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  #61  
Old Posted Sep 29, 2009, 11:14 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2009/real-es...-tower-theater

Related Pushes Ahead on 42nd Street Tower-Theater


curbed.com

By Eliot Brown
September 29, 2009

Recession be damned: Stephen Ross is building a tower.

The Related Companies, the luxury apartment giant run by Miami Dolphins owner Mr. Ross, is pressing ahead with a 59-story rental/condo/hotel tower on 42nd Street and 10th Avenue.

Last October, Related laid out its plans for the lovely block by the entrance ramps to the Port Authority Bus Terminal, announcing that the base of the building would be the new home for the Signature Theater Company, with three Frank Gehry-designed theaters.

The site has sat as a fallow pit—with a completed foundation—for the better part of 2009, while the company pondered its future amid a recession, and Related executives negotiated with unions to wrest concessions and make the tower less costly. But last week green shoots sprouted as Related put up a giant construction crane; and Tuesday, the company and labor officials went public with an accord that gave Related additional cost-cutting concessions.

A Related spokeswoman said that between savings from labor, contractors and design, the building’s construction cost will drop 20 to 25 percent. (That’s not bad: Average costs in mid-2009 were down about 20 percent from the peak a year earlier.)

Should the current plan indeed turn into reality, it would put an end to Related’s years-long quest to put something between Dyer and 10th avenues. First, the company proposed a tower with a base that had a classical music center; then a House of Blues music hall; then a home to Cirque du Soleil, an idea shot down by Amanda Burden’s City Planning Commission.

The other key to Related’s success here: loans. The company had financing in place before the economy imploded, in part because it’s doing 163 below-market rate apartments.
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  #62  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:15 PM
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http://www.observer.com/2009/real-es...related-things

On Development and Related Things


Bruce Beal Jr., 39, runs the day-to-day development and affordable-housing operations of Related Companies, one of the city’s biggest and most active developers. He talked last week about building on the far West Side; not building in Williamsburg; the mayor’s affordable-housing efforts; the Speyers’ Stuy Town challenges; the new SJB Bank; and who succeeds Related’s chairman, Stephen Ross.


By Eliot Brown
October 12, 2009

The Commercial Observer: Tell me about this building you’re building at 42nd and 10th.

Mr. Beal: At the end of ’07—it was a $900 million deal, we got $700 million of financing. That was all put together prior. … We built the foundation and I think then we woke up in the middle of ’08, and we said, ‘The market’s changing drastically, the cost structure doesn’t work anymore.’ Rather than just putting the blinders on, and saying it’s going to be what it’s going to be, we basically shut the job down. … We went to a nine-month process where we did everything from look at the design of the building—how do we make it more efficient to the materials—and then working with all the contractors and our design team to try to make it much more efficient, and then at the same time, obviously, we were very, I think, thoughtful and also diligent about the way we thought about the unions and the labor and the way the job was going to built.

How much do you think you said you’ve reduced costs by?
Twenty percent.


Does it depend on the market picking up in order for it to be successful?
It’s a question of building for the future. It’s still a long construction period, like two-plus-year construction period; it’s a big building. And every single day we have to continue to work to deliver that business plan, and if things change again we’re going to have to adjust that business plan accordingly.

You’ve started a new bank. First, with the name of it: It’s SJB Bank?

Yeah.

So is that Stephen, Jeff and Bruce? [Stephen Ross is Related’s chairman and CEO, and Jeff Blau is its president.]

Yeah. It’s a placeholder.

What’s the purpose? That’s to buy new assets?

We’re working with the F.D.I.C., and we’re not allowed to comment on what we’re going to do. But there are opportunities that we think exist. And we’re excited to work with the F.D.I.C. We have a bank charter, and we think there’s a good business there. That’s about all we can say. … We’re principals in the bank outside of Related. … We have a separate management team that would be completely independent of Related.

At Related, is anyone else a partner? It’s just you and Jeff, and Stephen is the chairman?

Yes.

Are you two the heirs apparent?

You have to ask Stephen. … I’ve been with Stephen and Jeff for 14 years. We all work great together. Stephen’s not going anywhere. We have a great team; we have a lot of great professionals up and down. We have a good plan to allow for the company to continue, and I think that was what was most important for Stephen, that the company have a legacy going forward that survived—that it could continue, it wasn’t something that was just going to end.

How’s your role differentiated from Stephen and Jeff?

I think the easier way to think of it is, all the sorts of nuts and bolts that go into getting these projects built, running sort of the day-to-day operations on the development side is really my responsibility. … I also work with the affordable-development group.

The city’s housing plan has taken a pretty big cut in terms of the budget.
We think that one of the things that has to happen is the city needs to be very aggressive, with the state, at the federal level. We have to ask and push the administration in Washington at the federal level to provide capital. The way you produce affordable housing is having capital. Without continued federal support, it’s not going to happen.

With Stuyvesant Town, you guys bid for it [in 2006].

We did. We were not in the same atmosphere as the winning bidders.

Even with a lower bid, do you think you would be regretting it or wincing if you had won?

The business plan that we had was very different than the one the current owners have. And, look, there’s a big element of this that’s just the market. … Obviously, you’re seeing the results of a lot of leverage in this case, and ultimately, I think if you look at this, there’s an opportunity here to potentially restructure the overall deal to create something that will be better maybe in the long run for everybody.

Meaning—

I think you can restructure and allow for certain units to be recycled and used for workforce housing and affordable, and you can have a community that’s diverse. That’s a good thing. … But at this point, it’s a private deal; it’s in private hands.

Would you consider it if it went on the market again?

We look at a lot of deals. We looked at it the first time; I’m sure we would look at it.

Why didn’t you guys look at Williamsburg or downtown Brooklyn after the city rezoned them in 2005? A lot of the city’s developers flocked there.

We looked at certain places like Williamsburg, and we said that the land prices, the escalation, the value increase over a very short period of time just didn’t make sense. … We were worried about oversupply. And at the cost basis where land was trading, we didn’t think the numbers made sense.

Was that a good decision?

It looks like it was. … When things are priced correctly in Manhattan and the five boroughs, a product gets absorbed. We have a vibrant community and people want to live here, and things will get reset and the product will get absorbed, and I think there are a lot of markets in the country you can’t say that about.

With that said, you invested in another emerging market in the city—the West Side.

It’s hard to be super-optimistic about what’s going on, but at the same time, we believe long term in New York, and you have to have a long-term view with projects like that.

Are you actually ready to sign on the dotted line [to develop over the West Side rail yards]?

Yes.

Stephen’s taken issue with real estate taxes being too high. Is that really the case in New York?

We believe that the real estate tax system has to be overhauled. It has to be studied. … The increase in real estate taxes for commercial properties has been significant, … and believe it or not, the burden is being passed on to the renter. The renter is paying, at this point, one-third of their rent is going to real estate taxes.

The commercial renter?

The residential tenant.

What’s the solution?

The overall system has to be looked at. A renter is paying one-third of their rent in taxes, yet the owner is not paying the same amount of taxes, and we actually don’t really understand why that exists. We’ve asked the question, and we hope the city continues to not only study it but look at making some changes.

It’s probably a difficult time politically to get a change through, given that the city has a lot of budget gaps coming up.

Politically, I would think that the city and the state would care about the renter, and would not want a system that was unfair … and didn’t really deal with a rental building any different than homeownership.

If it were that easy, why wouldn’t REBNY be able to partner with tenant groups, who definitely are loud and have political sway?

That’s not really what REBNY does. I think it’s important that we make sure the issues are brought up, and studied and hopefully dealt with by the administration. REBNY’s not looking to go on a campaign with tenant groups.
ebrown@observer.com
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  #63  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:17 PM
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Note that model of the proposed "Penn East" tower, between 1 and 2 Penn Plaza...
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  #64  
Old Posted Oct 12, 2009, 11:51 PM
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^ Looks like about 1,100 feet to me.

But back on topic, I wonder if the design of this tower has changed based on Bruce Beal's comments regarding - and I paraphrase - value engineering of the materials.
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  #65  
Old Posted Oct 13, 2009, 12:20 AM
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Originally Posted by colemonkee View Post
I wonder if the design of this tower has changed based on Bruce Beal's comments regarding - and I paraphrase - value engineering of the materials.
Hard to say because we've seen so many different renderings. I'm still not exactly sure what this tower will look like, other than a large mass.
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  #66  
Old Posted Nov 13, 2009, 9:57 PM
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http://curbed.com/archives/2009/11/1...ut_of_hell.php

42nd Street Mystery Tower Begins Rise Out of Hell



Friday, November 13, 2009, by Pete

The 440 West 42nd Street skyscraper from the Related Companies has started to sprout from what was, not so long ago, a rancid old swimming hole west of Times Square. The architects who are reportedly in charge, Arquitectonica, haven't shown us what will rise here and the folks at Related remain non-committal. But this full-block 59-story mixed-use development (which once hoped to house a theater for Cirque de Soleil) has been through so many changes that there's a veritable library of designs to look at. Those fanatics over at Wired New York have been following this one for years. They did the archiving; we present the design highlights in the handy gallery above.

What we think we know is that Frank Gehry is still in line to design a theater that'll be tucked inside (although, given the site parameters, it's unlikely we'll get another stackable playpen like the one Frank's crew has preliminarily proposed for downtown). DOB records show that there will be a number of "party rooms" inside, both down low and up on top, and that hotel rooms (37 per floor) will rise to the 23rd floor with apartments all the way up to 59.

Now cranes are standing tall over 42nd Street, blocking the views from Manhattan Plaza across 42nd Street. Pumpers are spraying concrete all around the site and floors are rising. Pigeons, yearning for their old haunts, are keeping an eye on everything.

__


__


__


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  #67  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2009, 12:07 AM
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Way things are going right now, I wouldn't past the architects to throw everyone for a serious loop.
     
     
  #68  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2009, 12:26 AM
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Got to think that Arquietectonica and Related are enjoying the suspense surrounding the non-disclosure of this buildings design. How eles can you explain their being so coy when the question is being constantly asked.
     
     
  #69  
Old Posted Nov 14, 2009, 11:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Antares41 View Post
Got to think that Arquietectonica and Related are enjoying the suspense surrounding the non-disclosure of this buildings design. How eles can you explain their being so coy when the question is being constantly asked.
Could be that it's none of the above. But sooner or later the cat will be outta the bag...
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  #70  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2009, 12:47 AM
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City to invest in theater construction at Related's 440 West 42nd Street



December 22, 2009


The city has partnered with the Signature Theatre Company and Related Companies to build a Frank Gehry-designed theater at Related's new residential building and hotel at 440 West 42nd Street at 10th Avenue, according to a press release sent out prior to this morning's announcement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg and City Council Speaker Christine Quinn. The city will contribute $25 million toward construction of the $60 million theater, Bloomberg said. The arts facility will serve as a new home for the Signature Theatre Company, allowing it to more than double the number of audience members that it can accommodate at its current location at 555 West 42nd Street near 11th Avenue.

The new $800 million, 59-story residential complex in which the theater will reside will have 800 housing units, including 160 low-income residences, and will create 700 construction jobs. Construction of the LEED silver-certified residential complex is expected to be complete in 2011, with construction of the theater finished in 2012. Bloomberg emphasized the significance of pushing forward with the project, even during trying financial times, during the press conference. "There was a period when the future of the project was in question -- as were its 700 construction jobs and hundreds of units of much-needed housing," Bloomberg said. "Today it's serving as a prime example that -- despite the national economic downturn -- large-scale projects are still happening."
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  #71  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2009, 1:20 AM
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The theater sounds interesting, but if that’s the final design for the tower portion, then meh; not doing much for me. Nonetheless it’s still nice to get another addition to the ever-growing 42nd Street canyon.
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  #72  
Old Posted Dec 23, 2009, 11:36 PM
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With 59 floors, I think the Emporis stats which came from that old DOB permit are inaccurate. But I guess we won't know the true height for quite some time...
     
     
  #73  
Old Posted Dec 24, 2009, 3:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Dac150 View Post
The theater sounds interesting, but if that’s the final design for the tower portion, then meh; not doing much for me. Nonetheless it’s still nice to get another addition to the ever-growing 42nd Street canyon.
That could well be the final design, or they could have just picked one out of a hat to run with that article...

But regardless, the massing stays the same, its one large residential...

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  #74  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2009, 5:01 PM
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Ok, bunch of permit info:

We're looking at 57 stories and 627 feet. From what I can tell, some filings are for 55 stories (which appear to be the residential portion), and 59 stories (which are for things like sprinklers, which suggest a few mechanical floors). Also, the address for the building is actually 442 w42nd st, having subsumed a TON of house numbers on the block. If someone would be so kind as to touch up the title, that would be helpful to check future info on the building.

http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/Pr...id=4&restore=1
     
     
  #75  
Old Posted Dec 28, 2009, 6:19 PM
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Thanks for he updates, Roldan.
     
     
  #76  
Old Posted Dec 30, 2009, 1:53 AM
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Gehry Takes the Stage
City gift raises curtain on theater in Times Square tower








Matt Chaban
12.22.2009


Times Square has long been associated with Broadway theater and towering hotels, but big-name architecture is a recent arrival, with the likes of Renzo Piano and FXFowle popping up only in the last decade. The Related Companies is bringing all three attractions together under a 59-story roof as construction gets underway on a new hotel and condo project on 10th Avenue.

The $800 million tower is being designed by Times Square veterans Arquitectonica, while Frank Gehry is making his debut in the neighborhood with a performing arts complex for the Signature Theatre Company in the base of the new building. Today, the developer announced a $25 million contribution to the project from the Bloomberg administration, helping secure the Signature’s new $60 million performance space.

As in any good drama, the theater company has had its ups and downs as it sought a new home. First, it was to be part of a $700 million cultural pavilion at Ground Zero shared with the Joyce Theater. When that project faltered, the Signature looked across the street at Fiterman Hall, a condemned CUNY building that had been completed just before the 9/11 attacks and needed to be rebuilt, though that too would have cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Eventually, the company came to a tentative agreement with Related last fall for space in the new tower, a deal that was finalized by today’s announcement.

“This was just the perfect arrangement for us,” James Houghton, founding director of the Signature Theatre Company, said in an interview after the event. He added that Gehry has remained on the project throughout, and is now putting the finishing touches on models of the design, which will be displayed in a room of their own at the Manhattan Plaza garage, halfway between the company’s new home and its old one on 9th Avenue.

Though Houghton repeatedly referred to Gehry’s design for the new theater as “modest,” he insisted that the project cost less than a tenth of what it did at Ground Zero for good reason. To begin with, the Joyce is no longer involved, cutting the programming in half.

There are further savings because the foundation for the project, so to speak, is already in place, as the Signature will pay only for the fit out of its new space in the Related building, whereas before it was navigating the morass of subway lines and supply roads that ran some five stories beneath the original project at Ground Zero. It also has a larger footprint in the new building, meaning that three theaters—one 300- and two 200-seaters—two rehearsal spaces, and a lobby, cafe, and bookstore can all occupy one floor instead of being balanced across multiple stories.


The recession has also benefited the project as construction costs have fallen, with $60 million buying much more than it did a few years ago. “The numbers tell the story,” Houghton said. “We’ve got the same programming but a much more affordable result.”

Fundraising has also been robust, with $16 million already committed to the theater from donors, which leaves $19 million remaining after the city’s $25 million grant. Nonetheless, Houghton anticipated construction beginning next year, with completion due by 2012.

At today’s press conference, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg called the project a sign of the city’s ongoing recovery. “The fact that Related Companies is moving forward with the major development project now is great news and will have a profound impact, not only on the cultural industry and the city’s skyline, but also on the local economy,” the mayor said.

Related has had its own travails at the site, which went dormant last fall. As did the theater, the developer used the opportunity to negotiate more favorable contracts with suppliers and trade unions, and construction commenced in September. The Arquitectonica- and Ishmael Levya-designed project is seeking a LEED Silver rating, and will include 800 affordable and luxury housing units and hotel rooms. Related spokesperson Joanna Rose said that previously published renderings of the project are out of date, though new ones can be expected some time after Gehry unveils his design.

Related is also celebrating today because its rezoning of Hudson Yards was approved yesterday by the city council, following approval of a new affordable housing arrangement by the planning commission. Asked whether that project, which was planned by SOM, would include high-profile designers like Gehry or Arquitectonica, Rose said that decision is still being made. “We haven’t made any determination on who the architects will be for the individual buildings,” she said.

Matt Chaban
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  #77  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 10:32 PM
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Not one of the tallest, but definitely one huge development going up.
Also looks a lot like this rendering...




JANUARY 15, 2010










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  #78  
Old Posted Jan 15, 2010, 10:59 PM
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A building occupying an enitre city block is definitely one huge development.
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  #79  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 5:51 AM
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I really hope the building is different from that old rendering.

In any case, this building will be a massive improvement in the area. This area looks bleak and "empty". It will also block that absolutely hideous zebra building from the skyline!!!!!

More towers in this area, please!
     
     
  #80  
Old Posted Jan 16, 2010, 1:26 PM
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In any case, this building will be a massive improvement in the area. This area looks bleak and "empty". More towers in this area, please!
I wouldn't say it was bleak and empty, at least as compared to the far west side where there isn't a steady stream of pedestrians and traffic. The site certainly could have used that subway station (which the city decided to bypass for now). This is the site of the only other stop on the 7 line extension besides the terminus at 34th Street (site of the Girasole and former World Product Center).
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