Posts tagged with "SHoP Architects":

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Porter House: Hoboken Edition

Say "Hoboken" to a New Yorker and Irish Bars (and rowdy ex-frat boys), quaint row houses, and the Path Train might spring to mind. Thanks to the recently completed Garden Street Lofts (on sale now!), you can add high-end green condos designed by name brand architects to that list. Designed by SHoP, the project incorporates new construction into an old coconut processing plant, and is expected to receive LEED silver certification. Garden Street Lofts gets lots of merit badges: adaptive reuse, urban infill, green features, good design in Jersey, etc. But it also bears a striking resemblance to an earlier SHoP project, the Porter House, at 15th Street at Ninth Avenue in Manhattan. Hoboken! It's like the Meatpacking district, only farther west, and green, and with less expensive cocktails nearby. And the view from the green roof is better (at least until the High Line opens)!
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Not So Fast, Seaport Edition

The news that General Growth Properties--which is on the verge of bankruptcy due to a massive debt-load related to its acquisition of the Rouse Company in 2004--put three historic properties up for sale has led some observers to speculate that development plans for one of them--New York's South Street Seaport--have hit the dustbin. Not so, AN has learned. Two sources have confirmed that the project is not for sale, as has been widely reported, but instead that the developer is seeking an equity partner to help keep the Seaport plan afloat through these choppy economic waters. In fact, they still expect the plan to go before the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission for another review in early 2009 as originally scheduled, which commission spokesperson Lisi de Bourbon also confirmed. "The status of the seaport is that the application remains active at this time," she wrote in an email. And in a statement, GGP re-emphasized its commitment to the project:
Jim Graham, senior director of public affairs, General Growth Properties, Thursday said:  “South Street Seaport is among a group of properties for which General Growth is seeking partners, investors or buyers. We intend to continue working with the City of New York on a plan for the property’s development that they and the community will embrace.”
In the end, the project's fate remains up in the air at the moment, like so much else in the development world. Which is all the more reason not to jump to any conclusions. As for the other two properties involved--Baltimore's Harbor Place and Boston's Faneuil Hall--the latter may have just become worth a little bit more, having been recently honored with the 25 Year Award by the AIA.
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Rough Sailing

Thirty-five cents. One quarter, one dime. That's how much—or how little—it cost to buy one share of stock in General Growth Properties at the end of trading today. It's been a rough year for the 54-year-old mall developer and operator as it stock has tumbled—in concert with the real estate and retail markets—from a high of $67 per share in March 2007. Yet that stock was still valued at $38 as recently as June 18, when the company announced its plans for new South Street Seaport. Even when it presented those plans to the Landmarks Preservation Commission on October 21, when the stocked closed at $4.84, GGP remained confident in the future of the project. But that was before Monday's report in The Wall Street Journal that General Growth might file for bankruptcy. Bloomberg News blames the problems on the company's $11.3 billion leveraged buyout of the Rouse Companies in 2004. "They took a big, big gamble, and it did not pay off," real estate analyst Richard Moore told the financial news service. What, then, does this mean for the Seaport project? Nothing, insisted Jim Graham, a company spokesman:
Regardless of our situation, our properties and company will continue to operate, stay vibrant and remain open.  We are looking forward to a prosperous holiday season. [As for the seaport:] Our intent is to continue as developer, that’s why we have invested so much in working with world-class planning experts and with the community to create our proposals.  Our plan for the South Street Seaport  sets the course for the future.  Getting the plan in place protects the community against market cycles by setting the framework for development over a multi-year window.   Approving the plan now sets the stage for development later when the economy improves.