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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2006, 12:34 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | 250 E. 57th ST | 715 FT / 218 M | 59 FLOORS





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NY Sun

New Schools, 59-Story Tower To Rise at 57th St. and Second Ave.

By DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
October 9, 2006


Reviving a development model from the 1970s, the city will permit a private developer to build a soaring residential tower on a low-rise, under-utilized city-owned site in Midtown in exchange for hundreds of millions of dollars that will be used to build at least two new city schools.

The developer, the World-Wide Group, has made an agreement with the city for a 75-year lease of a 1.5-acre site on East 57th Street and Second Avenue, and it will make payments to the city worth $325 million. The developer will raze the two existing schools on the site, P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design, build two new schools that will accommodate more students, and develop a 59-story apartment tower and a long, four-story band of retail stores.

The city will issue about $130 million worth of bonds to build the schools through its educational construction fund, but the debt will be paid back with the developer's payments. The profit from selling the development rights is so great, according to city officials, that it will pay for capital improvements of other city schools around the five boroughs.

The executive director of the educational construction fund, run by the Department of Education, Jamie Smarr, said the city is now looking for additional, similar deals.

"Because our capital needs are so great versus the available resources, we are looking to greatly expand this model," Mr. Smarr said.


He said the conditions of the existing schools, P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design, are among the worst of any in Manhattan. Last year, with the support of the schools' principals, the city sought proposals from private developers to replace the schools and capture the development rights available at the site. World-Wide Group was the highest bidder, according to Mr. Smarr.

Because the planned development will occur on an as-of-right site, it does not require approval by the Planning Commission or the City Council.

The developer has met with the local community board and is in the final stages of planning and an environmental review. Construction on the schools is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2008, and should take about two years. The developer's lease payments will also pay for a temporary facility that will house the students during construction and will serve as a working school for about 20 years.

A partner at World-Wide Group, David Lowenfeld, said the developer was attracted to the opportunity to recreate "an eminently forgettable area," and he cited the value of having nearly 200,000 square feet of retail on one of Manhattan's busiest crosstown streets. One of the retail spaces could house a Whole Foods or another supermarket, according to the existing plans.

The residential tower, designed by architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, would be about 450,000 square feet. It would contain 320 residential units with rental apartments on the lower floors and apartments for sale up above. The residential tower would be separated from the schools by a courtyard. According to the plans, 20% of the rental units would be "affordable" and the developer would build 30 "affordable" units off-site under the inclusionary housing program.

The planned development is just a few blocks from the headquarters of Bloomberg LLP and One Beacon Court, a project by Vornado Realty Trust that mixed luxury apartments with ground floor retail, and that was fantastically successful, according to real estate experts.

Mr. Lowenfeld, a former executive director of the city's Industrial Development Agency during the Koch administration, would not rule out switching to commercial development of the tower, but he said he favored residential. An office tower would require a zoning change and approval by the Planning Commission and the City Council.

World-Wide Group has built about 1,350 residential apartments in Manhattan, and was a partner in the development of the mixed-use Worldwide Plaza on West 50th Street.

This will be the 16th time the city has leveraged real estate assets to build schools using the educational constructional fund, but the model has been dormant since the 1970s. Last year, the city signed a 75-year lease with a private developer to build a junior high school and a residential building on 91st Street and First Avenue on the site of an old, vacant school.

In the 1970s, the city leased the site of 3 Park Avenue to a developer who built a 42-story commercial tower with a public school in its base. The Verizon Building at 375 Pearl Street and the adjacent Murry Bergtraum High School, near Police Headquarters, is also a product of the same program.

In the 1990s, a city study identified several possible sites suitable for similar development plans, including PS 9 on 84th Street and Columbus, PS 6 on 84th Street and Madison, PS 290 on 82nd Street between First and Second Avenues, and PS 51 on 45th Street between Tenth and Eleventh Avenues.

One of the problems with the program, according to Mr. Smarr, is that it only benefited schools in Manhattan, where real estate values are higher and zoning allows denser development. But in the last few years, real estate values have soared in the outer boroughs, and the city is now seeking proposals from developers for a school site in Park Slope, according to Mr. Smarr.

The local City Council member, Daniel Garodnick, said he would be closely following the project as it moves towards construction.

Mr. Smarr said that the public benefit should outweigh any concerns about the height of the building or disruption during construction.

"We are getting three new schools, and the affordable housing component," Mr. Smarr said. "The public amenity is so great, it overwhelms whatever natural concerns someone might have over the scale of the tower."

Deputy Mayor Daniel Doctoroff called the project a "win-win."

"It's a terrific example of what the public and private sectors can achieve when they work together for the benefit of the community," Mr. Doctoroff said. "At the same time, this project will generate a financial return for the city that can be used to support school construction and renovation elsewhere."
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Last edited by NYguy; Dec 21, 2007 at 11:15 PM.
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2006, 8:32 PM
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Awesome news! I am glad they chose SOM as the architects. I am ok with their stuff. Can't wait to see the renderings!
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2006, 8:33 PM
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Are there any renderings or pics of this new tower? I'd like to se them.
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  #4  
Old Posted Oct 9, 2006, 10:00 PM
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Quote:
The developer will raze the two existing schools on the site, P.S. 59 and the High School of Art and Design, build two new schools that will accommodate more students, and develop a 59-story apartment tower and a long, four-story band of retail stores.

The city will issue about $130 million worth of bonds to build the schools through its educational construction fund, but the debt will be paid back with the developer's payments. The profit from selling the development rights is so great, according to city officials, that it will pay for capital improvements of other city schools around the five boroughs.

The executive director of the educational construction fund, run by the Department of Education, Jamie Smarr, said the city is now looking for additional, similar deals.
This is good news on many levels. The city has found another way new towers can benefit the city, with much needed school improvements. Under this model, we will begin to see even more towers going up.


Quote:
The residential tower, designed by architects from Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, would be about 450,000 square feet. It would contain 320 residential units with rental apartments on the lower floors and apartments for sale up above. The residential tower would be separated from the schools by a courtyard.

Because the planned development will occur on an as-of-right site, it does not require approval by the Planning Commission or the City Council.
It will be a slender residential tower. I'd say around 600 ft, maybe a little more. And I love as-of-right developments. They get into the ground quicker.
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  #5  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 11:38 AM
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If the city is smart, they will make more deals like this one in the future.

I see this as a win/win for the city.
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 12:22 PM
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My guess: 634 feet.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by JACKinNYC
My guess: 634 feet.
I'll top that - 635.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 1:00 PM
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Next to 42nd St. I'd say 57th has one of the most interesting set of towers in NYC, this may be no exception. This is really close to my area, and the school itself was actually re-clad 5-10 years ago, not sure if the interior was refurbished at all. It certainly is an eyesore as far as schools go.

I would bet that this tower will have commercial space, it could end up being a second Bloomberg tower in function - which wouldn't be bad at all. There's going to be very little community opposition to the tower as is, besides, commercial space will really be hot along second ave... some day
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 5:20 PM
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That could be one of the tallest on 2nd Avenue.
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  #10  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 11:04 PM
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I'd say 650 - 700 feet (if they decide to add something exceptional on the top).
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 10, 2006, 11:49 PM
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It will appear on the cityscape here:

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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2006, 12:10 AM
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Nice diagram, but a little old. Where is Bloomberg Tower?
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 11, 2006, 1:48 PM
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Nice diagram, but a little old. Where is Bloomberg Tower?
Yeah, its outdated (there's no Time Warner Center either) but its accurate as far as location goes.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 15, 2006, 2:01 PM
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NY Post

SCHOOLS 'DEVELOP' $TRATEGY

By ANGELA MONTEFINISE
October 15, 2006


The city is looking to capitalize on a booming real estate market by leasing the air rights over schools in exchange for new buildings or the cash to construct them.

"We are actively looking at air rights all over the city," said Jamie Smarr, executive director of the Department of Education's Educational Construction Fund, which handles the leases.

The city has been leasing school air rights since the 1970s, but it wants to do more of it, at a higher price, in a hotter market.

Last week, the DOE announced its latest project under the plan - the reconstruction of PS 59 and the HS of Art and Design on Second Avenue and East 57th Street.

Developers World-Wide Group signed a 75-year lease and will pay a total of $320 million in that period. As part of the deal, they will also replace the schools with new, larger buildings and develop a 59-story tower with retail and 320 residential units.

There have already been 12 projects using the leasing of air rights, 11 in the 1970s. They created 4,500 apartments and 1 million square feet of office space, Smarr said. The projects have leases of 75 or 99 years and pump $20 million into the fund every year.

Steve Spinola, president of the Real Estate Board of New York, called the program "a natural," saying most schools are not built to the maximum size allowed, leaving leftover development space, or air rights.

Under the program, the city issues bonds to developers to rebuild and expand existing school sites alongside residential, commercial or office space.

The developers pay annual rent and fees to the city at a negotiated rate based on the market. The funds help pay back the bonds and, once the debt is paid off, go toward the DOE's capital budget.
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Old Posted Oct 18, 2006, 10:24 PM
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commercial property news

Two New York City Schools Part of $500M Mixed-Use Development Plan



October 18, 2006
By Amanda Marsh


The corner of 57th Street and Second Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City will now be the home to two new expanded, ultra-modern schools as part of a $500 million, 1 million-square-foot mixed-used development.

The Education Construction Fund announced that developer World-Wide Group has been chosen to redevelop the site, currently home to the High School of Art and Design and Public School 59. When completed, the facility will include the two news schools, 170,000 square feet of retail and a residential tower with 320 new rental and condominium units (pictured). The project is being designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill L.L.P, with Ehrenkrantz Eckstut & Kuhn designing the P.S. 59 building.

The first phase of construction, which will take place over three years beginning in January 2008, will include the development and construction of the two new schools. During the phase, P.S. 59 will be relocated to a new school facility located within the boundaries of its existing district. When the school is completed, the relocation facility --which will also be newly constructed at an undecided location--will them become a permanent school. The new P.S. 59 will accommodate 730 students, up from its current 400, while the new High School of Art and Design will accommodate 1,400 students.

Both schools will frame an expanded open space, providing students a controlled area for recreational activities. A new side yard setback along 56th Street will also serve as an additional outdoor play area for schools. Additionally, the new development will also provide community facilities in the form of the schools’ cafeterias, a 500-seat theater, gymnasiums and parent community rooms.

The second phase of construction will involve the mixed-use portion. Twenty percent of the planned rental units will be affordable housing, with an additional 30 units of affordable housing built off-site.

World-Wide Group will lease the site from the Education Construction Fund for a 75-year period, in which it will make an annual lease and PILOT payments to the fund. The payments will cover the cost of both new schools, estimated to be $130 million, and generate additional revenues for other school capital projects. The developer was unable to comment by deadline.

According to State Senator Liz Krueger (D-NY), who represents the 26th State Senate Districts in which the schools are located, a number of public schools within the area, including P.S. 59, are significantly over capacity. Furthermore, the Department of Education has stated that the number of students living within the school’s areas is rising steadily each year.

That, in addition to what may eventually be 6,000 new apartments on former Con Edison sites at First Avenue between 35th and 41st Streets, would be an impossible burden on the schools, Krueger argued to the New York City Planning Commission three weeks ago.

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Old Posted Oct 19, 2006, 12:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Jularc
Awesome news! I am glad they chose SOM as the architects.
I better make it back there next summer.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2006, 4:40 AM
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Originally Posted by NYguy
commercial property news

Two New York City Schools Part of $500M Mixed-Use Development Plan



October 18, 2006
By Amanda Marsh
The project is being designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill L.L.P
Well this is certainly horrible news for this project.
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  #18  
Old Posted Oct 19, 2006, 5:45 AM
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Originally Posted by TREPYE
Well this is certainly horrible news for this project.
Well SOM work is ok... I am just worry that they will choose O'Hara architects. They seem to be very popular right now in NYC and they are just horrible.
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Old Posted Oct 19, 2006, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by NYguy
wirednewyork

From this early look, it will be a very slender tower, as expected...
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Old Posted Nov 26, 2006, 1:34 PM
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Daily News

Low-income living on high

BY ELIZABETH HAYS
November 26, 2006

With vacant lots becoming luxury condos across the city in the blink of an eye, officials are looking up - and to some unlikely places - to build affordable apartments.

Low-rise schools, libraries, municipal parking lots and even supermarkets are among the unusual spots that could soon be topped with low- and middle-income housing.

Developers also would be required to renovate dilapidated city buildings, using private money.

"You have to be a little innovative because there isn't a lot of empty land left," said John Tynan, director of housing for Catholic Charities in Brooklyn and Queens. "It's driven by the scarcity of the land."

In Brooklyn, city officials are looking to build apartments over a Park Slope elementary school that needs repairs.

In Queens, the city is considering a low-slung supermarket on Guy R. Brewer Blvd. as a possible site for subsidized apartments, which would be built above it.

Meanwhile, another proposal picking up support involves building low-income homes above aging public libraries.

"Up until now, we had plenty of housing sites in New York, so no one had the impetus to look at libraries," said Kirk Goodrich of Enterprise Community Investment. The group has earmarked a handful of libraries in each borough that could be rebuilt with housing above them, such as the Grand Concourse branch in the Bronx.

City planners have even floated a plan to deck over spots such as the Sunnyside railyards or a below-grade portion of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway for still more housing - though that's still just an idea.

City officials said the trend toward reusing public property also makes financial sense, because adding new housing brings in private funds to overhaul crumbling city-owned facilities.

"You get a new and improved library or school as well as a chance to build housing," said Housing Preservation and Development spokesman Neill Coleman.

In Park Slope, the city plans to rebuild aging Public School 133 on Butler St. near Fourth Ave. by allowing a developer to replace the school with a 120-foot tower that also would include at least 100,000 square feet of subsidized and market-rate apartments.

A similar project is underway on Manhattan's East Side. The city has tapped a private developer to tear down PS 59 and the High School of Art and Design and replace them with new schools along with an apartment tower that includes 20% affordable housing.

A Brooklyn housing group, the Fifth Ave. Committee, also is pushing the city to use private funds to rebuild four aging libraries in Red Hook, Clinton Hill and other spots.

"We really need to look at using public space in a more efficient manner," said City Councilwoman Letitia James (WFP-Brooklyn), who is working with the group to bring a school or apartments above the Clinton Hill branch.

Housing advocates said they welcome any city plan that adds affordable housing. But they said the proposals don't make up for the subsidized housing that already has been eaten up by the real estate boom.

"They're still at a deficit," said Jumaane Williams, executive director of Tenants and Neighbors, adding the city lost 200,000 rent-regulated apartments in the past decade, and 34,000 additional subsidized units since 1990. "We're still losing more affordable housing than is being built."
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