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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

Silverstein Properties announced today 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 just to the west of the Woolworth Building.

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

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

Larry A. Silverstein, the president and CEO of Silverstein Properties, said 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.

"Lower Manhattan is one of the world's great places, and I am thrilled by the invitation of Larry Silverstein and his organization to be part of its rebirth with the design of a first-rate hotel and residences on a key site," Mr. Stern said, adding that for him "this is a dream project, a chance to help Lower Manhattan realize its potential as a great place to live."

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.

An article by Bradley Hope in today's edition of The New York Sun quoted Mr. Stern as saying that there will be a public plaza between the new building and the Woolworth Building.

No renderings or details of Mr. Stern's design have been released yet.

Last August, a rendering by Costas Kondylis appeared on the WiredNewYork and Curbed websites of a skyscraper with a flared top at the Silverstein site, which is on the same block as the great Woolworth Building. At the time, Silverstein Properties issued a statement in response to a query from that it was "committed to excellence in design for all its properties," the statement continued, without any reference to specific architectural firms.

The Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway is widely considered the third greatest New York City skyscraper after the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings and its visual isolation on the skyline has been recently encroached upon by the new, 56-story apartment tower at 10 Barclay Street developed by Glenwood Management of which Leonard Litwin is a principal.

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

Last March, a spokesperson for the developer at Howard J. Rubenstein Associates confirmed for a report by Lauren Elkies in The Real Deal that the project will include a "boutique" hotel on the lower 20 floors below condominium apartments.

Silverstein Properties is planning to erect a 60-story mixed-use tower at 99 Church Street just to the west of the Woolworth Building at 233 Broadway.

Steve Witkoff and Cammeby's International had planned a residential conversion of the upper floors of the Woolworth Building, one of New York City's most important landmarks, but last May Randy Gerner of the architectural firm of Gerner Kronick & Valcarcel PC, told that his firm was working on plans to convert the top floors back to office space.

An article by David Lombino in the December 22, 2006 edition of The New York Sun maintained that "Mr. Silverstein said it was likely the [Moody's building would be razed to make way for a 58-story" building.
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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.
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