Volume 20, Number 45 | THE NEWSPAPER OF LOWER MANHATTAN | MARCH 21 - 27, 2008

Mixed Use

By Patrick Hedlund

Fiterman to be felled
The decontamination of Fiterman Hall near the World Trade Center site will begin after plans were recently approved to clean and raze the 15-story former dormitory building on W. Broadway.

The property, which the City University of New York plans to rebuild after it was severely damaged on 9/11, will begin supervised decontamination and deconstruction that could see the structure felled by as early as the end of the year.

Thirty crewmembers began working in the building last week, according to reports, a number that will jump significantly in the coming weeks.

The building has proved a thorn in the side for Downtowners, who have weathered similar stalled proceedings at the former Deutsche Bank building nearby.

The new building at 30 W. Broadway at Barclay St. will rise 14 stories, featuring academic departments, classroom space, faculty offices, an art gallery, a café and student lounges.

Benn Lewis, vice president of Airtek Environmental Corp., which submitted the final decontamination plan, said last month he expected the process to take four to six months to complete. Demolition would take an additional four to six months, and the new building is projected to be complete in 2010.

Front St. hotel filed
An application to build a new, 30-story hotel near the Seaport has been filed with the city Department of Buildings, with architect Peter Poon slated to head up design.

The 180-room tower at 161 Front St., near the corner of Fletcher St., comes courtesy of Lam Generation, the father-son team of John and Jeffrey Lam, who have 1,000 total rooms planned or in the development stages Downtown, according to a report in the New York Observer. The Lams are currently building a 660-room Sheraton hotel at 217 Pearl St., which is under construction only a couple blocks away from 161 Front St.

Poon has designed both residential and commercial projects throughout Downtown, including the Watts Street Hotel in Hudson Square and numerous projects in Soho, the Lower East Side and Lower Manhattan.

Trump sales stymied?
The most recent sales figures for the Trump Soho hotel condominium have the embattled project stalled at just over halfway sold after the accident- and violation-plagued site endured a host of troubles this year.

According to Aurora Kessler, a spokesperson for the development, the building has remained at 53 percent sold since that figure was first announced a few weeks ago.

The high-rise tower at Spring and Varick Sts. saw two construction-related incidents this year, including a collapse that led to the death of a construction worker in January and cracked windows at the site two weekends ago that rained glass down onto the street.

Guerilla graffitists have also continued to express their sentiments over The Donald’s development, scrawling “Scumbag” on the building’s sales office on Wooster St. in Soho over the weekend. This adds to a message engraved in the concrete across the street from the project site late last year that declared, “Trump is a monster.”

Spokespeople for the project had no comment as of press time regarding the graffiti incidents.

Miami hot for Hudson Sq.
Another of the innovative visions for Hudson Square borne out of a neighborhood design project has received accolades in the architectural community.

The proposal by Miami-based firm ArquitectonicaGEO was recently awarded the Silver Medal in Landscape Architecture at the 2007 Miami + Beach Biennial, according to GEO senior landscape architect Roberto Rovira. The awards are currently on exhibit at Florida International University’s School of Architecture.

F.I.U. also invited David Lewis from LTL Architects, another charrette contributor, last month to present his firm’s work as part of the university’s lecture series, including LTL’s Hudson Square proposal. Rovira also presented GEO’s Hudson Square design during a lecture titled “The Bite at the Big Apple.”

“So ‘Envisioning Hudson Square lives on,’ ” Rovira said in a note to Mixed Use.

Garage out on Canal
Mixed Use passed by 503 Canal St. at Renwick St. the other day, only to find the garage there that we used to like to cut through shuttered. The guy who owned the car stereo shop on the corner was clearing out his place, too, and said he plans to reopen on Staten Island. He said the Ponte family owns the property and is putting up a new building — “like these,” he said, gesturing at the new glass-tower edifices on Renwick and Canal Sts.






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