Hines New York chief Tommy Craig’s meeting downtown ran an hour longer than expected yesterday, leaving everyone back at the the 499 Park headquarters a little bit more tippled than expected but otherwise thrilled when Mr. Craig walked through the glass doors to his surprise 30th anniversary party.
499 Park Avenue resembles a giant block of obsidian, perfect but for the even more perfect bluntings made to the corners of the obelisk. Running down one-third of the tower’s facade, the width of a single pane of glass, this is the one design flourish of the building. They were made with sculptor’s precision by the celebrated I.M. Pei some 31 years ago.
Inside, workers have been busy putting the finishing touches on the office duplex. The space atop this modernist ziggurat was being white-boxed, stripped back to its bare steel columns, a fresh coat of paint on the floors, grotty insulation still clinging here and there to a few beams. Light streamed in from all sides, the recently rechristened Ed Koch Bridge directly to the right down 59th Street, Central Park up and to the left. Everything had been cleaned and shined to make way for the brokers who would be streaming through the space, trying to find a new tenant for office space that had not been vacant since the building was finished in 1980.
The showstopper is the upper floor, where drop ceilings had been stripped out to expose a soaring 18-foot cathedral of steel and glass. It felt like Soho-on-Park.
As The Observer reported in this week’s paper, Hines Interests has been one of the foremost developers in New York of the past generation. Even as they have employed some of the most cutting edge architects in the industry, the firm, founded in Houston but now very much global, has managed to keep a Read More
under the bridge
Even if the city could be headed for further construction slowdowns, developers are still readying themselves for the (eventual?) recovery. The MoMA Tower, Hudson Yards, East Coast Number 4—all are showing signs of life. And they all have something in common, as well: their developers have their sights set on the first site at Brooklyn Bridge Park.
While it might not be as, uh, edgy as the Torre Verre, Hines unveiled another new Manhattan project today, one with a location even more enticing than next to MoMA. The Houston-based developer will construct a 28-story office tower at the corner of Sixth Avenue and 40th Street, across from Bryant Park.
dollars and sense
Maybe all of those second-quarter reports lauding the return of Manhattan real estate convinced New York‘s Common Retirement Fund that investing in it is a good idea. (But remember how that worked out for California’s pensioners and Stuy Town?)
The pension fund, along with the Houston-based real estate firm Hines, have announced that they will invest more than $1 billion in U.S. office and medical properties.
New York City may have brought down Dominique Strauss-Kahn, but another torrid Frenchman will not be held up by the likes of us.
And the winner is… SL Green! For almost 180 million smackeroos!
SL Green, the city’s largest office landlord, has won the bidding war for Hines’ 600 Lexington Avenue, the glass-clad, 36-story tower between 52nd and 53rd streets, according to Crain’s. Rumblings of the deal were first reported at Observer.com late last week.
According toRead More
It seems opponents of the Jean Nouvel-designed skyscraper planned to rise next to MoMA are well-funded.
The opponents, mostly neighbors of the 1,050-foot tower-to-be, are hitting the airwaves Monday with a television ad that directly targets Council Speaker Christine Quinn, urging her to oppose the development, planned to be built by the Read More
Neighbors of the 1,050-foot tower buy TV ads before Council hearing Tuesday. Read More