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Carter's View

Foster & Partners, the English architectural firm headed by Sir Norman Foster, has been commissioned by Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs to design a mixed-use tower for the former site of the YWCA of the City of New York at 610 Lexington Avenue on the southeast corner of 53rd Street.

The site is diagonally across Lexington Avenue from Citicorp Center and it is on the same block as the bronze-glass Seagram Building at 375 Park Avenue and the black-glass Manhattan Tower at 101 East 52nd Street, both of which have unused air rights that will be used for the new hotel/residential project that may rise about 50 stories, according to an article by Steve Cuozzo in today's New York Post.

Aby Rosen and Michael Fuchs are partners in RFR Holdings, which owns the Seagram Building and the Lever House on Park Avenue and developed 425 Fifth Avenue and are nearly completion of Park Avenue Place at 60 West 55th Street.

The existing YWCA building occupies a small corner lot of about 10,000 square feet and it contains about 91,000 square feet. It was bought earlier this year for about $31.5 million and the YWCA has subsequently relocated its facilities to leased space at the United Federation of Teachers Building at 52 Broadway. The YWCA had occupied the Lexington Avenue building since 1915.

A spokesperson for Mr. Rosen did not return CityRealty.Com's telephone call today.

Foster & Partners most visible project in New York City is the Hearst Tower, the notched glass and stainless steel tower now nearing completion on the southwest corner of 57th Street and Eighth Avenue.

Sir Norman Foster is widely regarded as one of the world's foremost "high-tech" architects and his projects include the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, Norfolk, England, which was completed in 1978, the Hongkong and Shanghai Bank Headquarters in Hong Kong, which was completed in 1986, the Torre de Collserole in Barcelona that was completed in 1992, the Commerzbank Headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany, which was completed in 1997, the Great Court at the British Museum in London, which was completed in 2000, the Swiss Re Headquarters building in the City of London, which was completed in 2004, the Asprey Store at Trump Tower in New York, which was completed in 2003. His current projects include the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the Beijing Airport.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.