View Poll Results: Do you like the final design of Beekman Place?

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  • Yes

    150 85.71%
  • No

    25 14.29%
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Thread: 8 Spruce Street - Beekman Tower - by Frank Gehry

  1. #136


    There's more room for the hospital, more for the school, dorm space, an open plaza, commercial space (stores), more parking, protected views...what more could these people possibly want? Its just a knee-jerk reaction to hearing "75 stories". 75 stories for an apartment tower is not the same as 75 for an office building. It probably wouldn't even be as tall as tower2 of the WTC.

    “When you negotiate something in a community that the community doesn’t like, it usually goes down in scale, not up,” Paul Viggiano, president of Southbridge Towers co-op board, said at Community Board 1’s meeting, Sept. 21. “We’re going to get all of our political muscle together to do what we can to get this building down [in size].”

    Dan Slippen, director of community relations for Pace University, one of the building’s potential tenants, defended the increase in size. “We’ve been trying to make good will with the community,” he told the board. “We went to 75 stories because of an agreement with members of the community who did not want the bulk of the building against their building, which caused the building to rise.”
    Pace has been in the neighborhood for a while, as well as the hospital, so its good to have them as allies on this project. I only hope we don't get a reduction in height. Anything less than 75-stories will be a disappointment now.

  2. #137


    Couldn't this tower be beneficial to the neighborhood? If it is built and is also a success(as it surely will be) wouldn't the land values rise in the immediate vicinity making for happy neighbors? Besides no one can tell the difference between a few hundered feet when one stands directly below- huge is huge.

  3. #138
    Forum Veteran
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    Jan 2003
    Garden City, LI


    City Councilmember Alan Gerson may file a lawsuit against Forest City Enterprises on behalf of the City Council to insure the community’s needs are met. “You’re talking about building the largest building in Lower Manhattan and that requires a thorough review,” Gerson told Downtown Express. “We can’t just have such a mammoth development without getting it right.”

    Translation: We are going to cry until we get a smaller, firendlier building that's not going to "ruin" the neighborhood. Plus, we need the developer to build us shit for free. Isn't this type of thing illegal?...Of course not, we're a NYC CB!

  4. #139



    Building on Hospital Site to Be 75 Stories

    by Barry Owens

    Developer Bruce Ratner has plans to build a 75-story apartment building on the lot next to NYU Downtown Hospital at Beekman, William, Spruce and Nassau streets. That is 20 more stories than he first proposed five months ago and a galling prospect for those who live nearby.

    “Damn it, they shouldn’t just tell us what they’re going to do—they should ask us,” said Paul Epstein, whose apartment at 150 Nassau Street overlooks the site.

    Last month, residents of Southbridge Towers, an apartment complex near the lot, voiced their concerns over the height of the building and the lack of community space built into the plan.

    Community Board 1 was more specific, drafting a resolution condemning the height and calling for the inclusion of a 50,000-square-foot community space with a gym and swimming pool.

    And City Councilman Alan Gerson upped the ante by threatening to file a lawsuit on the grounds that the city bypassed City Council review when it approved modifications to the Land Disposition Agreement governing the site.

    Earlier in the month, Epstein and other community representatives met privately with Ratner and officials from the hospital and Pace University, which will get space in the building, in hopes of hammering out a deal that would give the community a public amenity and soften the impact of the project.

    Epstein declined to elaborate on the negotiations, saying only that there has been “progress on a number of issues.” But he said he was angry that the city had allowed Ratner to circumvent the public review process.

    “The parties involved here have been forced to privately recreate what should have been done publicly,” he said. “And that ain’t right.”

    Robert Bonvino, vice president for government relations and corporate development at NYU Downtown Hospital, said that the hospital had been open with the public about its plans, and held little influence on the amount of community space to be included in the building.

    “After we sell the parking lot, we have a 25,000-square-foot space in that building for a hospital outpatient facility,” Bonvino said. “Other than that, we don’t really have a say.”

    The financially struggling hospital agreed to sell the lot to Forest City Ratner in an effort to recover from years of financial losses. The developer did not return calls for comment.

    Ratner’s plan calls for a condominium tower that will provide space for the hospital and 330,000 square feet for Pace. The university will house dormitories, a business school, offices and an art gallery in its portion of the building.

    “We’re not against a community amenity,” said Daniel Slippen, director of the Center for Downtown New York at Pace. “We have been trying to work with the community to maximize use of our current facility.”

    The building plan, still in the early design stages, has not been made public. According to a story in the New York Times, the design by architect Frank Gehry features undulating sheets of glass hanging like drapes over the structure of the building. The glass peels away from the building to form a crown of sorts on top.

    So far, the only concession Ratner has made to the community is an agreement to create a 1,300 square-foot plaza that will act as buffer between the new building and 140 and 150 Nassau Street.

    “We’ve had a long history with plazas in this district,” said CB1 District Manager Paul Goldstein. “They have some value, but it’s limited.”

  5. #140
    Moderator NYatKNIGHT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Manhattan - South Village


    I'm ready for a rendering.

  6. #141


    I hope that stupid ass NIMBYS dont get the height lowered or Ill be pissed, although it wouldnt suprise me! :?

  7. #142


    Quote Originally Posted by NYatKNIGHT
    I'm ready for a rendering.
    I concur!

  8. #143


    Epstein declined to elaborate on the negotiations, saying only that there has been “progress on a number of issues.” But he said he was angry that the city had allowed Ratner to circumvent the public review process.
    I hope they're not talking about what I think they're talking about...

  9. #144

  10. #145
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    New York City


    Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

  11. #146


    I am very excited about the 75-story figure. However, since TWC I have learned to take such claims with a grain of salt. This could very well mean that the building will be 750 feet tall.

  12. #147


    I am very excited about the 75-story figure. However, since TWC I have learned to take such claims with a grain of salt. This could very well mean that the building will be 750 feet tall.
    And you would find on TWC's general draft 53 storeys. The draft here is for an actual 75 storey building, we have not yet moved to the marketing phase.

  13. #148


    Downtown Express

    Divided opposition to East Side Ratner-Gehry tower

    By Ronda Kaysen

    With the closing date for the sale of NYU Downtown Hospital’s Beekman St. parking lot to Forest City Enterprises looming, residents of nearby Southbridge Towers have launched negotiations of their own with developer Bruce Ratner in the hopes of securing amenities for their own building — to the dismay of some Community Board 1 members.

    Members of the board’s Seaport/Civic Center committee drafted a resolution at an Oct. 12 meeting calling for community solidarity in dealings with Ratner and his plans for a 75-story multi-use tower on the site. If built, the Frank Gehry-designed tower will be the second tallest building Downtown after the Freedom Tower.

    No amenities have been secured for the community as of yet, and City Councilmember Alan Gerson insists that once the deal closes (perhaps by the end of the month) the community will have less leverage to secure any amenities at all. Residents of nearby 140-150 Nassau St. filed a lawsuit against Ratner earlier this month, which may delay the closing if a settlement is not reached.

    Two weeks ago, residents of nearby Southbridge Towers entered into discussions of their own with Ratner that, according to committee members, may undermine the community’s ability to negotiate effectively with the developer. “We all need to be working together and we should be honest with each other as we move forward in this process,” said Paul Goldstein, C.B. 1’s district manager and a Southbridge resident. “Obviously the developer is using a strategy of divide and conquer to divide the community.”

    But Southbridge’s interests are not in conflict with the community’s interests, according to Paul Viggiano, president of the Southbridge Towers co-op board. Southbridge board members met with Ratner a few weeks ago for an “initial meeting” but “there were no negotiations, there was nothing,” he insisted. “If I thought for a minute that anything that Southbridge would ask for would diminish any other efforts, I guess I would pull out because I don’t want that to happen,” Viggiano said in a telephone interview.

    Although Viggiano declined to comment about what specific amenities Southbridge is seeking, he mentioned “floors and windows” as two possible amenities and other sources suggested that the co-op board was negotiating for a community room and small park for Southbridge.

    Seaport/Civic Center committee members expressed concern that Southbridge may weaken C.B. 1’s leverage. “The community board has been representing the community and supporting the desires of the community for many years. We have to speak in one voice,” Marc Donnenfeld, the committee’s chairperson, said at the meeting. Individual negotiations are “going to weaken the community board in the long run,” he added.

    According to Viggiano, Southbridge has every right to try to secure amenities of its own with Ratner. “I would be remised as the president of this board if I wasn’t able to go out and talk to Ratner about specifics to Southbridge,” he said. “Everyone seems to be going out and asking for what they want.”

    Residents of 140-150 Nassau St. stepped up its efforts to reach a deal with Ratner without the direct involvement of the community, says Viggiano, which has had the positive effect of “getting people to the bargaining table.” Residents of 140-150 Nassau St. approached Southbridge Towers regarding the lawsuit, but they declined to participate.

    The 140-150 Nassau St. lawsuit, however, will not have a negative effect on community negotiations, says Goldstein of C.B. 1, because it calls for a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure and an environmental impact study for the tower, two processes that would require public review. Gerson also expressed his support for the lawsuit and said he may file a friend of the court brief in the event that negotiations break down.

    Nassau St. residents are most interested in securing a plaza between their building and the Ratner building so the new tower will not block their windows, according to sources close to the suit.

    Ratner did not return repeated calls for comment for this story.

    According to Gerson, the financially strapped NYU Downtown Hospital insists it will be forced to file for bankruptcy if the lot is not sold by the closing date. If the hospital files for bankruptcy, it will be turned over to the New York State Department of Health. “I think the way it’s been handled is awful,” said Gerson at the meeting. “What assurance do we have that in years in the future they’re not going to be in the same straits?”

    Bruce D. Logan, president and C.E.O. of Downtown Hospital, said the hospital has no immediate plans to file for bankruptcy. “NYU Downtown Hospital, like most hospitals operating in the current healthcare environment, is facing very severe financial difficulties,” Logan wrote in an e-mail statement. “However, in the event that the sale of the parking lot does not close by the end of the month, the hospital absolutely will not file for bankruptcy protection.“

    The site was set aside for public use for NYU Downtown Hospital in 1964 after it had been taken over by the city under eminent domain. When the statue of limitations on use and height restrictions expired this year, Ratner began negotiations to purchase the property from the hospital. The tower’s architect, Frank Gehry, was tapped this week to design the theater cultural building in the new World Trade Center.

    Partially financed by $243 million in commercial Liberty Bonds, Pace University will occupy 330,000 square feet on the lower 24 floors of the Beekman St. tower and 25,000 square feet will be reserved for an outpatient facility for the hospital. The remaining space will include rental and condo apartments. C.B. 1 hopes to secure 50,000 square feet for a community facility with a pool and health center.

    C.B. 1 will vote on the resolution at its Oct. 19 full board meeting.

  14. #149
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
    in Limbo


    Do other cities have such strong anti-development sentiments?

  15. #150
    Forum Veteran
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    New York City


    Quote Originally Posted by antinimby
    Do other cities have such strong anti-development sentiments?
    Boston, Milwaukee, London and Paris come to mind.

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