If you build it, will they come? Developer Edward Minskoff sure hopes so. It turns out that new pedestrian plazas and preservationist-angering road realignments aren't the only major changes coming to Astor Place. Minskoff has once again told the Wall Street Journal that he's moving ahead with 51 Astor Place, the 13-story ribbed granite-and-glass office building that was supposed to replace Cooper Union's old engineering building (and a Starbucks!) before the credit crunch delayed those plans. The building has a flashy Fumihiko Maki design, but what it doesn't have is construction financing, or tenants. Minskoff isn't worried, though, despite speculative office towers not faring so well recently. In fact, he's already predicting who will be moving downtown come 2013.
Minskoff says the building will attract high-tech companies, investment banks, insurance and advertising firms. Though Astor Place seems like an odd location for a new office building, AOL and J. Crew already call the gateway to the East Village home. And Minskoff isn't the only developer eager to break ground on new cubicle farms. The Journal adds that other arrested developments might be making a comeback, including the Manhattan West twin towers near Hudson Yards and 250 West 55th Street in Hell's Kitchen, both designed by SOM. These zombies will add more fuel to the fire regarding construction's big comeback in NYC, at least when it comes to office buildings. Guess it's a working stiff's world, after all.
· Developers Eye City Office Buildings [WSJ]
· Non-Residential Construction Gets a Lift [WSJ]
· 51 Astor Place coverage [Curbed]