Curbed has an incredible collection of news about the big sale.
What you learn from all that is that no one knows all that much about what’s going to happen. Here are some basics about the private new owner, Jerry Speyer:
- He’s developing Yankee Stadium.
- He put together the deals to buy lots of prominent properties around the world. In New York the list includes Rockefeller Center, the Chrysler Building the former Pan Am building.
- He’s vice chairman of the Museum of Modern Art.
William Neuman of The New York Times also reports:
His company, Tishman Speyer Properties, was the developer for the eye-catching addition to the Hearst Building on Eighth Avenue and 57th Street, which was designed by the architect Norman Foster. The company is also serving as the developer on the Yankee Stadium project, which is due to be completed in time for the 2009 baseball season. (Mr. Speyer has what he describes as a small ownership interest in the team.)
Tishman Speyer has also joined with Steve Swindal, a partner in the Yankees and the son-in-law of the team’s principal owner, George Steinbrenner, in making a bid to run the state’s thoroughbred racing franchise.
Mr. Speyer is also known as a prominent philanthropist with an interest in the arts. He helped spur the recent expansion of the Museum of Modern Art and he displays his own collection of artwork by such artists as Jeff Koons and Frank Stella at a large town house he built for himself in the East 70’s.
But, before yesterday, when he emerged at the head of the investment team in a $5.4 billion deal to buy Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village, Mr. Speyer’s residential portfolio in New York was empty.
The sale of the 110-building complex has brought criticism from tenant groups and been a source of anxiety for many residents. Mr. Speyer tried to allay tenant fears yesterday, saying he plans to run Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village with the same professionalism with which he has managed his commercial properties.
“Were going to take the tension out of this,” Mr. Speyer said. “Because we’re going to be great landlords for the families that live in this place.”
In another Times article, this one by Charles V. Bagli, it’s clear no one really knows what will come next:
An elated Mr. Speyer appeared well aware of the complexes’ place in the city’s culture and the political sensitivity of the sale.
“As a business with deep roots in New York City, we have a sincere appreciation for these cherished neighborhoods, and we are honored to become stewards of the property,” Mr. Speyer said. “We are committed to working closely with residents, elected officials and community leaders to ensure a dynamic and vibrant future for this New York community.”
His son, Rob Speyer, a senior managing director at Tishman Speyer, also tried to reassure tenants, emphasizing, “There will be no sudden or dramatic shifts in the community’s makeup, character or charm.” But he would not commit to preserving a large block of apartments as affordable housing, which the tenant group had sought.
The truth is no one knows all that much about what will happen. The only thing that I would add would be my expectation that Mr. Speyer will do the right thing with this massive parcel. I am heartened that a New York developer won the bidding, and I’m convinced that minimizes the chances of anything insane happening there.
Which makes me think…assuming there were no zoning laws at all, what type of property or what would you like to see on the site? Condos? Hotels? Perhaps a simple facelift only? Maybe Disney NYC?
Seriously though… I would love to know what people think should happen or not happen to this incredible urban parcel.
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