ULI New York Blog

YLG Mobile Workshop: New York by Gehry

NOVEMBER 18, 2011
Reported by James Ryan III, ULI New York Young Leaders Group
Additional contributions by Christopher Turner, ULI New York Young Leaders Group

On Friday, November 18th ULI’s Young Leaders Group was invited to an exclusive guided tour of one of Forest City Ratner’s newest buildings.

Rising out of Lower Manhattan, just north of Wall Street, New York by Gehry is the tallest residential tower in the Western Hemisphere. Architecturally it is a striking building, and one that carries some of the architect’s, Frank Gehry, signature design traits such as undulating waves of stainless steel combined with custom interior furnishings and installations.

There is a great deal enclosed within Gehry’s distinctive envelope and the statistics displayed on the wall of the model unit on the 57th floor provide some of the highlights: 870 feet tall, 1.1 million square feet, 2,400 windows, 280 million pounds of concrete, 13.2 million pounds of reinforced steel, 10,500 curtain wall panels, 160 miles of electrical cabling, 21,000 linear feet of kitchen cabinets, 25,000 gallons of paint, 8,000 doors, 2 million man hours, 8,200 light fixtures.

The views from the top floors stretch from the nearby construction at ground zero to the outlying boroughs and beyond.  Apartment windows bow out to allow for wider viewing angles.  The building has over 22,000 square feet of amenities including: lounges, a movie theater, an indoor pool, art studios, a yoga room and a golf simulator.

The curtain wall panels were custom created with such precision that the slightest error would have caused major delays.  Construction began in 2008, but was halted in 2009 so that the developers could rework the plans after the market crash. Forest City Ratner was able to complete the building to its original height after renegotiating trades’ contracts and conducting additional value-engineering,

New York by Gehry is intended to provide a high-end rental option to those with the means, but not the inclination to purchase their own apartment.   The building is over 50% occupied with tenants ranging in age from their early twenties to late sixties. A large proportion of the tenants are international.

Seeing the building firsthand and gaining a deeper insight into its turbulent development process provided the group with a case study on how Forest City Ratner was able to overcome challenges to create a building with a lasting impact on the New York City skyline.

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