The building will also house a kindergarden-through-8th grade school
In a September 14th meeting at Pace University, representatives from development firm Forest City Ratner (FCR) presented plans for its new 75-story “Beekman Tower” to the community. The tower, located at 8 Spruce Street (between William and Nassau Streets), is in the final planning stage before excavation begins next month.
Currently a one-acre parking lot on the west side of New York Downtown Hospital, the FCR-owned site will be transformed into an 850-foot-tall, glass- and titanium-skinned residential tower by 2009. It is considered a signature project by architect Frank Gehry in New York and will reshape the Lower Manhattan skyline as it rises several dozen stories above many of its neighbors. (By comparison, the Woolworth Building is 792 feet tall.)
Along with FCR construction managers Joe Rechichi and Maryanne Gilmartin, New York State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (LMCCC) Executive Director Charles Maikish, and Community Board 1 leaders Julie Menin and Paul Goldstein also spoke at the meeting.
Nearly 100 attendees were introduced to the building and its construction-logistics plan at the evening meeting. Rechichi and Gilmartin explained that the tower’s excavation and foundation work will take place from October 2006 through early summer 2007, when thesuperstructure will begin to take shape. The building will top off in winter 2008, after which point the curtain wall will envelope the steel-and-concrete structure. The tower is scheduled to be complete by mid-2009.
The tower will consist primarily of luxury residential apartments, though as part of Silver’s negotiations with the developer, it also will house a much-needed, 100,000-square-foot kindergarten-through-8th grade school.
The 630-seat school will occupy the lower floors of the tower and have access to a public plaza on the east side of the building. There will also be a second public plaza on the west side of the building. Designed by Gehry and landscape architecture firm Field Operations, the plazas will bring welcome public green space to the neighborhood.
FCR also is including hospital-controlled, public parking in the building’s basement, and is building out 25,000 square feet of the building’s podium (its lower floors) to serve as doctors’ offices. There will be at-grade retail around the base.
The tower’s construction calls for sidewalk closures around the site’s perimeter, though temporary sidewalks will be created. Construction staging will remain inside the work site, and trucks will access the site primarily through Beekman Street.
Additionally, because the city plans to reconstruct Beekman Street’s infrastructure in the next year, that street will likely be subject to lane closures or other traffic changes, though details have yet to be finalized. The city and LMCCC are working closely with developers to coordinate the street’s reconstruction with the tower’s construction team.
The LMCCC also is working with FCR to mitigate impacts of construction on the community, with emphasis on noise and dust control, among many other environmental performance commitments.