, said that the sites’ development was long awaited. When he signed his lease in 1988, he said, the real estate broker assured him that a 60-story building was about to go up in the parking lot across the street. Now that the buildings are finally coming, along with a community center, he sees something positive for everyone.

    “If they do things for the community, for the kids, I think that is good,” he said. “And businesswise, no question about it, I think it’s going to be good, too.”

  12. #42

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    Chambers Street - new water mains and sewers, and a new roadbed.

  13. #43

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    Here's a better look at those sites...(Tribeca Trib)



  14. #44
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    Nearby Construction Brings Worries to P.S. 234 Parents
    by Etta Sanders
    http://tribecatrib.com/


    New renderings of Site 5B

    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...44781659odqTBz


    http://community.webshots.com/photo/...44782623IjKjyY

  15. #45
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    It seems I can't access the renderings without a password.

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