Monday, March 12, 2012

Flashy New Office Tower Breaks Ground in Cooper Square

If you build it, will they come? One developer sure hopes so. It turns out that new pedestrian plazas and road realignments are not the only major changes coming to Astor Place. A new 13-story ribbed granite-and-glass office building will soon rise from the site of Cooper Union's old engineering building.

Developer Edward Minskoff made a deal with Cooper Union to purchase and raze their former engineering building at 51 Astor Place for a new 13-story mixed-use tower designed by Fumihiko Maki. The new building will house 430,000 square feet of space for office and retail use, and will be located near Cooper Union's new space-age academic building designed by Morphosis.

The 51 Astor Place site sits on an island at the top of Astor Place, bounded on all four sides by streets — Third Avenue, Fourth Avenue, 9th Street and Astor Place — providing the space needed to create an architecturally unique structure. 
All four sides are different…Each side has its own aesthetic quality and is different. This building is expected be the most technologically advanced building built in New York City, since the Bank of America Headquarters on 42nd street.

The black granite and clear ribbed-glass building will rise 145 feet, reaching 13 stories in one section with a shorter part rising 11 floors. The building will be constructed “on spec” to achieve LEED Gold certification.
Preparation of the site is presently underway with construction expected to commence next month. Completion of the building is slated for spring of 2013. 

The total development cost the project is expected to be north of $300 million.