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. #196

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    If there is any glue that keeps this project from falling apart, it's the hospital, which needs the space and the money from the land sale.

    Something smells here, the breakdown after this length of time. Reminds me of when Ratner, at about this time last year, after the long process of eviction at ther NYT tower site was complete, announced they were delaying construction because they could not secure financing.

    A large scale version of bait-and-switch?

  2. #197

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    No mention that Ratner will forego the project...
    True. We are rushing towards conclusions on no tower or shorter tower. Hopefully something or somethings will be incleased to take up the space lost from that drop out.

  3. #198

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    If there is any glue that keeps this project from falling apart, it's the hospital, which needs the space and the money from the land sale.
    I thought Ratner already bought the property. I doubt that he'll let it waste, as would he the talent and celebrity of Gehry.

  4. #199

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    I guess we're all holding our breath as of now, no?

  5. #200
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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp
    Something smells here, the breakdown after this length of time. Reminds me of when Ratner, at about this time last year, after the long process of eviction at ther NYT tower site was complete, announced they were delaying construction because they could not secure financing.

    A large scale version of bait-and-switch?
    Or Ratner's latest implication that the Nets might just stay in NJ because he cannot getr community approval for his development plan (and he only can secure about 11 acres of the land needed).

  6. #201

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    Or Ratner's latest implication that the Nets might just stay in NJ because he cannot getr community approval for his development plan (and he only can secure about 11 acres of the land needed).
    I havent heard that.

  7. #202

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Or Ratner's latest implication that the Nets might just stay in NJ because he cannot getr community approval for his development plan (and he only can secure about 11 acres of the land needed).
    I havent heard that.
    Its old news. Ratner recently clarified that statement. Theoretically speaking, the NETS would still play in New Jersey until or if the arena is built. I doubt they would play in the Garden, even if the Knicks/Rangers managed to make room. But Ratner has also said all along that he wants the NETS to play a few of their home games at the arena in Newark as a way of giving something back to the fans from New Jersey and keeping a connection.

    Anyway, the anti-arena forces would like to believe that Ratner has ditched Brooklyn for the Newark arena. They will be sorely disappointed.

  8. #203

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    DOWNTOWN EXPRESS

    K-8 school may join Ratner project

    By Ronda Kaysen

    Bruce Ratner’s planned 75-story Beekman St. tower may soon be home to a new East Side elementary school, if the developer and city officials can hammer out an agreement.

    With Pace University no longer a player in the 1-million-square-foot apartment building — the school pulled out of the deal on Nov. 3 — community and city leaders are eyeing the 330,000 square feet of unclaimed space as a possible site for a new K-8 school and a community center.

    The previously favored spot for the school — 250 Water St. — is owned by Milstein Properties and comes fraught with its own complications. The city would likely have to acquire the site, now a parking lot, through eminent domain, which would in all likelihood involve a lengthy legal battle. City Councilmember Alan Gerson told the Downtown Express in September that the city is obligated to try and find a location for the school that is east of Broadway and south of the Brooklyn Bridge. A failure to do so may derail other development plans for Tribeca.

    Pace’s sudden withdrawal from the Ratner deal — on the grounds that Forest City Ratner, Bruce Ratner’s company, dramatically raised the cost of the lease — may be more of a windfall for the community than a setback.

    “A school would be done faster on the hospital site and we’re looking to expedite this as fast as possible,” said Madelyn Wils, Community Board 1’s chairperson.


    A community center, also a high-ranking desire of the community, is less likely to occur since it lacks the funding that the school has already secured. The $69 million school will be funded with $44 million from the city’s capital budget and the remainder is expected to come from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. The community center, on the other hand, has no funding secured at this point.

    “The rec center is more of a long shot,” said assistant district manager Judy Duffy at a C.B. 1 South Street Seaport/Civic Center committee meeting this week. Before the Pace announcement, community officials had been hoping to secure 50,000 square feet of community space in the tower for a pool and health center.

    Without a large commercial tenant like Pace, the Ratner tower will no longer be eligible for $350 million in Liberty bonds, although 25,000 square feet is still allotted for an NYU Downtown Hospital outpatient facility. According to a recent article in the New York Post, Ratner may instead use an 80-20 tax abatement residential financing program for his project.

    By all accounts, Ratner seems interested in the idea of a school in his Frank Gehry-designed tower. “This is a recent development and one that is certainly under consideration that is being reviewed very carefully,” said Michele DeMilly, a spokesperson for Forest City Ratner.

    According to board member Paul Hovitz, Ratner’s office recently asked to see the plans for P.S. 89/I.S. 89 in Battery Park City, an elementary school that shares its space with a residential building. “How many schools do you know that were built from scratch in a residential building?” said Hovitz. “P.S. 89 is a good example of how architects worked a school into a residential building.”

    Offering the community a school in return for a 75-story tower — the tallest building in Lower Manhattan after the planned Freedom Tower — may make an unpopular project more tolerable for residents.

    “Let’s say you don’t put a school there, that gives the community all of the downside with no givebacks,” said Hovitz. “It behooves us to do the best we can to try to provide the future tenants and the community residents with a needed amenity.”

  9. #204
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    That likewise leaves 250 Water open as the site for a community center.

  10. #205

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    Wonderful news, lets keep our fingers crossed!

  11. #206

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    that must be weird for the kids if the school be build. imagine you as a little kid going to a school ove 1000 feet tall. that must be cool. Things are looking up again.

  12. #207

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    A little more on the school/tower....

    TRIBECA TRIB

    Push for School in Tower Planned for Site Next to Hospital

    by Etta Sanders

    In a pair of surprising developments, Pace University pulled out of a deal to occupy part of a towering residential building planned for the parking lot of NYU Downtown Hospital, and talks have begun about putting a new K-8th grade school there.

    The discussions took place in a meeting on Nov. 3 between elected officials and representatives of the community, the hospital, and the site's developer, Forest City Ratner, to explore a possible contribution by the developer to a community amenity.

    Within minutes of the beginning of the meeting, the news came that Pace had just withdrawn from a pending lease agreement with Ratner for 300,000 square feet of the proposed 75-story building, saying the developer had significantly increased the price.

    Community representatives quickly jumped in to suggest a school.
    "Immediately after that announcement, they launched into, 'Alright, you don't have Pace, we need a school,'" said Paul Epstein, a resident of 140 Nassau Street, a building that borders the site.


    According to Epstein and others at the meeting, the developers were open to the idea, but expressed reservations about the delays that could be caused by bringing the historically slow moving Department of Education into the process. Community representatives pointed to the relatively speedy creation of P.S. 234, P.S./I.S. 89 and the Millennium high school as a demonstration of the neighborhood's record for fast tracking schools.

    "We do have a precedent of circumventing the DOE," said Paul Goldstein, CB1 district manager.

    After the meeting, Ratner requested the plans for P.S./I.S. 89, which had been cited at the meeting as an example of how a school could successfully be worked into a residential building. Those plans have been given to the project's architect, Gehry and Partners. Another meeting is scheduled for Nov. 23r.

    "All in all a pretty positive development," said Marc Donenfeld chair of CB1's Seaport and Civic Center Committee.
    Madelyn Wils, chairwoman of CB1, said there were several incentives that could make the school an attractive option for Ratner.

    "The good neighbor incentive is that he's putting 1,000 people on that site and if they choose to go to public school they won't have public school," said Madelyn Wils. "The second incentive is that the school can pay for itself."

    The city has committed $44 million dollars in the School Construction Authority budget toward the creation of a new school. Wils said putting in a school could help the developer qualify for the millions of dollars in tax-free Liberty Bonds they have sought. "There would be no reason for them to get Liberty Bonds if they don't do anything that's good for the public."

    It is unclear how the changes could affect the eventual size of the project. Pace was expected to move its business school and student dorms into 300,000 square feet of the new facility. A K-8th grade school would likely need only about 100,000 square feet. The hospital will get 25,000 square feet for outpatient facilities in the building.

    The financially strapped hospital sold the development rights for the lot to Forest City Ratner in December 2003. Finalization of that sale is currently impeded by a lawsuit brought by residents who are contesting the city's determination that the site can be built on without going through a public approval process. Through that process, the height of the building could be limited.

    The building was originally proposed to be 50 stories high, but after complaints from Nassau Street residents that their light and air would be cut off, the plans were amended to set it back on the lot and create a plaza. In order to do that, Ratner said, they would need to increase the height of the building to 75 stories. That would make it the second tallest Downtown structure after the Freedom Tower, now planned for the World Trade Center site.

    In recent months, a parking lot at 250 Water Street near the South Street Seaport, owned by Milstein Properties, has been seen as the likely location for a new school. But that site is also encumbered with a lawsuit, this one brought by the owner against the city over zoning issues.

    The hospital parking lot was long favored by the community board as a location for a public school. The Department of Education (DOE), however, had reservations about school buses competing with fire trucks and ambulances on Beekman and Spruce Streets.

    "DOE was concerned about the very narrow streets surrounding the NYU/Beekman hospital," a spokeswoman for the department said in March.

    When Ratner entered into the deal with Pace last spring, the hopes for a school at the site died. Now they have been resuscitated. Said Goldstein, "We've gone a very circuitous route."

  13. #208

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    Finalization of that sale is currently impeded by a lawsuit brought by residents who are contesting the city's determination that the site can be built on without going through a public approval process.
    Although the hospital sold the land to Ratner, in complicated projects involving multiple parties, there is usually an escape for the buyer if everyithing doesn't fall into place.

    I prefer the K-8 school to Pace. The area needs it, and there will be greater acceptance of the overall project.

  14. #209

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    Yeah, but the k-8 only needs around 100,000 sq.ft. I think that we'll see a slight decrease in height.

  15. #210

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pottebaum
    Yeah, but the k-8 only needs around 100,000 sq.ft. I think that we'll see a slight decrease in height.
    No, Ratner will not waste the unused buildable rights. He can replace the space with more apartments.

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