The Eight-Day Week
Affordable Housing or Lack Thereof
So many awards and accolades are given to the young. Tonight, Jewish Home Lifecare honors elders in a wide range of fields at its Eight Over Eighty benefit gala, including Sopranos star Dominic Chianese and activist Edie Windsor (who brought the fight for same-sex marriage to the Supreme Court—you can thank her for the Read More
Seven years ago, when the Westside mega-development known as Hudson Yards was but a twinkle in the collective eye of real estate moguls and Bloomberg officiates, grumbling had already begun about inequality among the neighborhood’s residents. Those residents, of course, had yet to arrive. And the complaints seemed stranger still given that Hudson Yards had, Read More
Though the city lost hundreds of millions of dollars in tourism revenue following the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, a steady rebound in tourism and the closely tied retail market has occurred, perhaps best personified by the rebirth of Lower Manhattan.
“There’s a lot going on Downtown that shows it is stronger and better Read More
The Neverending Story
The sun was setting over New York harbor, and behind it, the coast of New Jersey. From the 17th floor of 11 Broadway, through the not-floor-to-ceiling, turn-of-the-last-century office windows, the Statue of Liberty was plainly visible. She appeared to be waving through the late-summer haze. Milling about and sipping champagne were some of the city’s biggest developers and their employees, names emblazoned upon apartment towers from this end of Manhattan to the other and beyond.
Silverstein, Ratner, Extell, Elad, Milstein, Glenwood, Trump. All the big firms were there, along with many other machers and dealmakers. It could have been a convention of The No Nonsense Apartment Builders Association of the Greater Five Boroughs. Instead it was the third anniversary party for Goldstein, Hill & West and the unveiling of their new downtown offices.
The foyer is painted a slick graphite gray, with a globular chandelier overhead, but beyond that, the designer pretense fades away. There are no amoebic benches, no plywood bookcases, no 3D printer for producing models of unusually torqued and cantilevered buildings. Little hangs on the walls besides drafting templates and zoning handbooks. It is this simplicity of design, aesthetic and attitude that draws the city’s biggest developers to the firm.
Best Laid Plans
Each year around this time, Larry Silverstein invites the foreign press (plus any local outlets interested in attending) into his World Trade Center buildings, whatever stage of construction they might be in. It serves as a useful backdrop for the flood global coverage the 9/11 anniversary always attracts as well as an equally heartening and frustrating symbol of progress, sometimes halting, at the site. Maybe a new tenant will come out of it, too, which does not hurt.
The Neverending Story
It was but one line in Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s State of the City address in January, but it could prove to be one of the biggest of his dozen years in office.
“In the area around Grand Central, we’ll work with the City Council on a package of regulatory changes and incentives that will attract new investment, new companies and new jobs,” the mayor said from the stage inside Morris High School in the Bronx.
Hizzoner spent more time talking about Cornell’s Roosevelt Island tech campus, keeping the Hunt’s Point Produce Market from moving across the Hudson to Jersey and efforts to further expand the blue-collar workforce on the waterfront. Even the redevelopment of nearby East Fordham Road and Webster Avenue got equal billing with these vague pronouncements about “the area around Grand Central.”
Despite the scant mention, it turns out that for an administration that has never shied away from big plans, this may be one of the biggest projects yet.
The Neverending Story
The thunderstorm had just cleared over Manhattan on Monday morning as the topping out of 4 World Trade Center was about to get underway. Turning down Maiden Lane from Broadway, the 977-foot tower, looming over the space of the small street, glistened even more than usual, freshly polished by the rain.Even against a backdrop of dark clouds, the building, designed by Japanese Pritzker Prize winner Fumihiko Maki, blends in with the sky in a soothing way that almost makes the 72-story structure disappear. It is much lighter—and, in the estimation of The Observer, quite a bit nicer—than its big brother, also rising, across the 16-acre site.
“Welcome to the first tower that will open for business here at the World Trade Center site,” Janno Lieber, right-hand man to Larry Silverstein at ground zero, boomed into a microphone from the podium. It was the only note of competition throughout the festivities, even though everyone knew the smaller tower, while started three years later, had beaten its sibling to the top by at least a few days.
Two weeks ago, The Observer got a tour of 4 World Trade Center and called it the nicest building at ground zero, including videographic proof. The 72-story tower topped out today in a biggish ceremony (no presidents, governors or mayors were in attendance, though plenty of other local pols) led by the building’s developer, Larry Silverstein. Here is a video of the final column rising, with a full report to come later today.
The boom is back on the Far West Side.
In addition to the Related Companies and Brookfield’s work at Hudson Yards, and now Extell’s reappearance on the scene, Larry Silverstein is moving forward with a new 60-story residential tower on West 40th Street, according to The Real Deal. It will be on the same block as Mr. Silverstein’s twinned Silver Towers, which also rise to 60 stories, which should make for an interesting trio on the skyline.
Correction: A reader points out that this is simply a bus garage, not a bus station, and the Port Authority Bus Terminal would remain in operation. The Observer regrets the error.
The Port Authority has been desperate to replace its eponymous bus terminal near Times Square for at least a decade now. Vornado Realty was supposed to build a new office tower atop the terminal, which it would rebuild in the process, but after years of planning, that proposal collapsed.
Now, it turns out Larry Silverstein has quietly floated a plan to build a new terminal on West 39th Street, according to Crain’s, near the mouth of the Lincoln Tunnel, atop which Mr. Silversterin would build a new residential building.