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Old Posted Sep 11, 2010, 3:35 AM
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SkyscrapersOfNewYork SkyscrapersOfNewYork is offline
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Smile NEW YORK | The Spiral (509 W. 34th) | 1,041 FT | 66 FLOORS

Behold, a Mini-City Rises

by Matthew Scheuerman
April 24, 2007

Jeff Katz.

“This plan will do for New York what Canary Wharf has done for London,” said Jeff Katz, president of Sherwood Equities, which owns both commercial and residential property in the district. “In order for Manhattan to remain one of the most critically important financial centers, it needed a place to grow. We didn’t really have a place to grow before Hudson Yards was put into place.”

In contrast to Canary Wharf, which is about three miles away from London’s traditional financial district, Hudson Yards is nearly adjacent to midtown Manhattan. It remains to be seen whether the same type of star-studded architecture will take hold in the West Side’s former warehouse district as it did in London. Right now, experienced (if critically unacclaimed) architects like Costas Kondylis and Gene Kaufman have work going up. Sir Richard Rogers, Kohn Pedersen Fox, and Skidmore, Owings & Merrill—all of which also designed for Canary Wharf—have projects on the table.

Though residential use is supposed to dominate the northern and eastern ends of the district, office towers are supposed to be arranged in an “L” shape, north-south along 11th Avenue opposite the newly reborn Javits Center and east-west in the low 30’s. Key to the southern corridor are the Metropolitan Transportation Authority railyards, which have yet to go out to bid.

But it’s telling that two landlords are willing to discuss some details of their projects.

Brookfield Properties, which owns most of the block between 31st and 33rd streets on the west side of Ninth Avenue, is drawing up plans for four towers. Mr. Katz, the president of Sherwood, has come up with a schematic plan for his 11th Avenue parcel to show off to financial companies.

Mr. Katz said he would not start without securing an anchor tenant—which is normal practice for office buildings—but both the Sherwood and Brookfield parcels are large enough to provide the 65,000-square-foot trading floors that investment banks like J.P. Morgan Chase are now looking to build at the World Trade Center site.

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