Cooper Union Takes a Step Toward Developing
51 Astor Place
mrdavisdc via flickr.com
51 Astor Place
by Eliot Brown
December 21, 2007
Cooper Union seems to be moving closer to selling its engineering building at 51 Astor Place, as it recently bought itself out of a clause with the city requiring that the building be used solely for educational use, property records show.
The New York Post reported in March that the college was shopping the building around, though no buyers have emerged publicly since. (Studley’s Woody Heller, who, as of March was representing Cooper Union on the sale, declined to comment.)
Amending a 1959 agreement with the city, Cooper Union paid $979,750 earlier this month to the Bloomberg administration to drop a restriction that the building be used for “educational purposes only.” Though, it looks like either the university or some other institution will retain use in part of the site, as the amended agreement requires that at least 40,000 square feet of the site be used for education, according to property records.
A spokeswoman for Cooper Union did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
(Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects have a development study of the site posted on their Web site here)
Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn Architects
51 Astor Place
New York, New York
Centered on Cooper Square in downtown Manhattan, the Cooper Union campus serves as a transition between the lower-scaled East Village and the greater bulk of NoHo. It is a location that permits and demands much activity and a strong design. Ehrenkrantz Eckstut and Kuhn Architects planned a new academic building and a combined commercial and academic building for the school that considered both the eclectic surroundings and the programmatic needs of an institute of higher learning.
On Third Avenue, the Hewitt Building responds to the lively street life with ground floor activity and a welcoming entrance that encourages pedestrian traffic. By using a diversity of materials, setbacks, a transparent vertical zone, and height variations, the building appears to be more than one structure. Atop the roof, a creative landscape installation disguises a complicated HVAC system.
I agree. It's a nice building and what's currently there is horrible.
Hmm, the renderings look old. Note there's no Sculpture for Living in the first colour aerial.
The little obelisk in the street is interesting, though. Competition for the Cube?
Nothing to get excited about -- old plans/renderings.
Who knows, by the time a new buyer comes along with new plans, it might turn out to be ugly anyway. By the way, I like that miniature Washington Monument there.
Astor Place Ribbed for Fumihiko Maki's Pleasure
Friday, January 11, 2008
According to some breaking news in The Real Deal, Cooper Union is thisclose
to selling its building 51 Astor Place (above) to developer Edward Minskoff,
who would tear down the existing building and erect a new 430,000-square-
foot office tower. Minskoff has signed up Japanese starchitect Fumihiko
Maki—of WTC Tower 4 fame—to design the new building, which is described
thusly:The exterior of the 430,000-square-foot building between Third and FourthHas AOL's move to Astor Place created a hot new office district? We're a
avenues, near New York University, will be black granite with clear glass
and a ribbing material. The building will rise 145 feet, with one section
reaching 13 stories and a shorter part going up to 11 stories. Minskoff
said the building will aim for the U.S. Green Building Council's gold Leadership
in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) status.
It's very uniquely designed," Minskoff said, calling the small office
building "a jewel box."
little scared to find out, but according to Minskoff, six tenants have
expressed interest before he's even closed on the property.
· Sale expected soon at Cooper Union's 51 Astor Place [TRD]
[51 Astor Place photos via Property Shark]
Comments (1 extant)
The deal has already been approved and inked, but the land will remain Cooper's.
It's just a long term lease on the land because they pay extremely low taxes on property.
Thank goodness! I hate that eyesore!!
I would think the proximity to NYU would appeal to a lot of cutting edge new companies (biotech, new media, etc)
A black granite building sounds nice to me.
Rats were scurrying all around the immediate neighborhood!
^ I think that would look nice on the edge of the Charles River (or - hell, the Hudson River) - but I do not like it's placement in Astor Place - it looks like a big-box store with a small addition on top.
It also seems shortsighted to build such a small building (You'd think that any zoning restrictions would be eased because of the academic usage).
This building would be fine on any campus - but Cooper Union DOES NOT have a campus - and I wish that they'd build something (anything) more URBAN looking, if that makes sense.