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Thread: 440 West 42nd Street at 10th Avenue - 60 Story Tower - by Arquitectonica

  1. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    Two positive aspects of this project:

    Where will Robin Byrd shoot her cable show now that the studios on 42nd / 10th Ave. are gone? (Is she even around anymore?)
    Is it true that Robin Byrd shot her cable show in the 42nd/10th ave studios? It is still being aired but not sure if the shows are new...

  2. #47
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    I thought it was shot on 26th Street in Barry Z's studio / sex club.

  3. #48
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ She may have shot there too, but I'm pretty sure she shot at the 10th Ave studios at one point.

  4. #49
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Default Cirque de Soleil comes to 42nd St.?

    Offstage Drama Surrounds Theater Space on 42nd Street

    New York Times
    October 27, 2005
    By CHARLES V. BAGLI

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/10/27/ny.../27cirque.html


    The developer Stephen M. Ross's plan to bring Cirque du Soleil to West 42nd Street in Manhattan has sparked a bitter drama worthy of the Broadway stage, a collision of art and commerce in a city where real estate development is constantly making and remaking neighborhoods.

    Mr. Ross is not considering a late-life career change to Broadway producer. But he does want to insert the impossibly contorting human circus into a permanent home in a 60-story apartment building he plans to build three blocks west of Times Square.

    The project has touched off an imbroglio that pits the developer against theater enthusiasts, the local community board and some city officials and seeks to plumb the definition of "legitimate theater" - a murky rubric that has come to embrace drama, musicals and even puppets.

    Mr. Ross, chairman of Related Companies, wants to take advantage of a city zoning regulation, a "theater bonus" created last year to encourage the building and preservation of theatrical space on the stretch of 42nd Street just west of Theater Row. The bonus would enable him to build a taller tower than would normally be allowed and reap the sales of ever more valuable apartments, in exchange for building a $140 million, 1,800-seat theater for Cirque.

    To make way for the project, Related has already demolished the 286-seat Houseman Theater and the 199-seat Fairbanks Theater on 42nd Street.

    But critics say that the zoning bonus was intended to nurture struggling, and often homeless, Off Broadway theater companies, not a commercial juggernaut like Cirque du Soleil. And, they say, the large complex Mr. Ross has in mind does not belong in the residential neighborhood that is emerging there.

    "Cirque can go anywhere it wants," said John Schultz, executive director of MCC Theaters, the company that originated the plays "Wit" and "Frozen." "It doesn't have to be on 42nd Street, a neighborhood for Off Broadway theaters. You took theaters out and you should put theaters back."

    MCC Theaters has been forced by rising rents and a scarcity of space in the theater district to jump from a home in Hell's Kitchen 20 years ago to West 28th Street, then to the Lucille Lortel Theater in Greenwich Village, where it now resides. But next year, when its lease expires, the troupe will have to move again.

    In contrast, Cirque du Soleil, based in Canada, performs all over the world, pulling in revenues of $500 million a year. It has four theaters in Las Vegas and is building a permanent theater at Disney Tokyo that will open in 2008. During the summer, it joined Related and Clear Channel Communications in proposing a takeover of the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach.

    Anna Hayes Levin, a co-chairwoman of the land use committee at Community Board 4, which covers 42nd Street, said the board had initially supported Related's application for a theater zoning bonus based on its original proposal: to replace the two small theaters it demolished and build a "classical music center" that would be overseen by the Orchestra of St. Luke's. That project also had the city's blessing.

    But in a move that Ms. Levin described as a case of "bait and switch," Related soon abandoned that idea, proposing instead to create space for House of Blues, a large nightclub and music hall. When that proposal ran into opposition from the City Planning Department and the community board, she said that Related quietly began talking about building a large theater for Cirque, as well as the classical music center.

    "It's a Times Square entertainment use that brings large crowds all at once to what is fundamentally a residential area," Ms. Levin said of the Cirque theater.

    Related executives contend that they never committed to replacing the Off Broadway theaters. On Oct. 6, Mr. Ross and executives from Clear Channel, his partner, took the Cirque project to the Planning Department. City officials and real estate executives who have spoken to Mr. Ross say that Related is planning a tower with about 800 apartments and has hired the architectural firm Arquitectronica to design it. They said Mr. Ross wanted the zoning bonus so he could build additional commercial space.

    Jeff Blau, the president of Related, who has spearheaded the effort to persuade city planners and community groups, did not return calls requesting comment.

    The zoning bonus, potentially worth millions of dollars, was the city's attempt to persuade developers to build and preserve space for Off Broadway theaters, which have been a launching pad for many actors and productions.
    Officials are now debating whether Cirque can be classified "legitimate theater," as zoning regulations require, and whether it should get the benefit.

    The city has long wanted to find a permanent home for Cirque, which has performed under a tent at Battery Park City and on Randalls Island. Indeed, Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff had backed an ultimately unsuccessful Related plan to build a Cirque theater at the South Street Seaport.

    But determining whether Cirque qualifies for the bonus on 42nd Street is all the more difficult because the zoning regulations do not define the term "legitimate theater."

    Critics contend that Cirque productions are wonderfully entertaining shows of high-wire and trapeze acts, clowns and contortionists, not theater. Further, Cirque is a robust profitmaking entity.

    "The idea of theater bonuses is a key to the quality of life in the city," said Fred Papert, president of the 42nd Street Development Corporation, a nonprofit organization that has overseen the development of Theater Row. "But the idea that Related, Cirque and Clear Channel would get a bonus is plain flat-out greed, corporate charity, and simply an appalling idea."




  5. #50
    Forum Veteran krulltime's Avatar
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    Oh wow... I love Cirque du Soleil... Although I wish they will reconcider downtown again. But I will be ok with them to be anywhere else in the city.

    Hope they get in on 42nd street.

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    It would be ideal on the SE corner of 42nd & 8th Ave or, as you said, downtown. (Or, in the new Downtown Brooklyn!).

    The last line of that Times article is some of the worst press Related has received.

  7. #52
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Bad Press -- but right on the money.

    Bait & Switch is exactly what this is.

    As the article states, the incentives mentioned were intended to protect / encourage small theatre operations (such as were taken down to build this project).

    Another problem for Cirque de Soleil regarding these incentives is that they have often operated as a non-union production, which just won't go in the Times Square area -- especially if they are asking for breaks / bonuses as described.

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    It's not quite bait and switch. They aren't just slipping Cirque in without telling anyone. Although Related was planning on a 'music center' or whatever, everything in NYC is theoretical until it opens.

    I personally would love to have Cirque there. Maybe it would spur the 7 getting expanded (I live on 12th avenue, I am a bit partial ). Also, I saw Cirque when i was little in a half-sized theater, thus limited effects, it would be nice having the New York home to it up the street from me.

    What is best though is people claiming Cirque De Soleil isn't a form of theater. It's not as if the performers just stand there, do a trick and leave; it's all extensively choreographed to well timed music, utilizing talented, strong (and flexible) individuals. People in New York are great at being hypocrites I guess...they use whatever they can to get only what they want, then change the definitions if somone else tries to introduce something along the same lines.

    Ahhhh, good times.

  9. #54
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Y.I.M.B.Y. (Yes In My Back Yard)

    Quote Originally Posted by ld876
    It's not quite bait and switch. They aren't just slipping Cirque in without telling anyone. Although Related was planning on a 'music center' or whatever, everything in NYC is theoretical until it opens.

    I personally would love to have Cirque there. Maybe it would spur the 7 getting expanded (I live on 12th avenue, I am a bit partial ). Also, I saw Cirque when i was little in a half-sized theater, thus limited effects, it would be nice having the New York home to it up the street from me.

    What is best though is people claiming Cirque De Soleil isn't a form of theater. It's not as if the performers just stand there, do a trick and leave; it's all extensively choreographed to well timed music, utilizing talented, strong (and flexible) individuals. People in New York are great at being hypocrites I guess...they use whatever they can to get only what they want, then change the definitions if someone else tries to introduce something along the same lines.
    Ahhhh, good times.
    What a breath of fresh air!
    Great quote BTW, Id876. I would characterize you as a YIMBY.
    That's an acron. I just made up to describe people who want construction in their neighborhoods as opposed to the selfish, ever-present NIM's.
    Good to see people like you exists in NY--just wished you guys were more vocal in support of projects.

    As for the Related/Cirque proposal, call it what you will but ultimately it is good for the city. Cirque won't be around forever and when they depart, the theatre will still be there, providing a large space for performances of any kind and enriching the city's cultural richness. Here's hoping Mr. Ross gets what he wants.

  10. #55
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ Cirque de Soleil rakes in multi-millions of dollars in profit each year.

    I'm all for them finding a permanent home in NYC -- as long as NY tax payers don't pay part of the bill.

    Why should any publicly-funded / tax-break initiative be given to the building a home for such an enterprise?

  11. #56

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    Yesterday

    View to the west


    Along 42nd Street


    All I could get of the site (through a slit between the gates)



  12. #57
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    Default Excuse me but . . .

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1
    ^ Cirque de Soleil rakes in multi-millions of dollars in profit each year.

    I'm all for them finding a permanent home in NYC -- as long as NY tax payers don't pay part of the bill.

    Why should any publicly-funded / tax-break initiative be given to the building a home for such an enterprise?
    . . . where in that above article does it say that Related is seeking any "public-funded / tax-break initiatives?"

  13. #58

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    ... in the "zoning bonus, potentially worth millions of dollars," intended to foster SMALL theatres.

  14. #59
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    ^ Thank you, buff

  15. #60
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    Buff, my dear, you are wrong and so are you, Lofter1.
    Please re-read the article.

    Related is looking for a "zoning bonus." This means they want to build more space than the zoning allows. Taxpayers are NOT paying for or financing this additional space or for that matter, the theatre.

    There is also no mention of this added space being tax exempt, so if anything, the city gets ADDITIONAL tax revenue if Related is allowed to build more.
    Nice try.

    Also from the article:
    "Cirque can go anywhere it wants," said John Schultz, executive director of MCC Theaters, the company that originated the plays "Wit" and "Frozen." "It doesn't have to be on 42nd Street, a neighborhood for Off Broadway theaters. You took theaters out and you should put theaters back."
    Let me get this straight, he's saying that "Cirque can go anywhere it wants" but then says that they shouldn't be on 42nd St.?
    Hmm . . . so he doesn't really mean anywhere, does he?
    Typical.
    Last edited by antinimby; October 28th, 2005 at 02:31 AM.

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