Over the last two days numerous tips have flooded the Curbed Inbox claiming that construction at the Frank Gehry-designed Beekman Tower in the upper part of the Financial District has been halted.
The 76-story luxury rental building (with stores and a school in its base) recently started getting its skin of rippling steel, and a check of the site on Tuesday showed plenty of activity. Still, the tips kept coming, and though their wording differed ("ceased construction at the 36th floor, and will not finish the remaining 40 stories," "heard the concrete guy got thrown off the job"), the common thread in all of them has been lack of money. The tipsters are on to something.
A spokesperson for developer Forest City Ratner gave Curbed this comment:
Give the current economy we are conducting a study to assess costs, risks and overall timing. Work is continuing on the building including on the school and we should have some conclusive answers shortly.
That's a bit of a mixed message, but the underlying meaning is clear: Things aren't quite going as planned at the legendary starchitect's signature addition to the New York City skyline. Is Bruce Ratner just playing hardball with unions, or with the government to get added subsidies? Hopefully. Real estate bust or not, what would a half-built skyscraper left rotting near the Brooklyn Bridge do to the image of the Financial District as a reborn residential neighborhood-on-the-rise? Or, if it's completed at half its envisioned size, to the legacy of Gehry?