In an era when everyone is a real estate developer, there will never be another Steven M. Ross. The Related Co. head honcho has a nifty little idea for a new development he's planning on far West 42nd Street (between Tenth Avenue and Dyer*): a permanent NYC home for tripped-out Canadian circus Cirque du Soleil. Apparently, Ross wants to use a special city zoning regulation to get the job done:
The bonus would enable him to build a taller tower than would normally be allowed and reap the sales of ever more valuable apartments, in exchange for building a $140 million, 1,800-seat theater for Cirque. To make way for the project, Related has already demolished the 286-seat Houseman Theater and the 199-seat Fairbanks Theater on 42nd Street.Critics say such a commercial theater doesn't belong on far West 42nd, an emerging residential neighborhood and longtime home to underfinanced off-broadway theater. We say, who doesn't love a zany postmodern clown?
· Offstage Drama Surrounds 42nd Street Theater Fight [NYTimes]
*Yeah, we had to look it up. Dyer Ave. is the charming little thoroughfare from 42nd Street to the Lincoln Tunnel entrance. See Google Map above for clarification, edification, and deliverance from evil.