Cooper Union selling small lots; picking architect for Hewitt site

Cooper Union has sold a lot it owned on E. Fifth St. on Third Ave. According to Claire McCarthy, the school’s spokesperson, the lot was purchased for $1.8 million by Daniel Platovsky. The lot is one of three relatively small-sized lots the school is selling off around Cooper Sq. Another, the B Bar site, at E. Fourth St. and the Bowery, is “in contract [to be sold], but it’s not a done deal yet,” McCarthy said, adding that the school doesn’t comment on pending deals. The three properties were deemed not suitable for education or economic development.

Also, Cooper Union is in the process of selecting an architect for a planned $95 million, nine-story academic building to replace its existing Hewitt Building between E. Sixth and Seventh Sts. on Third Ave. Over 100 individual architects or firms were nominated, and Cooper is now asking for requests for proposals from seven. The groundbreaking is expected in two years.

The seven finalists include Shigeru Ban Architects (Tokyo, Japan); Zaha Hadid Architects (London); Thom Mayne, Morphosis (Santa Monica, Cal.); Rafael Moneo (Madrid, Spain); William Pederson, Kohn Pederson Fox (New York City); Ben Van Berkel, Caroline Bos, UN Studio (Amsterdam); and Tod Williams Billie Tsien & Associates (New York City).

A private developer won’t begin construction on the school’s Engineering Building site on the north side of Astor Pl. until the new academic building is complete — construction should take 18 to 24 months — allowing the Engineering School to relocate to the new site, McCarthy said.

Meanwhile, Related Properties is reportedly planning to break ground before the end of the year for a new luxury residential tower on Cooper Union’s Astor Pl. parking lot.

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