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Thread: The Helena - 601 West 57th Street - Rental - by FX Fowle

  1. #76

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    lol, hopefully. She's quite attractive when not looking head on.



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  2. #77
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Last Saturday night after the sun went down you could see lots of apartments lit up here -- especially on the upper floors.

    Any renters at the Helena checking in at wny?

    What's the scoop on life there???

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3 View Post

    To think Durst named this building after his daughter. Hopefully she's not as boring and bloated.
    Yes, it is named after his daughter. Actually she was very friendly. I had to write a paper for an urban planning class about fads and/or trends within the NYC real estate market, so I included the Helena...thus, I submitted a request online to see if I could speak with a pr person about decisions, etc. To my surprise, I got a response from two Dursts, Helena and I forget the other. They answered questions and made sure I had all I needed -- definitely a surprise.

  4. #79
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    Anyone knows about plans to build the Helena's sister, The Rose, on the empty land just to the west?
    Last edited by Tectonic; February 21st, 2008 at 08:34 AM.

  5. #80
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    ^ Here's some news on Durst's plans to build a school between those two sites...

    Durst to Build Private School on 11th Avenue



    by Eliot Brown | February 19, 2008

    Joining forces with the onetime owner of Esquire, developer Douglas Durst is getting into the education business, building a large private school on a West Side lot a block from the Hudson River.

    If a zoning change goes through as planned, a $200 million-plus, six-story competitive primary and secondary school will rise on Mr. Durst’s property at 623 West 57th Street, the start of what its backers say will be a global network of the internationally focused institutions.

    Called the Nations Academy, the venture is being led by Christopher Whittle, the founder of education management company Edison Schools and the owner of Esquire magazine in the 1980’s. Mr. Whittle, who is partnered with former Yale president Benno Schmidt in creating the schools, said the goal for the Durst site is to create a school for more than 1,700 students from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, one that ultimately would seek to compete with the city’s top private schools.

    The focus of the curriculum, however, is more global than that of a Dalton or a Brearley, Mr. Whittle said, and about 20 percent of the students are expected to be from outside the city, many the children of expatriates.

    “It would be competitive with the finest schools in the city,” Mr. Whittle said. “Obviously, that takes time to establish, and we know that, but we plan to be a great school on opening day.”

    Along with a school in Washington, D.C., the Manhattan school is scheduled to be finished by 2010, marking the first and second completed schools in what Mr. Whittle imagines as a 12-school global network by 2012.

    Before Edison, Mr. Whittle owned Esquire. He sold itto the Hearst Corporation, and founded Channel One, a free educational television network for students. “Most of my activity in media was related to schools,” Mr. Whittle said.

    Nations Academy will have a long-term lease on the West Side building, which will be about 240,000 square feet and will be built by the Durst Organization. Durst, which has a long-term lease on the entire block, will also build and own a parking garage underneath and about 20,000 square feet of retail at the school’s base.

    The development firm built a 600-unit rental building on the east end of the block in 2005, the Helena, and plans have not yet been finalized for the western-most section, according to Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz.

    Nations Academy is also seeking a considerable sum—more than $200 million in tax-exempt bonds—from the Industrial Development Authority, a city-administered agency that issues the bonds.

    Copyright ©, The New York Observer, L.P.

  6. #81
    Forum Veteran Tectonic's Avatar
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    The article I read didn't mention the western-most section of the block, so I was (as bad as this sounds) afraid the school was going to take up the rest of the block.

    I think this was the proposal for the other end of the block:
    Last edited by Tectonic; February 21st, 2008 at 04:22 PM.

  7. #82
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    Don't worry, I almost had the same concern myself until I read that.

    The other issue I think Durst should take into consideration is the usual complaints of construction noise that will arise if they should put off the construction of the residential tower after the school is put up.

    Ideally, he should put both up at the same time. This way, when the school is up and running, the residential tower would be built already as well.

  8. #83
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    Plans Nixed for West 57th Street Private School



    by Eliot Brown | September 8, 2008

    The ambitious plans for a new, high-end private school proposed by former Esquire owner Christopher Whittle and developer Douglas Durst are no more.

    Durst spokesman Jordan Barowitz confirmed that the developer is no longer involved in the project.

    "There were a number of issues on which we could not reach agreement," he said. The Durst Organization controls the land on West 57th Street between 11th and 12th avenues, and was to build the school. It was to be owned and run by Nations Academy, a new, international venture run by Mr. Whittle.

    We've reached out to Mr. Whittle and are waiting to hear back, though part of the scheme relied on a large chunk of tax-exempt financing through the city's Industrial Development Authority.

    Councilwoman Gale Brewer, who represents the area, said the financing was of concern. "I thought the school's fine, but I don't think they should get public money," she said.

    © 2008 Observer Media Group

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