New York

This month in real estate history

1983: The $400 million Times Square project that never was  


Trammell Crow
Twenty-eight years ago this month, officials selected a development group to build a $400 million wholesale market at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street. The mart, which did not end up getting built, was supposed to be the final part of a $1.6 billion plan to remake the seedy Times Square area.

Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Mario Cuomo announced that a consortium including the country’s largest operator of merchandise marts, Dallas-based Trammell Crow, and Tishman Speyer Properties would develop the building on the east side of Eighth Avenue from 40th to 42nd streets.

The developers dreamed of building a 2.4 million-square-foot business-to-business market that would turn New York City into the leading wholesale center for computers and software. Other parts of the $1.6 billion plan to remake Times Square included new hotels and office buildings.

But the project stalled, and by 1987, Trammell Crow had pulled out. Ultimately, the New York Times and Forest City Ratner constructed the New York Times headquarters on the parcel between 40th and 41st streets, and earlier this year SJP Properties opened 11 Times Square, on the site between 41st and 42nd streets.


1958: Rockefeller outlines $1 billion downtown face-lift 


David Rockefeller
Downtown booster and banker David Rockefeller unveiled a $1 billion proposal to rebuild and modernize two large tracts of Lower Manhattan 53 years ago this month that ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Center towers.

Rockefeller, vice chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, led the executive committee of the two-year-old Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, which drafted the plan. In a meeting at City Hall, Rockefeller laid out the proposal, which called for razing hundreds of low, decrepit buildings, as well as making public improvements, in two different sections of Lower Manhattan.

The first section was along West Street between Cortlandt and Canal streets and was home to the wholesale produce market. It was slated for industrial use and possibly some residential and retail. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey later built the World Trade Center towers on a 16-acre site within that larger portion.

The second section was on the East Side along South Street, between Coenties Slip and the Brooklyn Bridge. That would be developed for office, retail and affordable housing.

The $1 billion cost was unofficial, and the association did not provide an estimate of the public and private construction costs.


1929: World’s tallest tower planned at 150 stories  


harles Noyes
A leading real estate broker with backing from a major financier announced plans for a 150-story skyscraper in Lower Manhattan that would dwarf the under-development Chrysler and Empire State buildings, 82 years ago this month.

Charles Noyes, the owner of the top brokerage firm Charles F. Noyes Co., and Empire State Building investor and businessman John Raskob disclosed their intention to construct the enormous tower two blocks from City Hall.

The plan, which was announced in the final days of a decade-long building boom, was not all bluster. Noyes and real estate investor David Schulte had assembled the necessary buildings on two blocks between Worth and Duane streets, and Broadway and Church streets. They paid about $600,000 for leases controlling the 17 buildings, and also owned properties outright.

But their dreams were quickly dashed with the collapse of the stock market two weeks later and the onset of the Great Depression. In 1935, Noyes and Schulte sold the properties to J.P. Morgan & Co. for about the same price they had paid, the New York Times reported.

The next major developer to make such grand plans was Donald Trump, who in November 1985 — in the midst of another real estate boom — said he would build a 1,670-foot-tall tower with 150 stories as part of his abandoned West Side project, Television City. That skyscraper plan was scrapped in 1991 as a recession sapped the desire to build. Compiled by Adam Pincus

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New York

This month in real estate history

1983: The $400 million Times Square project that never was  


Trammell Crow
Twenty-eight years ago this month, officials selected a development group to build a $400 million wholesale market at Eighth Avenue and 42nd Street. The mart, which did not end up getting built, was supposed to be the final part of a $1.6 billion plan to remake the seedy Times Square area.

Mayor Ed Koch and Governor Mario Cuomo announced that a consortium including the country’s largest operator of merchandise marts, Dallas-based Trammell Crow, and Tishman Speyer Properties would develop the building on the east side of Eighth Avenue from 40th to 42nd streets.

The developers dreamed of building a 2.4 million-square-foot business-to-business market that would turn New York City into the leading wholesale center for computers and software. Other parts of the $1.6 billion plan to remake Times Square included new hotels and office buildings.

But the project stalled, and by 1987, Trammell Crow had pulled out. Ultimately, the New York Times and Forest City Ratner constructed the New York Times headquarters on the parcel between 40th and 41st streets, and earlier this year SJP Properties opened 11 Times Square, on the site between 41st and 42nd streets.


1958: Rockefeller outlines $1 billion downtown face-lift 


David Rockefeller
Downtown booster and banker David Rockefeller unveiled a $1 billion proposal to rebuild and modernize two large tracts of Lower Manhattan 53 years ago this month that ultimately led to the creation of the World Trade Center towers.

Rockefeller, vice chairman of Chase Manhattan Bank, led the executive committee of the two-year-old Downtown-Lower Manhattan Association, which drafted the plan. In a meeting at City Hall, Rockefeller laid out the proposal, which called for razing hundreds of low, decrepit buildings, as well as making public improvements, in two different sections of Lower Manhattan.

The first section was along West Street between Cortlandt and Canal streets and was home to the wholesale produce market. It was slated for industrial use and possibly some residential and retail. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey later built the World Trade Center towers on a 16-acre site within that larger portion.

The second section was on the East Side along South Street, between Coenties Slip and the Brooklyn Bridge. That would be developed for office, retail and affordable housing.

The $1 billion cost was unofficial, and the association did not provide an estimate of the public and private construction costs.


1929: World’s tallest tower planned at 150 stories  


harles Noyes
A leading real estate broker with backing from a major financier announced plans for a 150-story skyscraper in Lower Manhattan that would dwarf the under-development Chrysler and Empire State buildings, 82 years ago this month.

Charles Noyes, the owner of the top brokerage firm Charles F. Noyes Co., and Empire State Building investor and businessman John Raskob disclosed their intention to construct the enormous tower two blocks from City Hall.

The plan, which was announced in the final days of a decade-long building boom, was not all bluster. Noyes and real estate investor David Schulte had assembled the necessary buildings on two blocks between Worth and Duane streets, and Broadway and Church streets. They paid about $600,000 for leases controlling the 17 buildings, and also owned properties outright.

But their dreams were quickly dashed with the collapse of the stock market two weeks later and the onset of the Great Depression. In 1935, Noyes and Schulte sold the properties to J.P. Morgan & Co. for about the same price they had paid, the New York Times reported.

The next major developer to make such grand plans was Donald Trump, who in November 1985 — in the midst of another real estate boom — said he would build a 1,670-foot-tall tower with 150 stories as part of his abandoned West Side project, Television City. That skyscraper plan was scrapped in 1991 as a recession sapped the desire to build. Compiled by Adam Pincus

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