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Thread: New Goldman Sachs Headquarters - 200 West Street - by Henry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed

  1. #211

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    NY OBSERVER

    Hit the I.R.T., Jack! No Goldman Aerie Downtown

    by Sheelah Kolhatkar

    There is something quaintly proletarian about the idea of a group of investment bankers living right above their offices. After 16-hour days running cash-flow models and stuffing spreadsheets with merger statistics, tired associates could gather their Brioni jackets and step into the elevator for the short commute home to the luxury apartments upstairs. It would surely beat taking the train to Westchester.

    So when Nicolai Ouroussoff, The New York Timesí newish architecture critic, described such a scenario in a Sept. 5 article about the changing Manhattan skyline, it sparked a certain amount of intrigue in architecture circles.

    Mr. Ouroussoff was referring to the new Goldman Sachs headquarters planned for lower Manhattan, a 40-story, two-million-square-foot tower designed by Harry Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed, scheduled to begin construction early next year. Mr. Ouroussoff described the building as having a residential tower set on top of the buildingís base of offices where employees could potentially buy or rent apartments. The idea of people living above one of the most secretive and prestigious investment banks in the world would be revolutionary, to say the least.

    But lest Goldmanís heavily worked, heavily paid employees become too excited at the prospect of reducing their commutes, it was too good to be true.


    "We do not have any plans for any residential space in the building whatsoever," said Andrea Raphael, a Goldman spokeswoman. She was not sure how Mr. Ouroussoff got the impression that residences were part of the plan, which is referred to as "Site 26."

    The site is zoned for commercial use only and is intended to house Goldmanís armies of traders in six trading floors at the base of the building, with offices and conference rooms in the floors above.

    The 742-foot-tall tower is meant to consolidate Goldmanís current corporate space, which is spread between 85 Broad Street, 1 New York Plaza and other locations around the city, in addition to a new tower that the company just constructed in Jersey City.

    Mr. Ouroussoff, who left the L.A. Times in June to replace The New York Timesí outgoing controversial architecture critic, Herbert Muschamp, was out of town and didnít respond to a request for comment.

    Calls to several Manhattan brokers suggested that there had not yet been a run on the ghost apartments, but that if they existed, they might have sold well.

    "I donít think New Yorkers are that concerned about what is in the lower part of the building, as long as itís not something crazy and disruptive to their daily lives. Letís face it, at Time Warner you have bomb-sniffing dogs walking through the lobby on a regular basis," said Leonard Steinberg, a senior vice president at Douglas Elliman. "So I donít think a bank necessarily would be the worst tenant. In fact, a lot of buildings, co-ops and condos in Manhattan, love to get a bank into their commercial space because itís a very low-impact traffic situation. I do think the value lies more in the fact that youíd have higher floors with better light. A lot of the Wall Street buildings right now that are residential do have a terrible disadvantage on their lower floors in that they have dreadful light."

    Perhaps Goldman employees had expressed interest in the mysterious units?

    Not so, according to Ms. Raphael. "People noticed, but people didnít overreact to it," she said, adding that those in the upper reaches of the firm had been slightly surprised to read the startling details about their new building.


    The idea of having workers bunking down above their place of work is nothing new. One of modernismís greatest triumphs was in the idea of worker housing communities, where laborers could live in little villages adjacent to their factories. This idea has recently been embraced by more capitalist ventures, such as the Time Warner Center, which has luxury condos mixed in with a shopping mall and CNNís corporate offices, as well as the proposed new Bloomberg Media headquarters, which will be topped by a residential tower. And also by the biggest capitalist of all: none other than Donald Trump, who lives in his own flagship commercial building on Fifth Avenue, and who recently told Vanity Fair that his greatest extravagance was "having to only ride an elevator to get to work."

  2. #212

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    @742 feet it will be shorter than their Jersey City tower. It seems that the modus operandi downtown right now is not to have your building stick above its neighbors.

  3. #213

  4. #214

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    The truth hurts hey?

  5. #215

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    Im disappointed with the 740 foot height, though I like what Goldman Sachs is doing. Im more frustrated with the 800 foot top that the city imposed. Although itís fine building, such limitations in conjunction with zoning is especially detrimental to lower manhattan.

  6. #216

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    Goldman didn't want a higher building. They were considering a shorter one.

    I still don't get Amex. I figured they would encourage Goldman to go higher. "You stick your neck out, we'll hunker down behind."
    :P

  7. #217

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    Ironically, the city is pushing for higher buildings in Midtown. But don't forget that there are at least a couple of residential towers planned Downtown that will top 800 ft - and there are 5 new WTC towers that will top 800 ft also.

  8. #218
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    oh well... At least they are building something.

  9. #219

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    Why the depression?

    It has the possibility of being an outstanding building.

  10. #220

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    Actually, it seems that ~750 foot buildings continue to be the sweet spot on both return on investment and on ability to get financing. Seems like the bankers just love them.

    It takes something special to get people up over that hump.

  11. #221

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    We should be happy that they are building a new high rise in lower manhattan. We should not be sad just because this new building is only about 40 feet lower than the one in Jersey City. There will be many buildings over 780 in lower manhattan in the near future. What will be lost from height will pobably be recoverd by beauty. I hear great things about the desighn and how it is suppose to relate with the hudson river. Its pobably gonna be better looking than the Jersey city one wich still looks nice but it resembles 2 international finance center too much. The freedom tower should be enough to make people happy about height in lower manhattan.

  12. #222

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stern
    Im disappointed with the 740 foot height, though I like what Goldman Sachs is doing. Im more frustrated with the 800 foot top that the city imposed. Although itís fine building, such limitations in conjunction with zoning is especially detrimental to lower manhattan.
    Lower manhattan is not aloud to build over 800 ft anymore?

  13. #223

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    Lower manhattan is not aloud to build over 800 ft anymore?
    Lets not give anyone a heart attack here. The height limit for this particular site is 800 feet, just as the height limit imposed at Columbus Circle was 750 feet.

  14. #224

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    Right. And as I mentioned above, you have at least two towers planned outside of the WTC site that will reach above 800 ft. The WTC site itself will produce 5 towers above that height.

  15. #225

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    First signs of construction: A drilling rig is on the site to make test borings.

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