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Thread: Fordham University Expansion at Lincoln Center - by Cooper, Robertson & Partners

  1. #1
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    Default Fordham University Expansion at Lincoln Center - by Cooper, Robertson & Partners

    The New York Times
    Fordham Plans Expansion at Lincoln Center
    By DAVID W. DUNLAP

    Published: February 23, 2005

    Fordham University plans to more than double the size of its Lincoln Center campus in an ambitious expansion that would be financed partly by the sale or lease of two corner parcels on Amsterdam Avenue for luxury housing development.

    Should the plan be realized, a high-rise quadrangle for 10,600 students would be created on the Columbus Avenue end of the superblock between 60th and 62nd Streets, with seven new buildings around a 1.5-acre courtyard. This ensemble would be overlooked by two apartment towers, one of which might reach nearly 60 stories.

    "We don't have enough dormitory space, we don't have enough classroom space and we woefully lack faculty office space," said the Rev. Joseph M. McShane, the president of Fordham, a Jesuit university whose original campus is at Rose Hill in the Bronx.

    Although the 2.378 million square feet of new development proposed by Fordham is allowed under zoning rules, it would greatly advance the steady march of Midtown Manhattan gigantism into the once low-rise precincts of Lincoln Square.

    Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, whom Fordham officials have shown the proposal, said: "They're a wonderful institution. On the other hand, those corner buildings are huge."

    Ms. Brewer said she hoped "we can scale it back a bit and have some community amenities," like lower-cost housing, in line with the Jesuits' emphasis on social responsibility. She added that Fordham seemed "amenable to working with us."

    Fordham officials said they had no choice but to pursue development, given the desirability and value of the Lincoln Center property. "The asset needs to become a performing asset, both educationally and monetarily," said Brian J. Byrne, the vice president for administration.

    Built for about 3,500 students, the seven-acre Lincoln Center campus now serves 8,000 students, more than are found on Rose Hill's 85 acres.

    At Lincoln Center are the four-story Law School; the 12-story Leon Lowenstein Center, shared by three graduate schools and Fordham College at Lincoln Center; the 20-story McMahon Hall dormitory, with 822 beds; and Quinn Library, under an elevated plaza. Fordham also leases office space in the neighborhood.

    The expansion plan, by Cooper, Robertson & Partners, has been filed with the City Planning Department for review. Amanda M. Burden, the department director, said yesterday that she would focus, among other things, on how the proposal related to the neighborhood and affected street life.

    Under the $300 million first phase, to be finished in five or six years, a new 16-story Law School and five-story campus center would be built, the library would be expanded into an eight-story structure and the Amsterdam Avenue parcels would be sold or leased.

    The plan outlines the potential for a 47-story apartment building and 26-story dormitory at 60th Street and a 57-story, 621-foot apartment building at 62nd Street. This would be 222 feet higher than the nearby Alfred condominium, which occupies the only part of the superblock that Fordham never controlled, as it was the site of Power Memorial Academy until 1984.

    The north tower would present one of the starker architectural expressions in New York of the gulf between classes: a luxury skyscraper opposite Amsterdam Houses, a modestly scaled public housing project.

    "It's one of the ironies of the situation in which we find ourselves," Father McShane said, "that the sale of the parcels on the Amsterdam Avenue end will enable us - we believe, and believe strongly - to be more effective in our mission" of inculcating students with a sense of duty to address social injustice and remember the poor.

    Financing for the expansion would come from fund-raising, additional tuition from increased enrollment and borrowing through bonds. The goal of the development deal is to create an endowment that will generate enough income to cover two-thirds of the debt service. University officials would not say how much they expected to earn from a sale or lease.

    "We're seeing more and more of this: The use of real estate development to underwrite not-for-profit programming," said Hope Cohen, the chairwoman of Community Board 7, adding that the concept warranted greater examination as a matter of public policy.

    Under the second phase of Fordham's expansion, which would probably not be finished before 2025, the old Law School would be razed and replaced by a 21-story dormitory.

    Two near-twin buildings of 35 and 36 stories would rise on Columbus Avenue, flanking a new campus entrance. These would include dormitory space on the upper floors and would be shared by Fordham College, the School of Business and the Graduate Schools of Social Service and Education.

    Alexander Cooper of Cooper, Robertson described the proposal as "the most New York solution" because it concentrated building density on the corners and around the perimeter of the block, preserving a verdant enclave in the middle.

    Father McShane said, "We want to make sure we maintain at the center of campus the green space that has been so much a community resource for the last 40 years."

    He added, "We'll make it far more accessible to the public than it has been."

    Land use on the site is currently governed by a 1966 agreement that will expire next January. Building heights are limited to 200 feet, and buildings cannot cover more than 35 percent of the site. Fordham proposes to cover 63 percent of the site. Seven buildings would be taller than 200 feet. The restrictions limit the number of parking spaces to 35. The university proposes 595 spaces - 265 for its faculty and staff, 330 for the apartment residents - for which it still must receive a special permit from the city.

    Fordham is also seeking modification of the rules governing building bulk in the Lincoln Square special zoning district. That may be where Community Board 7 and Ms. Brewer draw a line. "I would prefer that their plan falls within the guidelines," she said.

    University officials emphasized that they are not seeking an "upzoning"; that is, an increase in allowable density. They said the Fordham site could accommodate 3.02 million square feet of space as a matter of right, since the 302,000-square-foot property sits in a zoning district that permits buildings with 10 times more floor area than the lot size.

    Existing university buildings have 791,000 square feet of floor area, but 148,000 square feet of that would be demolished. The university would build 1.147 million square feet of academic space and 530,000 square feet of dormitory space, roughly 1,565 beds. The apartment towers would account for 701,000 square feet.

  2. #2
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    As far as the sheer size...very impressive. Now, let's see some innovative design work.

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    Pics...
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

Name:	fordham.gif 
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    As a Fordham grad from the Lincoln Center campus, I know first hand that they have long outgrown that space. The area is much more dense than the current buildings. Making the now semi-private open space public is a step in the right direction.

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    Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, whom Fordham officials have shown the proposal, said: "They're a wonderful institution. On the other hand, those corner buildings are huge."

    Ms. Brewer said she hoped "we can scale it back a bit and have some community amenities," like lower-cost housing, in line with the Jesuits' emphasis on social responsibility. She added that Fordham seemed "amenable to working with us."
    Must they nip and pick at everything?

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    A couple pics of the current site:

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  7. #7

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    hello?
    Quote Originally Posted by NYguy
    Must they nip and pick at everything?

  8. #8

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    where did u get this 3D digital?



    Quote Originally Posted by billyblancoNYC
    Pics...

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    Quote Originally Posted by harvard7
    where did u get this 3D digital?
    Um...I think it was in the Times.

  10. #10

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    thanks.
    I live in the Alfred Condo, so I am interested in following what's up with the development plans..

  11. #11

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    Are you what they would they say, a NIMBY?

  12. #12

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    E-mail from Coalition for a Livable West Side

    Fordham University - Update from CB7 Presentation, June 15, 2005
    o Proposed 2,378 million square feet of new development - W. 60th- W. 62nd Street between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenue.
    o Have filed an application with a 30-40 year plan to City Planning Commission.
    o To be built in two phases.
    o NeedsVariances - ie - asking for changes in zoning regulations - requesting height and set-back variances.
    o Phase I (1.5 million sq. ft. of development includes:
    some academic buildings and a library.;
    two huge residential towers (one 50 and one of 60 stories) on Amsterdam Avenue between 6oth and 62nd Street.;
    two mixed use buildings (includes dormitory space) Columbus between 60th and 62nd Street. Northeast corner (45 stories - 447 ft.) and Southeast corner (45 stories - 449 ft.)
    o There will be a scoping session at which the public can make suggestions about what should be included in the Environmental Impact Statement.
    o After the scoping session, the firm of AKRF will prepare the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS).
    o The DEIS will be presented to the community at a Public Hearing. Comments from the Public will be included in the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS).

    Additional background:
    o In 1969, under the Urban Renewal program, Fordham was sold the entire property for $3 million. The Urban Renewal agreement runs with the land for 40 years. During that time, the land could only be used for educational purposes.
    o In 1988 or 1989 (checking the year), Fordham said that in order to build a dormitory, it was selling a parcel of land next to the Alfred I (dubbed the Alfred II) to a private developer. The Coalition for a Livable West Side opposed the deal and submitted an air quality analysis to the Department of City Planning. (still looking for a copy of it). Coalition suggested that Fordham build the dormitory with NYS Dormitory Bonds. They rejected it. Their deal with the developer fell through and they built the dormitory using the Dormitory Bonds.


    "Comment: This community cannot absorb this development. It must be rejected. The Coalition for a Livable West Side will actively fight this project and will keep you informed."

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek2k3
    "Comment: This community cannot absorb this development. It must be rejected. The Coalition for a Livable West Side will actively fight this project and will keep you informed."
    This is ridiculous! Shut these nimbys up and let the university expand. I would love to see these new towers in that area!

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    When the Lincoln Square towers were being built in the early '90s, how bad was the community opposition?

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    what is a nimby?

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