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50-story Frank Gehry tower for Downtown

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50-Story Tower Will Go Up On Parking Lot Next to Hospital

by Etta Sanders

A 50-story residential tower, to be designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, is planned for the parking lot of NYU Downtown Hospital. The lower floors are expected to house retail stores and a 10,000-square-foot outpatient center for the hospital. Other floors may be the new home for Pace University's business school and student dorms.

The plans were disclosed by community representatives who met with the developer, Bruce Ratner.

Forest City Ratner acquired the rights to develop the site from the hospital in December 2003. A spokesman for Ratner said it was too soon to comment on specific plans of the site, including the choice the architect.

Pace University confirmed that they are in discussions with Ratner, but would not give details of any pending arrangement. "Conversations are taking place, but it is premature to say anything more at this time," said Christopher Cory, a Pace spokesman.

Gehry would be the second high-profile architect tapped to design a building in the area. Last month an apartment building of transparent cubes, designed by Santiago Calatrava, was announced for a location on South Street. Calatrava is the architect of the bird-shaped PATH terminal to be built at the World Trade Center site.

Members of Community Board 1, who had hoped the plans for the site would include a community facility, said they were surprised that Pace, a private university, would be part of the development.

One board member, Marc Donnenfeld, who lives in a 15-story building on Nassau Street adjacent to the parking lot, said he was also disturbed by the size of the proposed building.

"It's going to be huge," he said. "It's going to be like Gulliver in the land of the Lilliputians."

Suzanne Fass, a 22-year resident of 140 Nassau St., whose windows overlook the parking lot, agreed that 50 stories would be out of scale with the surrounding buildings.

"My main concern and the concern of people in this building is that he not occupy the lot in such a way that he cuts off the air," she said. "All we're asking is that he be a good neighbor."

But the community possesses little leverage to affect the plans.

"We can oppose a tower, but as a community board we technically don't have any capacity to do anything about it," said Madelyn Wils, chair of Community Board 1.

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Holy crap, that looks like a very innovative and refreshing tower, especially for a residential, that will really rejuvenate the area! But are they going to replace that parking lot with an indoor parking garage perhaps - as pro-transit as you can get, you can't sacrifice parking when it comes to emergency vehicles and families sending their sick for treatment.

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It's a nice tower. Unfortunately all of Gehry's work looks so similar. Can't he come up with something new? I think about every building of his built in the last few years is in that same style. The tower is basically just a vertical version of the Disney Concert Hall in LA.

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Holy crap, that looks like a very innovative and refreshing tower, especially for a residential, that will really rejuvenate the area! But are they going to replace that parking lot with an indoor parking garage perhaps - as pro-transit as you can get, you can't sacrifice parking when it comes to emergency vehicles and families sending their sick for treatment.

That's not a current design. It was his work for the NY Times tower design competition....Gehry meanwhile has his hands involved in a much larger development in Brooklyn that will include numerous buildings and a new basketball arena.

But for the 50-story Manhattan tower:

A 50-story residential tower, to be designed by renowned architect Frank Gehry, is planned for the parking lot of NYU Downtown Hospital.The lower floors are expected to house retail stores and a 10,000-square-foot outpatient center for the hospital. Other floors may be the new home for Pace University's business school and student dorms.

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I loved that design for NYTimes Tower. I thought it was too bad that that was not the one they went with.

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NY Post...

GEHRY LUXURY TOWER

By WILLIAM NEUMAN

April 19, 2004 -- Developer Bruce Ratner plans to use high-wattage architect Frank Gehry to design a 55-story, $210 million luxury apartment tower in lower Manhattan, after signing a deal to buy the site from NYU Downtown Hospital.

Ratner recently tapped Gehry for a proposed Nets basketball stadium with an adjoining office and residential complex in Downtown Brooklyn - but while approval for that deal is still far off, the lower Manhattan project may be closer to becoming a reality.

Sources familiar with the deal said Ratner has signed a contract with the hospital to pay in excess of $85 million for a parking lot between Spruce and Beekman streets, across the street from Pace University.

The deal also includes some 40,000 square feet of rent-free office or clinic space for the hospital and 400,000 square feet of dorms and classrooms for Pace.

Last February, the developer's Forest City Ratner Cos. received a preliminary authorization from the city's Housing Development Corp. for $131.4 million in tax-free Liberty Bonds to cover the land purchase and part of the construction costs, according to agency spokeswoman Tracy Paurowski.

Gehry is listed as the architect in HDC documents, which estimate the total cost of the project at $210 million.

The sale is expected to be finalized by summer.

In a recent meeting with members of Community Board 1, Ratner said he will use Gehry as the architect, and he has also committed to use Gehry in talks with hospital and city officials.

A Ratner representative, who spoke on condition of anonymity, confirmed that Gehry will design the building.

news04192004013.jpg

FRANK GEHRY

To design $210M bldg.

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NY Times...

Tower Would Create Residences, And Space for Pace University

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

April 20, 2004

A proposed residential tower designed by Frank Gehry, which would almost certainly add a twist to the Lower Manhattan skyline, is being considered for tax-exempt financing, the city's Housing Development Corporation said yesterday.

Forest City Ratner Companies would develop the tower. The building would rise 50 to 60 stories on what is now a parking lot behind N.Y.U. Downtown Hospital, across Spruce Street from Pace University, which might occupy about one-third of the new building. Under the current plan, there would be about 375 market-rate apartments, said Tracy J. Paurowski, a spokeswoman for the Housing Development Corporation.

Forest City Ratner has requested $131.4 million in tax-exempt financing through the Liberty Bond program toward the $210 million cost of the residential portion, Ms. Paurowski said. She said the corporation was not yet committed to approving the financing. Details of the project were first reported yesterday in The New York Post.

Besides the apartments and university space, the roughly 850,000-square-foot project would include about 40,000 square feet for the hospital, which owns the parking lot; 30,000 square feet of retail space; and 80,000 square feet of underground parking.

The project would allow a significant and visually distinctive expansion of the Pace downtown campus, which is understood to be a priority of its president, David A. Caputo, to handle a growing enrollment. Although no details are final, the university might take about 330,000 square feet of space in the new building, said a Pace official who requested anonymity because of the preliminary state of negotiations. There would be classrooms, largely for the business school; an art gallery; offices; and dormitory rooms.

Pace now has about 950,000 square feet of office, dormitory and classroom space in Lower Manhattan.

Forest City Ratner and the hospital declined to comment.

If the tower were completed, and depending on when, it would be the first high-rise building by Gehry Partners of Los Angeles. Until now, the firm has been best known for sinuous, undulating, polymorphic institutional buildings like the Guggenheim Bilbao in Spain and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles.

A Gehry tower would add an extra jolt to the future downtown skyline, along with the twisting Freedom Tower and a stack of 45-foot glass apartment cubes at 80 South Street.

Mr. Gehry is already working for Forest City Ratner on the proposed Brooklyn arena for the Nets basketball team. He was seriously considered, but not chosen, for the future headquarters of The New York Times on Eighth Avenue, between 40th and 41st Streets, which Forest City Ratner is developing with The New York Times Company.

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NY Times...

Big Project Moves Forward on One-Acre Site

By DAVID W. DUNLAP

May 19, 2004

State and city officials are putting together more than $370 million in tax-exempt financing for a project in Lower Manhattan that is remarkable for the mix of uses on a single acre: an apartment tower, a business school, a dormitory, an art gallery, a hospital, a parking garage and a good-size store.

The one-million-square-foot building, designed by Frank Gehry for Forest City Ratner Companies, would include 330,000 square feet of space for Pace University, whose main building is across Spruce Street, and a 25,000-square-foot ambulatory care unit for NYU Downtown Hospital, which stands next door on Beekman Street.

The developers are hoping to get up to $243 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bond financing for the commercial part of the project, up to $130 million in Liberty Bond financing for the residential tower and about $10 million in tax savings for Pace, which will lease its space with an option to buy it after eight years.

The state Liberty Development Corporation is expected today to formally declare its intent to issue the bonds for the commercial portion of the project.

Cobbling together such a complex financing package for such diverse users has involved tough negotiations.

"We clearly used the carrot and the stick in order to get this done," Deputy Mayor Daniel L. Doctoroff said yesterday in a telephone interview.

"It's a very complicated deal," Mr. Doctoroff said, "but it seemed to us to make such sense to have Pace and Forest City Ratner and NYU Downtown Hospital as partners. Everybody compromised."

A key stumbling block was a kind of paradox involving Pace and NYU Downtown. On one hand, to ensure its economic health, the hospital needed to get a good price for the parking lot on which the new tower is to be built. (One bond application form put the acquisition cost at $42 million.) But the higher the development cost, the harder it became for Pace, a nonprofit institution, to afford to be a part of the project.

"While the developer was open to discussions with Pace about its tenancy, it also has an alternative, high-value development strategy involving a fully residential building," according to a memorandum from Charles A. Gargano, the chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, to the directors of the Liberty Development Corporation.

"After protracted negotiations," the memo continued, "both sides had essentially walked away from the table and the developer was prepared to proceed with a residential deal. It was only significant pressure from the city that got the sides talking again."

What justified the effort, said Andrew M. Alper, the president of the City Economic Development Corporation, was that "you have, in one project, an awful lot of elements that all add to the recovery of Lower Manhattan." That includes 600 students in the Pace dormitory, who will "provide traffic for retailers downtown and enliven the streets."

Officials said the project would provide the equivalent of 1,546 full-time jobs in construction and development. They emphasized that no final actions had been taken yet on any of the applications. A similar point was made by David A. Caputo, the president of Pace, who said the deal awaited the approval of the university board.

In addition to the dormitory, Pace would use its space to house the Lubin School of Business, other classrooms, an art gallery, the admissions office and dining areas.

"We see this as a major reaffirmation of our investment and commitment to Lower Manhattan and also to the business and corporate community," Dr. Caputo said. "It gives a sense of an urban campus."

Forest City Ratner, which is the development partner of The New York Times Company in its new headquarters on Eighth Avenue, between 40th and 41st Streets, has kept quiet about its downtown project during the negotiations and preliminary design work.

James P. Stuckey, the executive vice president of Forest City Ratner, said yesterday that it is still too early even to say how tall the structure will be, since much depends on the layout of the apartment tower (estimated at 45 stories all by itself), the dormitory, the business school, the hospital unit and the plaza at the base of the building.

The expected action by the Liberty Development Corporation today would allow the developer to begin spending money that would eventually be reimbursable from the bond financing.

Given the involvement of Mr. Gehry, who is working for Forest City Ratner on the proposed Brooklyn arena for the Nets basketball team, Mr. Stuckey said, "We have a lot of confidence that this building will become a postcard for Lower Manhattan."

He added, "We love to do complicated projects."

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In response to all of the praise for Gehry's Tower in Brookly I suggest that you read the Alexandra Lange's article, "New Improved Brooklyn" that appeared in the May 3 issue of the NEW YORKER. A short synopsis of the article can also be read toward the end of my May 10 blog at Urban Paradoxes Blog

Frank A. Mills

URBAN PARADOXES

Urban Paradoxes

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First of all does any care about the people who are going to be affected by this tower?

Secondly, what makes one think that this neighborhood of Brooklyn needs to be revitalized? From what i hear from my contacts in Brooklyn, this is not the case. (Read the last part of my blog at http://urbanparadoxes.com on "revitilization.")

Thirdly, Just because it is a Gehry building doesn't make it right. Beyond that, my experiences with Gehry buildings (Peter B. Lewis, Clevleand; MIT; EMP, Seattle) is that they are poorly designed for their intent. We confuse artistic skins with practicality, not that we cna't have both.

Lastly, Forest City is not known for maintaining their structures after being built or for really caring about the community wherein they wish to build. It is about $$ and nothing more.

Frank

URBAN PARADOXES

http://www.urbanparadoxes.com

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First of all does any care about the people who are going to be affected by this tower? 

Secondly, what makes one think that this neighborhood of Brooklyn needs to be revitalized?  From what i hear from my contacts in Brooklyn, this is not the case.

Hm. Maybe you need new contacts in Brooklyn.... :rolleyes:

OH, and this particular thread is about a tower in Manhattan. I think you want the Brooklyn thread...

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well as a soon-to-be Pace student, this is quite an exciting project to me. I hope Pace can secure space in this proposed building because it desperately needs room to expand it's well-respected school of business as well as housing options for students. pace currently has leased properties scattered about the neighborhood between the brooklyn bridge and maiden lane but 600 more students in addition to those already living there would be a great boost to the area. and as pace grows, maybe someday the surrounding neighborhood could start to resemble washington square with student-oriented businesses and the like. i'll be living on campus...on the 17th floor of that building with the "Pace University" sign on top!

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i'll be living on campus...on the 17th floor of that building with the "Pace University" sign on top!

Cool. Then you'll have a great view of construction...

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AS it is now, the tower stands at 69 stories.

Venture Receives $243M Liberty Bond Inducement

Construction is expected to start early next year on a massive tower project that combines 24 lower floors to be used by New York University Downtown Hospital and Pace University with a residential component.

-In a unique arrangement, 455,000-sf of a one million-sf tower in Lower Manhattan will be used by New York University Downtown Hospital and Pace University, while the rest of the space will be taken up with residential housing. The project will receive a commercial Liberty Bond inducement of $243 million toward construction, while the proposal for the top 45 stories is currently being reviewed by New York City's Housing Development Corp. for residential Liberty Bonds.

Forest City Ratner Cos. is developing the site with architect Frank Gehry at the helm. Also included will be 20,000 sf for retail and 80,000 sf of below-grade public parking.

Sitting adjacent to the hospital

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It's a nice tower. Unfortunately all of Gehry's work looks so similar. Can't he come up with something new? I think about every building of his built in the last few years is in that same style. The tower is basically just a vertical version of the Disney Concert Hall in LA.

That's true. The curves and the architecture is so similar but it is making him famous. It is his trademark!

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