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Downtown TowerWatch: Mr. Gehry, Meet Mr. McSam

We've been waiting forever for the latest renderings of the Frank Gehry/Bruce Ratner mega-super-duper-deluxe residential tower set to rise down on Beekman and William Streets near City Hall. Now comes word that hotelier extraordinaire Sam Chang of the McSam Hotel Group has enlisted his buddy, Architect Gene Kaufman, to design what is being touted as a 4-Star hotel with OUTSIDE ELEVATORS. It will rise on what is now a nasty parking lot at 33 Beekman Street, just to the south of where Gehry's gang has been driving piles for months now.

While Mr. Gehry's 76-story tower teases us with undulous wonderment, Mr. Chang, according to Mr. Kaufman's website, has responded with something entirely different. Which is not exactly surprising given Mr. Chang's particular design sensibilities and Mr. Kaufman's various buildings around town.. This latest McSam is set to rise 26-stories 36-stories. And as one can see it's RED. And YELLOW. And has a white-striped-ziggy-zaggy thing up the front. Very POP. Very PEZ. Quite the vision for residents of Gehry's super-luxe condos going up across the street. Kaufman's excuse for this new vision seems to be "a complicated legal interrelationship with the adjacent loft building involving air rights and multiple easements." One might wonder if something else altogether is going on here.

{The site for the planned 36-story McSam Hotel, across from Gehry's tower}

[Core tests were taken at 33 Beekman this past March]

[The nasty parking lot where the Chang / McSam 4-Star Hotel is set to rise]

· Beekman Tower Update: Secret Gehry Design Still Secret [Curbed]
· Sam Chang's City Takeover Continues Unabated [Curbed]
· Projects > Commercial [Gene Kaufman Architect website]
· McSam Not Making Many McFans With This One [Curbed]
· Scary Interesting Williamsburg Renderings [Curbed]