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An official of Silverstein Properties told the financial district committee of Community Board 1 last night that it has finished "internal demolition" at the 11-story, 99 Church Street, which is just to the west of the Woolworth Building overlooking City Hall Park, and expects to complete "asbestos abatement" in the building this week and start "external demolition" next week.

The official, Richard McKinley, development manager for the project, told the committee that its three-stage approach was different from the delayed demolition that at 130 Liberty Street, which was damaged and "compromised" in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The 99 Church Street building was not "compromised" in the attacks, according to Mr. McKinley, and the controversial demolition at 130 Liberty Street was an "all-at-once" demolition rather than a "three-stage" one.

Mr. McKinley assured the committee that the developer will carefully heed noise regulations during construction, an issue of substantial concern to the board. He said construction of the new tower will begin in June.

Silverstein Properties acquired the 11-story office building at 99 Church Street in November, 2006, with the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS) from Moody's Corporation for $170 million and Moody's has relocated its corporate headquarters to Silverstein Properties' 7 World Trade Center nearby.

The new building at 99 Church Street will include residential condominiums and a "five-star" hotel and occupancy is anticipated for early 2011.

Silverstein Properties announced October 15, 2007 that it has selected Robert A. M. Stern to design its planned mixed-use tower at 99 Church Street between Barclay Street and Park Place.

Larry A. Silverstein, the president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, said then that he was "delighted to welcome Robert A. M. Stern Architects to the roster of world-class architects - David Childs, Lord Norman Foster, Fumihiko Maki and Lord Richard Rogers - who are working with us to transform the landscape downtown while at the same time honoring its rich architecture heritage." Mr. Silverstein is building major skyscrapers nearby at Ground Zero.

Mr. Stern is the Dean of the Yale School of Architecture, the co-author of a monumental five-volume series on the history of New York City architecture and the architect of numerous luxury residential high-rise buildings in Manhattan including the limestone-clad 15 Central Park West.

No renderings or details of Mr. Stern's design have been released yet, but Dara McQuillan, marketing and communications director for Silverstein Properties, said that the design should be ready in about a month.

Last August, a rendering by Costas Kondylis appeared on the and websites of a skyscraper with a flared top at the Silverstein site, which is on the same block as the great Woolworth Building. Mr. McQuillan said that that rendering is not what is being planned.

The Moody's building was erected in 1951 and contained about 300,000 square feet of office space.

At the same meeting, the committee unanimously approved a resolution supporting a request for a liquor license for "The Great Hall at 25 Broadway," a planned banquet facility in the extremely spectacular former ticket hall of the Cunard steamship line at that address. The hall is presently vacant and had been used for a while as a post office. Arthur F. Backal, chief executive officer of the Backal Hospitality Group, told the committee that the facility will have a catering, but not a cabaret license.
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.