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Shine On, You Crazy Gehry: Beekman Will Rise to 76 Stories

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Turns out there's still one huge, rippling piece of starchitecture left in the dearly departed building boom: Developer Forest City Ratner has announced that it will complete the construction of Frank Gehry's 76-story Beekman Tower in the upper reaches of the Financial District, a little over two months after halting construction and threatening to cap the half-built structure at 40 floors. The metal-skinned skyscraper (with 900 luxury rentals and a new public school in its base) was caught in a dispute over labor costs, and the Times' Charles Bagli reports that the recent deal struck between unions and developers is what finally gave the full-on Gehry the green light. Bagli also notes that construction kicked off again this week, but workers have been seen fiddling with the building for a little while now. Other projects may move forward under the new terms, including Midtown's long-stalled Tower 111. We might have to hold off on Missing Skyline v2.0 for a bit, eh?
· Savings on Labor Allow Work on Residential Skyscraper to Resume [NYT]
· All Beekman Tower coverage [Curbed]

UPDATE: Forest City Ratner just issued a press release on the matter, featuring bonus Gehry quotage and a target opening date.

Per the statement, "FCRC's critical decision to build the full skyscraper was due to a combination of factors, including a reduction in the cost of construction materials and interior build-out and finishes. In addition, a successful collaboration with the Building and Construction Trades Council and the Building Employers Trade Association resulted in a beneficial Beekman Project Labor Agreement. Completing the Beekman tower will keep hundreds of workers employed at a time when construction in New York has slowed dramatically."

A kind way of putting value-engineering, for sure, and here's the Gehrmeister on the topic, all smiles and offering no clue about his involvement/non-involvement in Ratner's Atlantic Yards project:

"I am thrilled by Forest City’s decision to finish Beekman to its original design. My vision was to create an elegant residential tower, one that speaks to the surrounding towers but also establishes its own architectural identity. From the beginning, I have been focused on meeting the developer’s economic requirements. It has been an extraordinary partnership with Bruce Ratner and our teams have worked closely to create a building that we are all very proud of. This tower could only be built in New York.”Occupancy is scheduled for next summer.