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Related's West Side Tower Brings Frank Gehry to Hell

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Developer Related has been searching for a theater tenant for its planned West 42nd Street high-rise ever since the city said Cirque du Soleil was too commercial to qualify for the sweet sweet bonus rights given to neighborhood developers who adopt a theater troupe. The site, near the mouth of the Holland Lincoln Tunnel at Tenth Avenue, languished for a while, becoming the Hell's Kitchen Swimming Hole. Then last spring, the pool was drained and foundation work began (above) amidst reports that Related was negotiating with the Signature Theatre Company to occupy the performance space. The Observer's Eliot Brown was at last night's Community Board 4 meeting in which Related's plans were finally revealed, and he reports that, indeed, the Signature folks are on board. That was the expected. For the surprises, including what Frank Gehry has to do with the whole thing, you'll have to beg us.

The highlights:

· The full-block tower will have 623 rental units (163 below market rate) and 151 condos at the top.

· Arquitectonica designed the building, which should open in 2011. Foundation work will be done in two months.

· Signature will occupy 299-seat and 199-seat theaters, the interiors of which will be designed by the Gehrmeister. Related is giving Signature $16.6 million in below-market-rate loans to help out, and selling the theater space to Signature at a low cost.

· Financing for the $900 million project was locked up before capitalism collapsed.

And now we can begin the discussion of whether or not anyone wants to buy a luxury condo on 42nd Street and Tenth Avenue.
· Related to Build Giant West Side Tower With Theaters [TRE]
· Related Wants Some Comedy With its Tragedy at 42nd St. Site [Curbed]

440 West 42nd Street

440 West 42nd Street, New York, NY 10036