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November 28, 2011

Living in a 76-Story Work of Art, and a Symbol of Rebirth

The New York Times
by Kate Taylor

"All the news that's fit to print" — and this homage that reads like an advertorial.

At 870 feet, 8 Spruce Street — or, as it is known by real estate agents, New York by Gehry — is the tallest residential building in the Western Hemisphere, though it may soon be surpassed by a 90-story hotel-condominium going up near Carnegie Hall. Still, with its irregular facade, with facets that twist like silver ribbons hanging from the sky, the Gehry building has quickly become a distinctive part of the skyline and a symbol of Lower Manhattan’s rebirth since the Sept. 11 attacks.

Cue the patriotic music.

Nine months after the building welcomed its first renters, it has become a microcosm of the neighborhood. There are professionals in their 20s, families and members of the wealthy elite. Available studios and one-bedrooms rent for skyward of $3,700 a month and three bedrooms for $11,975 and up.

If by "microcosm of the neighborhood," The Times means "way more rich, white people than you'd find anywhere else in the neighborhood," then, yes, by all means.

The first five floors of the 76-story tower house the new Public School 397, the entrance of which is on the east side of the building, separated from the residents’ entrance on the west, so the streams of children arriving and lawyers and bankers leaving for work do not have to cross.

Lawyers and bankers being part of the "microcosm," school kids, not so much.

By building the school, the developer, Forest City Ratner Companies, was able to secure $203.9 million in tax-exempt Liberty Bonds to finance construction. (Forest City Ratner was the development partner of The New York Times in its Midtown headquarters.)


NoLandGrab: Seriously, New York Times? This is what passes for "news" now? As for the whole "microcosm" thing, the U.S. census bureau reports that nearly two-thirds of people living in zip code 10038 paid less than $1000 in monthly rent in 2009.

Posted by eric at November 28, 2011 10:37 PM