All I can say is did we really need to do this?
Full article via design boom
All I can say is did we really need to do this?
Full article via design boom
Redeveloping the six-block-long property overlooking the Hudson will give a huge boost to efforts by the government and a growing number of developers to recreate the long-desolate far West Side of Manhattan.
Even Richard Kahan thinks it’s time to demolish the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center—and he built the facility 26 years ago, as head of the Convention Center Development Corp. Mr. Kahan also praises Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s proposal to transform the site into a mixed-use development modeled on Battery Park City—a project he also once led as the head of the BPC Authority.
“I don’t like seeing my buildings torn down, but a mixed-use project is the highest and best use for that site,” said Mr. Kahan.
Legions of real estate executives agree with him. They say that redeveloping the six-block-long property overlooking the Hudson will give a huge boost to efforts by the government and a growing number of developers to re-create the long-desolate far West Side of Manhattan. The governor’s vision of a mix of office buildings, apartment houses, museums and parkland for the 18-acre site would close a key gap. To the south below West 33rd Street is a fast-rising area along the hyper successful High Line and the ambitious Hudson Yards redevelopment. To the north across West 41st Street stands a bevy of newly constructed high-rise apartment towers.
“It’s a great location,” said Douglas Durst, chairman of the Durst Organization, a prominent family development firm. “I’m sure my family would be interested in it.”
New York history, however, is littered with big, bold plans that have gone nowhere, including plans for expanding Javits. The governor’s latest plans are particularly complicated. To move the project forward on the West Side, an immense new convention center must first be built in Queens, a task that carries its own challenges. Beyond that, crafting a new neighborhood on the Hudson will require billions of dollars, community consensus and a slew of government studies and approvals. And it comes as a time when financing for big projects has all but evaporated as developers from the neighboring Hudson Yards and Atlantic Yards in downtown Brooklyn can attest.
Lots of Upsides
Still, the proposal has significant advantages. The governor has anointed it a top priority, so he will likely use his considerable power to see it through. In addition, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has long set developing the far West Side and the city’s waterfront as goals of his administration. Meanwhile, the extension of the No. 7 subway line, slated to open in December 2013, will make it much easier to get there.
“There’s no reason this can’t be done,” said Mitchell Korbey, chair of the land use and environmental practice group at law firm Herrick Feinstein. “But projects like this take maybe 30 or 40 years.”
He said devising a detailed master plan that complements other initiatives in the area will be more important than building quickly. That means considering what Related Cos. and Oxford Properties Group are developing at Hudson Yards, a 26-acre site bounded by West 30th and West 33rd streets, on a platform over the rail yards west of Penn Station. Meanwhile, Brookfield Office Properties plans to build 5.2 million square feet of office space over the yards west of Ninth Avenue from West 31st to West 33rd streets. Hope also springs eternal that long-delayed plans to turn the stately post office across from Penn Station into a grand train depot named after the late Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan will materialize.
The developer with the most at stake is Related. It has several projects under way there. Late last year, Related and partner Oxford announced they would build the site’s first tower, a 51-story spire at West 30th Street that will be home for luxury leather-goods maker Coach. To build out the rest of the site, however, the developers must first erect a $1.6 billion platform over the tracks.
The timing of the Javits project could be critical for Hudson Yards. If it comes to fruition before Hudson Yards has lined up big tenants, Javits could pose a threat as a cheaper alternative, since it won’t require building a pricey platform. On the other hand, if the project takes too long, it could be an eyesore that drags down Hudson Yards’ value.
“We look forward to reviewing the details of the proposal, which is even further evidence of the potential of Manhattan’s West Side,” said a Related spokeswoman.
Source: Crain’s NY
Proclaiming it a “defining moment” that will revolutionize the city’s economy, Mayor Bloomberg yesterday offered a first look at Cornell University’s gleaming-new graduate school for applied sciences that will be built on Roosevelt Island.
“It will transform our economy,” the mayor declared at a press conference just 72 hours after Stanford University stunned City Hall by announcing it was dropping out of the yearlong competition to attract a premier engineering school that will serve as one of his administration’s enduring legacies.
Bloomberg described the proposal submitted by Cornell and its partner, Israel’s Technion, as “far and away the boldest and most ambitious.”
“Their proposal called for the most students, about 2,000 a year, the most faculty, about 300, and the most building space, over 2 million square feet,” he said.
Cornell announced last week that it had received a $350 million gift, the largest in its history, from an anonymous donor for the project.
That deep-pocketed donor was revealed yesterday as Charles Feeney, a Cornell alum who made billions as the founder of the Duty Free Stores.
Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corp., estimated that the number of engineering graduates here will increase by 85 percent once the campus is fully functional in 2037. Operations are scheduled to begin in leased space in September.
In addition to classrooms, labs and dorms, the $2 billion campus will includes “incubator space” for start-up companies and what was described as “spinout space” for commercial applications of research-and-development projects.
Cornell is also immediately establishing a $150 million fund for new tech ventures that agree to stay in the city for at least three years.
“History will write this was a game-changing time in New York City,” the mayor said at Cornell’s Upper East Side medical school.
Officials predicted that Cornell would eventually help generate 30,000 high-tech positions along with 20,000 construction jobs and 8,000 permanent jobs at the school.
The 11-acre school is to be built on land now occupied by Goldwater Hospital, whose patients are to be moved to the former North General Hospital Harlem.
Cornell-Technion’s proposed graduate school for applied sciences
* Location: 11 acres on Roosevelt Island now occupied by Goldwater Hospital
* Total square feet: 2 million
* Completion date: 2037
* Permanent jobs: 8,000
* Temporary construction jobs: 20,000
* Jobs created from high-tech spinoffs, licenses and corporate growth: 30,000
SOURCE: NYC Mayor’s Office
By ADA LOUISE HUXTABLE
May 13, 2009
Now that the age of irrational exuberance and outrageous excess is apparently over, can we please talk about real architecture again? It has been fun seeing just how far talent can stretch itself before achieving irrelevancy, but there are diminishing returns in watching more become less in an escalating game of real-estate toys for the superrich. It has been less fun to see how easily, and paradoxically, in a time of extreme affluence, the social contract that is an essential part of the art of architecture has been abrogated. Or at least driven under the radar by the kind of showy construction where creativity and cost are terminally confused. You do begin to wonder what happened to the art that could build with genuine grandeur and still serve and elevate ordinary lives.
As the hype and the construction stop, there is much soul-searching talk by born-again architects about modesty, sustainability and social and environmental responsibility. But I find it hard to believe that those operating in the stratosphere of pricey self-indulgence in an undimmed celebrity culture really get it, or that they are having even a tiny epiphany. Architecture has always been the enabler of excess, for better or worse, and architects will succumb again to the same seductive pieties about cutting-edge design and a trickle-down theory that simply doesn’t work. Full article
Cross posted from WSJ