The gang from developer Forest City Ratner met last night with folks living near their new Frank Gehry-designed luxury rental tower?the crinkled steel colossus at 8 Spruce Street also known as the Beekman Tower?and they brought along a nifty PowerPoint presentation to share more info about the underway project. Lower Manhattan's wavy wonder has already picked up a major endorsement, so it was nice to get the full scoop. But before getting into the nitty-gritty of the construction and the community benefits and the move-ins and all that fun stuff, can we take a moment to reflect on that Beekman/Gehry logo seen above? It was strange enough when Ian Schrager unveiled his high-brow interpretation of graffiti at the trés chic 40 Bond, but now Bruce Ratner and Frank Gehry want street cred? Guys, at least save it for Brooklyn!
NY State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver opened the meeting, and he spoke a few hopeful words regarding the new and much-needed school that is included in the project. Covering Pre-K through Eighth Grade, the school will have 5,000sqft of outdoor play space on the 4th Floor roof deck and is slated to open in September 2010. Following Silver, the Ratner reps showed some slides of the undulating tower, which looks pretty much like one of the many images we showed a year ago. Rising 76 stories to a height of 867 feet, the project will be all concrete construction (no structural steel here) and faced in rippling stainless steel.
The tower will contain 903 rental units, with nary a condo to be bought. A sign of the times in FiDi? The plan is for the first Beekmanites (or should that be Ratnerites?) to move in around late 2010. Besides the apartments and school, this one-million-square-foot development will also have medical facilities, including space for New York Downtown Hospital, and a wee bit of retail. Not to mention some cool outdoor spaces under the horticultural direction of Piet Oudolf, of the Battery Park Bosque and High Line fame. But the main topic of conversation at the get-together was not design, but construction: DOB procedures, noise, weekend variances and the general bother of life amidst a construction zone. The gang from Forest City promised to make nice and keep the neighbors informed. We're sure to hear from neighbors if they don't.
· Projects: Beekman Tower [Forest City Ratner]
· CurbedWire: Gehry Gets Worked [Curbed]
· Ouroussoff's State of Starchitecture: 40 Bond Nay, Gehry Yay! [Curbed]