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Tishman Speyer Hosts Government, Union and Civic Leaders for Topping Out of Gotham Center Tower in Long Island City

Department of Health Will Move Significant Portion of Staff into New Office Complex

(PRWEB) February 24, 2010 -- Tishman Speyer President and Co-CEO Rob Speyer welcomed Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert C. Lieber and Deputy Mayor for Health and Human Services Linda Gibbs and a host of Queens and citywide government, labor, civic and business leaders today for a ceremony celebrating the "topping out" of Two Gotham Center, a 21-story mixed use tower in Long Island City.

Other notable participants in the ceremony included New York City Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth Pinsky and New York City Building & Construction Trades Council President Gary LaBarbera. During the ceremony, members of Ironworkers Local 361 raised the final beam of steel, which was signed by construction workers and dignitaries in attendance, to a height of 325 feet.

The office portion of the 662,000 square-foot, Class A office tower, which is being developed by Tishman Speyer on the corner of Queens Plaza and 28th Street, will be occupied by the New York City Department of Health (DOH). Once the tower is completed in early 2011, the DOH will begin relocating staff members from many of its 15 Manhattan locations.

The $316 million project, which replaces the Queens Plaza Municipal Parking Garage, also will include approximately 8,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 160 parking spaces. The tower is the first phase of the proposed 3.5-million-square-foot Gotham Center development. This initial stage is responsible for the creation of about 1,400 construction jobs.

"The multimillion-dollar Gotham Center project is a welcome sight that will bring jobs and economic activity to an area that is a gateway to Queens," said Queens Borough President Marshall. "In recent years, the private and public sectors have worked together to bring growth here in housing, retail and office space, while making the entrance to Queens greener with more efficient energy sources and new landscaping. On behalf of the people of Queens, I thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Tishman Speyer, the Modell Family and the Long Island City Business Improvement District and Development Corporation for making today possible."

"Long Island City has long been poised for growth and development, and Tishman Speyer's commitment to build Gotham Center on the former site of the decaying Queens Plaza Garage is a testament to this area's future," said Deputy Mayor Lieber. "Gotham Center along with the infrastructure and streetscape investments along Queens Plaza and Jackson Heights will transform the gateway to Long Island City's commercial core while catalyzing additional private investments and bringing much needed retail amenities to the area. Congratulations to the Tishman Speyer team and the several agencies including NYCEDC and the Department of Health for their dedication to this project and to Long Island City."

"The relocation of Department of Health and Mental Hygiene employees to a state-of-the-art facility in Long Island City will help us achieve our goal of creating greater operating efficiency and enhanced environments for workers and clients of City agencies," said Deputy Mayor Gibbs. "The new space also will utilize an open-space office design long championed by Mayor Bloomberg for its ability to increase workplace effectiveness and lower operating costs."

"The public and private sectors' ongoing investment in Gotham Center serves as a vote of confidence for Long Island City's future," said Rob Speyer, President and Co-CEO of Tishman Speyer Properties. "We thank New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his team, the New York City Comptroller's Office, as well as the elected, civic and community leaders of Queens for their support. We also thank our partner, the Modell family, and our construction lenders -Wells Fargo Bank, HSBC Bank, Norddeutsche Landesbank Girozentrale, Landesbank Hessen Thuringen and Bank of Ireland. Most importantly, we are indebted to the men and women of the construction industry for turning this vision into a reality."

"Today's topping off ceremony is a significant milestone in the progress we're making in transforming Long Island City into one of the City's great Central Business Districts," said NYCEDC President Pinsky. "New corporate tenants and two major infrastructure projects currently underway are making the area even more inviting to businesses, residents and visitors alike. By locating the headquarters of the Department of Health in the new 21-story tower, Gotham Center is also helping to fulfill Mayor Bloomberg's commitment to relocating City employees in boroughs outside of Manhattan. I commend Tishman Speyer for its commitment to the future of Long Island City and look forward to the ribbon-cutting in early 2011."

Added Mr. LaBarbera, "Gotham Center demonstrates the successes that can be achieved when New York City government, developers, contractors and union labor work together to expand economic activity and create meaningful jobs across all five boroughs. Given the difficult economic times we are living in, this sense of shared commitment is more important now than ever before."

Long Island City is already home to an array of corporate tenants, including Citigroup and the UN Federal Credit Union. In addition, the Bloomberg administration is undertaking substantial capital improvements around Queens Plaza and Court Square that will make the area more attractive to businesses and inviting to residents. The project includes a new public plaza, new plantings, lighting, street furniture and a public median from Queens Plaza to Court Street and a greenway from Queens Plaza to the East River. These improvements, combined with its proximity to Midtown Manhattan and accessibility to seven different subway lines and numerous bus routes, will serve to attract new businesses.

Tishman Speyer was selected to acquire the property and develop the project as a result of a Request for Proposals issued by NYCEDC. The New York City Employees' Retirement System and the Teachers' Retirement System are committing up to $9.3 million each in equity towards the project.

Designed by Moed De Armas & Shannon, Two Gotham Center will incorporate green building technology and is anticipated to achieve LEED Silver Certification from the U.S. Green Buildings Council for its interiors, as well as LEED Gold Certification for its core and shell.

Key members of the development team include architect of record Gensler; construction manager Bovis Lend Lease; structural engineer Cantor Seinuk; and mechanical engineer Jaros, Baum & Bolles.

About Tishman Speyer

Tishman Speyer is one of the leading owners, developers, operators, and fund managers of first-class real estate in the world. Since 1978, Tishman Speyer has acquired, developed and operated over 325 projects totaling over 116 million square feet and a property portfolio of over US$54.2 billion in total value across the United States, Europe, Latin America and Asia, including signature properties such as New York's Rockefeller Center and Chrysler Center, Berlin's Sony Center and Torre Norte in São Paulo, Brazil.


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