Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Forest City Ratner not chosen for Seward Park project (though SHoP is)

Forest City Ratner often prefers single-source or other privileged development processes, so maybe it's not a surprise that the developer didn't win the competition to build in the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA).

Or, perhaps, maybe it's no surprise given that its partner on the bid, the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, was recently shaken by the firing of its longtime leader.

In City Plans Redevelopment for Vacant Area in Lower Manhattan--kind of a dumb headline, since the plan has existed for a while and the news is that a developer's been chosen--the Times reveals that three other developers, with a nonprofit partner, were chosen:
But after a three-year effort to forge a compromise, the Bloomberg administration plans to announce on Wednesday that it has selected developers to erect a complex called Essex Crossing at the location, long known as the Seward Park urban renewal area. The development would include retail markets, restaurants, office space, a movie theater, parks, an Andy Warhol Museum and 1,000 apartments. Half of the apartments would be for low-, moderate- and middle-income families.
Designed by SHoP Architects and Beyer Blinder Belle, the glassy, six-acre complex would be built over the next decade by a consortium on nine city-owned lots in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood that was once home to working-class Italians, Jews, Puerto Ricans and Ukrainians.
The redevelopment would tap into the past by giving priority to some of the 2,000, largely Puerto Rican families displaced four decades ago, and into the future by creating a neighborhood hub with badly needed housing, small-scale retail and office space for tech companies and budding entrepreneurs.
....The developers selected for the project — L&M Development Partners, BFC Partners, Taconic Investment Partners and Grand Street Settlement — won out over some of the city’s most prominent builders. In return, the developers will pay the city $180 million and start the first building within 18 months.
Note that recent Forest City collaborator SHoP is one of the two firms designing the project.

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