Monday, January 14, 2013

[Updated] 3 photos of 51 Astor Place from Jan. 12




Updated 1-14
Well! Turns out that The Wall Street Journal has a feature today on 51 Astor Place. (Thanks to the reader for the link). The article's headline: "Mixed Messages In New Geometry At Cooper Square."

To some excerpts!

Says developer Edward J. Minskoff: "This was a classic case of an opportunity to take a wonderful site and really put a special building there. It's dramatic, it's great-looking, it fits in to the neighborhood, it's not overbearing."

And!

"When I moved here, there were buildings that were not known by their addresses. Lever House, the GM building, the Pan-Am building. I think 51 Astor Place has the opportunity to go down in history as to be referred to by the name of its tenants," Mr. Minskoff says, though he has declined to name any potential tenants with whom he is in discussions. "I don't like to build mediocre boxes. I want to build buildings that will be great on year 1 and great on year 30."

The structure going up at 51 Astor should not be viewed as mediocre, but it's a far cry from the type of ground-breaking design that earns a place in the pantheon of the city's name-brand buildings.

Previously.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

Cue Darth Vader music.

pinhead said...

I'm wondering what might take the gigantic shiny glassy pricey retail space. We've already got two Starbucks within a block, Chase and Citi within a block or so, Duane Reade within a block, McDonalds across the street, two Whole Foods within a few blocks. Any bets?

BB77 said...

Please explain what is "special" about this crappy looking building.

EV Grieve said...

@ pinhead

Definitely a bank branch of some sort. And I'm going with a big food court. And an Olive Garden.

Marc Kehoe said...

the pictures make this piece of black and silver glass garbage look much better than it does- what a DISASTER!

Gojira said...

Is he taking Delusion Pills of some sort? In what universe does this piece of shiny crap "fit in" with a small, old, livable-scale neighborhood it has just invaded? And if this is not overbearing, I'd hate to see what he considers to be so. Yeah, take away our light, sun and trees and we will just love you - and that reflecting turd you have inflicted on us - all day long, dude.

Anonymous said...

Not overbearing huh. The Dark Lord of the Sith himself would call this building oppressive. Shudder to think at what this Minskoff's home looks like.

Anonymous said...

"It's dramatic, it's great-looking, it fits in to the neighborhood, it's not overbearing." Agree with the first two, not the last two. A fair article.

Anonymous said...

My cousin (who has lived in her building for 40 years) will now have this lovely (ugh) building as her view.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

This whole things seems like a crazy scheme for the owner and Cooper U to have undertaken, on top of being a blight on the neighborhood.

The owner said he expects to attract tech firms to his 51 Astor Pl bldg. Even if his ho-hum looking glass box suddenly morphed into a modernist miracle, tech prefers re-purposed old buildings, esp industrial ones. And why would tech piss $$$ away -- the owner's claiming to charge almost double per sq foot what is currently being charged in midtown and midtown south.

Advertising too. Big modernist towers are considered old school. These days they're doing biz in places like the old Nabisco factory in Chelsea or down on Hudson Street. What if the hot young firms the owner thinks he can attract balk, who exactly will pay through the nose to have a presence in a big glass box in the EV, esp when the EV has lost most of its hip cache to Brooklyn?

BT said...

The guy saying those words is in "selling" mode. They need tenants. He is playing to the egos of those from whom he wants money. I.e., "Everyone will call the building by your name if you are our premier tenant!".

If the whiny kids at Cooper Union want to do something that will have a lasting effect - they should do some major art installation that shows 51 Astor as the Death Star Building(or something like that).

BT said...

Ken, I don't think your assessment is correct. Silicon Valley (in CA) prefers shiny glass buildings. As a tech person myself, I'd feel much more "state of the art" (which IS what high tech is) in that evil glass building than I do in the Google Building in Chelsea or some of the tech dumps I've been in in this town.

And yes, you might save money in a smaller/older building, but the Venture Capital money sometimes prefers to buy "new and shiny". I know who I would be talking to if I was trying to rent space in that building. VC money also doesn't know the difference between Williamsburg and the EV.



esquared™ said...

"When I moved here, there were buildings that were not known by their addresses. Lever House, the GM building, the Pan-Am building..."

Yeah, and this'll be known as the Death Star building or that "Not" Overbearing building.

BabyDave said...

Give the man a dictionary. Does "to domineer over" ring a bell? The building that had been there was pretty ugly, but it didn't take away the sky.

Dave - Everywhere said...

I think in 30 years, this building will still be known as "the Death Star". I hope I'm still around then to laugh at Mr. Pretentious Developer.

Goggla said...

Walking by this thing makes me feel claustrophobic and menaced. The old building was horribly ugly and I don't miss it, but at least it was set back from the street, fronted by trees, and didn't block the sun.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

"Please explain what is "special" about this crappy looking building."

Its publicist.

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

Not sure I'm buying your argument, BT, even though it kind of makes sense.

My understanding of what tech/creative firms look for in office space are big open floors, vaulted windows...and old school architecture. Not to mention location, which is why most are already situated in the Flatiron district, Soho, and Chelsea. Even now, the CA tech industry is moving to the beach (to be near the beach) and re-purposing old buildings in Venice.

THE NOTORIOUS L.I.B.E.R.A.T.I.O.N. said...

I agree with Ken on this one. A lot of tech companies like big, open floor plans in older buildings with actual walls. The sunlight coming through those sheets of windows will be torture for anyone having to work on a computer.

Aesthetically, this building is a nightmare. It's so large and overbearing in its location that it reminds me of the scene in Melancholia when the rogue planet comes crashing into earth.

It will be interesting to see who moves in and how they impact the surrounding local businesses.

Anonymous said...

My new death star fits in the neighborhood and isn't overbearing at all!- Darth Vader.

Anonymous said...

WTF this reads like an Onion article. What a lying fork-tongued slimeball. Some people will say anything to get ahead. This guy sounds like he would sell out his own mother for a quick buck. Detestable!

pinhead said...

Sorry, Edward J., looks like your baby won't be "The Microsoft Building"...

In City’s 3rd Largest 2012 Deal, Microsoft Boots Up 11 Times Square Lease

"successfully wooing Microsoft – which had considered downtown spaces – is a major victory for [SJP Properties]..."

Kurt said...

"I think 51 Astor Place has the opportunity to go down in history as to be referred to by the name of its tenants,"

The Plastic Assholes Building?

Anonymous said...

I hear there will be a whole foods moving in.

And I don't mind at all....

Anonymous said...

When you want to represent the offices of Pure Evil, Inc. in a given post-apocalyptic movie, this is the building you design.

By the way, what ever happened to the propose plaza/park expansions on Astor Place and 4th Ave?

- East Villager

demize! said...

"When I moved here, there were buildings that were not known by their addresses. Lever House, the GM building, the Pan-Am building. I think 51 Astor Place has the opportunity to go down in history.."
Yes it will be known as that that hideous thing that looks like what the apes worshiped in 2001 A Space Odyssey or "The Asswipe Building" whatev.