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Annals Of Optimism

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New developer trend: getting a blue-chip architecture firm to design a building for an as-yet-unspecified site that the developer hasn't even purchased! Hines of Houston, Texas, has enough cash to bankroll shiny renderings for a 28-story Pei Cobb Freed & Partners residential tower overlooking Bryant Park. Not so fast, Hines: the developer can't move forward until it "pre-leases a large chunk of the space and obtains construction financing." WSJ casually reports that a "half-dozen or so other proposed Manhattan developments that are also in this category." Update: As per below and here, Hines does already own the corner lot at Sixth Avenue and 40th Street. [WSJ]